Question about 2006 Saturn ION

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I found oil on 2 spark plugs telling me the head gasket is blown. Ive never replaced one before what can you tell me?

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  • Locke3400 Oct 05, 2010

    Where was the oil on the spark plugs? Usually that means a valve cover leak.

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Oil on the plug does not indicate a head gasket.
It could be a bad ring, valve guide or valve seal.
A leak down test will comfirm a head gasket leak
A compresion test will confirm a ring problem.
Oil consumption and smoke indicate ring and valve problems.
If it smokes on stat up, most likely valve guide or seal.
If if smokes when you drive and let off the gas quickly from speed, then most likely a ring or cylinder wall problem.

Good Luck

Posted on Oct 05, 2010

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28 Solutions for ''HOw can I tell if I have a cracked head blown head gasket or cracked blown like how can I see it''


Often (but not always), a blown head gasket will also cause deposit of water on a piece of cardboard held an inch from the tailpipe output while the engine is running (when this is happening, it is likely that the catalytic converter has been ruined and the muffler will corrode in short order as well).

Sometimes drops of water will be seen dropping from the end of the tailpipe. Another clue: turn on the heater; often when the head gasket is blown an odor of antifreeze and synthetic rubber will emanate from the heater vents.
Many of the symptoms of blown head gasket can be caused by some other problem in the cooling system, without the head gasket being damaged. Conversely, other problems with the cooling system can cause a blown head gasket and/or warped head.

When checking for a blown head gasket, one of the most common tell-tale signs is a milky-gray ring around your oil cap. When coolant enters the engine oil through a crack in the head or through a blown gasket, it evaporates and leaves a milky ring around the oil cap. Another easy way to tell is to check your oil dipstick. Change your oil and pull out the dipstick. Make sure that you take note of how far up the dipstick the oil is. Top off your cooling system and fill your cooling reservoir to the top. Screw radiator cap back on and start engine. Run engine for about 20-30 mins. or until it reaches normal operating temperature. Allow engine to cool (engine must cool completely to get accurate oil reading!!). Check oil dipstick again. If the oil has a watery appearance and has risen noticeably up the dipstick, the you probably have a blown head gasket or a warped head. Also look for a dripping, sweet-smelling liquid coming out of your tailpipe. Any of the above symptoms could be the result of a blown head gasket. The easiest way to tell is with a compression meter. This replaces the spark plug and lets you know what compression each cylinder is running at. If your compression is abnormally low, then you have a blown head gasket or a warped head. (note: consult repair manual for appropriate compression of each cylinder.)

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I am not sure what you mean by a wet plug. If oil has fallen into the plug cavity simply remove the plug rubber boot (gently twist it off or you can break the connector under the rubber cap) and using an absorbant rag or towel to soak up the oil. Any oil residue film left will not affect the car- you may get some smoke from the oil burning off the hot plug.

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