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TwiceHorn

Engine Oil Smells of Gas

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I checked my oil the other day.  My engine is a direct-injected, turbocharged four-banger.  It uses runny-ass synthetic 5W-30.  As is fairly typical of one of this oil, it doesn't cling to the dipstick and give a good clean reading like good ol SAE 30 or 10W-30 in a V8 used to do.  I mostly check it for color and that the dipstick is in fact wet in the general vicinity of the markings on the stick.

When I came back into the house, I noticed my fingers smelled of gasoline, as did the paper towel that I wiped the dipstick with.  So, there is some amount of gasoline in my engine oil.  

As a general proposition, this is no bueno.  However, reading up on it, it is somewhat typical of DI turbo engines. this one, the Ford Ecoboosts, and others.  It is made worse by short trips where the fuel mixture is rich before it reaches operating temps and various aspects of direct injection and turbocharging cause blow-by of the pistons/rings.  And, due to the virus, that describes the majority of my trips.  However, I do enjoy driving the little beastie and do so just for shits and grins, getting it up to normal operating temperature, which should evaporate the gas out of the oil/crankcase.

Car runs fine.  I get no Check Engine Light, which apparently would happen if the gas dilution was excessive.  A small amount of gasoline can stink up engine oil pretty good.

Should I unclench until I get a CEL?  Take it to the dealer and demand some action?  I am warranted for another two-plus years.

I'm just looking for some perspective on this, because it's kind of freaking me out.  @G650@Anton Chigurh@Gravy Train

Also, I discovered that there is a TSB on this issue for my engine.  It's a little bit unclear, but it seems that the TSB is triggered by a code and CEL, which I am apparently not getting,, yet.  The solution is a new PCV valve, some reprogramming of the ECM to get it to temperature faster and maybe lean out the mixture.

Fucking technology, man.

 

Edited by TwiceHorn

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If there is actually enough fuel in there to smell, and there is already a bulletin out, I'd definitely lean on the dealer while you have warranty.

 

I don't think the motor will grenade or anything but it could put some premature wear in your bearings and rings.

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Out of rep.

A few people on Chevy forums apparently have had constant CELs due to this that the TSB only partially remedies.  The issue really seems to be short jaunts where it doesn't get to operating temperature.

I'd kind of like to get that new/different PCV valve as I have seen some others have had it replaced due to oil in the intake.  I don't even want to look and go down the catch can route.  Same type issues were reported with the DI V6 in my last car and it went to 95k without a hitch.

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2 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Out of rep.

A few people on Chevy forums apparently have had constant CELs due to this that the TSB only partially remedies.  The issue really seems to be short jaunts where it doesn't get to operating temperature.

I'd kind of like to get that new/different PCV valve as I have seen some others have had it replaced due to oil in the intake.  I don't even want to look and go down the catch can route.  Same type issues were reported with the DI V6 in my last car and it went to 95k without a hitch.

One curiosity, is this seems to be an issue on the Malibu (and a couple of Buicks), but not on the Camaro with the same engine.  The Caddy and Camaro are 10% higher rated on hp, which may be utter bullshit or may be a slightly different tune.  There's no mention of it in the Caddy forums.  And like all forums they will bitch about any damn thing, much less something that pops a CEL.

I have an appointment Monday morning so hopefully they can confirm or deny and maybe give me that PCV valve and ECM update.

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9 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

.

 ECM update.

 

https://www.blackstone-labs.com/?session-id=xihd03e1aippqd45valih455&timeout=20&bslauth&urlbase=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blackstone-labs.net%2FBstone%2F(S(xihd03e1aippqd45valih455))%2F

 

From what I have read,  ECM update is key.    May want to ask the dealer about fuel injector service.

Frequent oil changes (3K-5K) will be good.    For peace of mind,  may want to consider an oil analysis by Blackstone Labs (link above).   Cost is about $30 and will indicate if dilution is causing issues.

(Disclaimer:  Not a mechanic or well versed in subject,  just try to keep up with today's engines)

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Yeah, I had a blackstone test in mind had I not found the TSB.  I read somewhere that 2.5% dilution or lower is acceptable.

But if I had done the Blackstone test and it came back "bad," then I'd just be where I am right now.  And even if it came back "good" Id worry that it's getting worse or some shit.

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I'm suspecting the internal seals of the high-pressure fuel pump are allowing a bit of fuel to leak through its body and into the crankcase.  Most HPFPs are cam-driven and I've read of this issue on VWs.

Sorry for the late reply.

Edit:  to expand on this, on a return-less fuel system (common for DI), the fuel system remains pressurized all the way to the HPFP (~60PSI) even when the ignition is off.  There could be a very small trickle of fuel seeping past the pump and into the crankcase while the engine is off, but is vaporized or pumped past when the engine is operating.  My theory, anyway.

Edited by Gravy Train
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2 hours ago, Gravy Train said:

I'm suspecting the internal seals of the high-pressure fuel pump are allowing a bit of fuel to leak through its body and into the crankcase.  Most HPFPs are cam-driven and I've read of this issue on VWs.

Sorry for the late reply.

Edit:  to expand on this, on a return-less fuel system (common for DI), the fuel system remains pressurized all the way to the HPFP (~60PSI) even when the ignition is off.  There could be a very small trickle of fuel seeping past the pump and into the crankcase while the engine is off, but is vaporized or pumped past when the engine is operating.  My theory, anyway.

Bah. Shit.  Well, it's under warranty.  We shall see.

I was noodling around on this issue, a lot of talk about it at Bob Is The Oil Guy.  Some people are reporting Honda engines being in spec with up to 25% dilution.

I am enjoying this wee turbo engine, but if a bunch of shit starts accumulating, I guess I will be ready for electric.

I had to run an errand around noon, so I stretched it out to a run up Central and back down to get it good and hot.  After it cooled down (it's fucking untouchable under there at temperature), it seemed a bit less odorous at the dipstick and the filler cap.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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probably just need to prepare the fetzer valve with some 3 in 1 oil and some gauze pads. 

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5 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Some people are reporting Honda engines being in spec with up to 25% dilution.

Dude, there's no way.

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Welp, turned it in at 10 and they have kept it overnight, so I guess they aren't going to turn around and tell me it's NBD.

Hopefully just doing the PCV valve and reprogram and didn't find something wrong with injection system.

Also some fuckfuckingfuckstick cunt rear ended my loaner while stopped at a light and took off.  Cuntpissassholefuck.  Probably going to cost me a deductible.  Motherfucker.

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10 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Welp, turned it in at 10 and they have kept it overnight, so I guess they aren't going to turn around and tell me it's NBD.

Hopefully just doing the PCV valve and reprogram and didn't find something wrong with injection system.

Also some fuckfuckingfuckstick cunt rear ended my loaner while stopped at a light and took off.  Cuntpissassholefuck.  Probably going to cost me a deductible.  Motherfucker.

A few weeks ago, my wife parked on the street and someone was visiting the house across the street and backed up from their driveway across the street and into my wife's car. They were nice enough to stop but it will require a new door, will devalue the car, and required about 4 hours of my time. Thanks for being one of the worst drivers on the planet ma'am.

BTW, I've always wanted to take one of those Ford ecoboost engines and put it in an austin healey. They would be fun to drive with a modern engine in them, especially if we added modern brakes and suspension. Anyone think a car company focused on modernized versions of classics would work as a business plan? I liked the modern t-bird when it was introduced. The modern VW was nice as was the FJ cruiser, and I will probably get the new Bronco. I've heard not all kit cars are trash.

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51 minutes ago, Bevo said:

A few weeks ago, my wife parked on the street and someone was visiting the house across the street and backed up from their driveway across the street and into my wife's car. They were nice enough to stop but it will require a new door, will devalue the car, and required about 4 hours of my time. Thanks for being one of the worst drivers on the planet ma'am.

BTW, I've always wanted to take one of those Ford ecoboost engines and put it in an austin healey. They would be fun to drive with a modern engine in them, especially if we added modern brakes and suspension. Anyone think a car company focused on modernized versions of classics would work as a business plan? I liked the modern t-bird when it was introduced. The modern VW was nice as was the FJ cruiser, and I will probably get the new Bronco. I've heard not all kit cars are trash.

Well, the Shelby?AC Cobra was like that.  But I'm not sure there's anyone doing anything like that except a one-off.

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33 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Well, the Shelby?AC Cobra was like that.  But I'm not sure there's anyone doing anything like that except a one-off.

I forgot about that one.

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At least it was an easy fix and hopefully done on the automaker's dime.  Also good job quickly identifying the issue and not ignoring it, as prolonged fuel dilution breaks down the base and friction modifiers in the oil.  Did they complete an oil change over the service visit?

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Just now, Gravy Train said:

At least it was an easy fix and hopefully done on the automaker's dime.  Also good job quickly identifying the issue and not ignoring it, as prolonged fuel dilution breaks down the base and friction modifiers in the oil.  Did they complete an oil change over the service visit?

I am going to assume so, but don't know yet.  Just got a call from the advisor.  They tend to do things right, so I am gonna guess they did.

It's funny.  This is my second DI engine, DI apparently being the primary source of oil dilution without anything else being wrong.  I don't recall ever noticing a gas smell in the oil in my prior vehicle, which also made a fair number of short trips.  

But, then again, I didn't notice it immediately in this one either.  I just happened to check it and go back inside where the gas smell became noticeable.  A lot of the time, I check it before/after a car wash or some other activity that would either wash it off or leave me outside where the smell would have diminished.

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I would still keep an eye on it.  Simply as I never trust the dealer.  Been deceived too many times until... yipee... out of warranty and you know that problem we said was this... it was that and now it's on your dime. I was thinking potentially injector simply because fo the high pressure, but with black boxes who knows.

 

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24 minutes ago, horn4life said:

I would still keep an eye on it.  Simply as I never trust the dealer.  Been deceived too many times until... yipee... out of warranty and you know that problem we said was this... it was that and now it's on your dime. I was thinking potentially injector simply because fo the high pressure, but with black boxes who knows.

 

Well I have original warranty til February, two years of CPO after that, and powertrain warranty.

I mostly trust this dealer (Sewell) as far as not intentionally screwing me.  Nevertheless, when anything gets repaired on a fairly new car, I'm always wary that something else will go wrong simply as a result of them noodling around in this case with the FI system.  So yeah, I'll be watching.

It apparently was the fuel injector o-ring on cylinder 1.  All o-rings and seals replaced on all four injectors, along with the "fuel delivery pipe" and associated seals.  And I got a free oil change, a $77 dollar value!

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Speaking of warranties, kinda sucks that because of Covid, the warranty on my truck will be up next July, with only 20K miles on it or so.  On one hand I've kept mileage off of it working from home, but on the other I feel kinda ripped off.

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3 hours ago, Anton Chigurh said:

Sewell is pretty shitty to their vendors.

Good customer service, but they have some shiesty business practices.

Elaborate?  I'm always down for shit-talking on alleged institutions like Sewell.

I'm always a little skeptical about places like Sewell that kind of toot their own horn. But, my family has dealt with them off and on for like 40 years without any real problems.

My cousin did take his land yacht (Deville or DTS back in the day, he has back problems) to Sewell for something and got a big quote to fix a whole bunch of stuff and then also took it to Rodger Maier and they deemed much of the work unnecessary and quoted less.  Cousin was big mad.  That's the worst thing they seem to do (upsell every damn thing), but they all seem to do that.  Sewell of course bought Maier and closed it down like a month later.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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8 minutes ago, Anton Chigurh said:

That’s a lot of it yeah, the ridiculous upselling.

They’ll tell their techs to find stuff in the name of “safety”.

It’s just all kind of a facade.

In my experience, they just upsell cabin air filters and tire rotations and shit that aren't too far off the actual schedule, when you're in for an oil change.  Otherwise, as far as I can tell, they just do what needs to be done, but I have really only had warranty work, a water pump, and oil changes done there.  My cousin's experience was different and he's an LS4xx man now.

I do laugh a bit at the rotations, because my last two cars have been staggered front/rear, so they're only doing half a rotation.  I guess it serves a purpose.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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They are very high volume so it depends I guess.

In the end, they are salesmen and they do what salesmen do I suppose. It just seems skeezier to me than most other places. I guess the fact that their commercials are very cultish and that they do toot their own horn like you said makes the whole thing a bit weird.

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2 minutes ago, Anton Chigurh said:

They are very high volume so it depends I guess.

In the end, they are salesmen and they do what salesmen do I suppose. It just seems skeezier to me than most other places. I guess the fact that their commercials are very cultish and that they do toot their own horn like you said makes the whole thing a bit weird.

They still have a lot of old folks and automotive nincompoops as customers, so they eat it up, I guess.  My cousin probably qualifies on both counts.

I have had fairly similar experiences with the upselling at an Acura and a Chevy dealership.

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