Question about 1998 Hyundai Elantra

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Oil light on, knocking, crankcase full oil smells burnt, no leaks or smoke.

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Sounds bad, usually this is the death sounds of an engine. At some point you have lost oil pressure either the pump or it has got to low on oil, now the main bearings on the conrods are failing. If you keep it running much longer there will be a big bang and a conrod will come out of the side of the engine or out the bottom and thats not good!!!

Posted on Nov 08, 2010

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The cylinder head is located on the center of the engine. Yes it can be a worn out head gasket or piston rings. If the piston rings are worn out the oil is burnt that's why it emits white smoke. You will need to replace the head gasket and piston rings.

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  3. check your exhaust for "blue smoke" a sign that the engine is actually burning oil. Just guessing here but a 16 year old Volvo is bound to have quite a few miles on it.
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Oil light comes on and the engine begins to make a knocking sound


how much oil is left in the engine ?
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Nov 15, 2008 | 2005 Toyota Corolla

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Hi snhinehunny1

I have read both of your problem posts and it sounds like your Sebring needs some TLC attention. In this response we'll only address the smoke and missing issues, as there is probably some connections with the other symptoms you described.

Smoke and oil consumption / oil loss are definitely related, but you need to know the difference between oil consumption, which is the burning of oil that mixes in with the air/fuel mixture, and oil loss. If your exhaust system is in good condition (no exhaust leaks at the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, muffler and tailpipe, then consumed oil would only cause smoking from the tailpipe. This is caused by worn or defective piston oil control rings and/or worn valve guide seals, or possibly a leaking head gasket, and this condition can contribute to engine misses, as the cylinders with oil control problems receive an air/fuel mixture ratio that is thrown off by the introduction of the oil. The smoking due to consumed oil will only show up under the hood in the case of an exhaust leak.

Oil loss is the leaking of oil to the outside from around gaskets and seals, and underhood smoking is most likely due to oil escaping from around the valve covers. This oil then drips onto the hot exhaust manifold where it is burned and smokes. This type of smoking is not apparent until the engine warms up, but it is accompanied by a strong burnt oil smell AND the tale-tell oil spot on the ground under where the car is parked, and can cause engine misses by oiling spark plugs and wires to the point of breakdown.

A third possible source of the smoke is caused by compression blow-by, and blow-by is caused by weak, worn, or broken piston compression rings. When the cylinder is fired, part of the power stroke compressed gas escapes past the rings into the sealed crankcase. Modern engines are designed to operate with slight negative pressure in the crankcase, and this is done through the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve. This negative pressure helps keep crankcase gases controlled within the crankcase, but if an engine is blowing-by more gas than the PCV can evacuate, than the crankcase becomes pressurized, leading to oil being forced out around gasket and seals, and (possibly) oil being drawn into the intake through the PCV system, and this will also cause underhood smoke. This is usually seen in well-worn high mileage engines, and in engines that have experienced a severe overheating episode---the excessively high temperatures causes the piston rings to lose their temper (springiness --- NOT ANGER MANAGEMENT! Ha!) and consequently, their ability to form an effective seal against the cylinder wall.

In your case, I suspect that you may very well have, to some degree, all of the above conditions. A good technician / diagnostician can give you a more accurate evakuation by doing such things as a compression check and reading the spark plugs (for oil coating / caking), evaluate engine blow-by by feeling over the oil filler looking for slight suction or whether there is pressure there, and by visually inspecting around gaskets and seals for oil leaks.

The oil pump would not be involved in any of the above.

I hope this helps you figure out what the problems are, but please don't hesitate to ask if you have questions or to post further comments on this problem. And PLEASE be so kind as to rate my advice --- that is my only compensation for serving you! I will address your starting problem under that posting.

Best of luck and thank you!
-WildBill

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1 Answer

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