: HELP - Oil Cap Problems - Brown Froth Foam


aquariussuperman
12-13-2008, 06:52 PM
Any idea what this substance could have came from? I changed my oil about 500 miles ago with Penzoil Synthetic 5w30 and Purolator filter. I had 5 quarts of the Penzoil and filled the rest with some left over Mobil 1 5w30 (about a quart or so). Are the 2 oils not compatible?

I just drove home from a 45 degree, windy, freeway errand this evening and got a weird smell in the car. Almost like sweet butter and oil. To my surprise my oil cap elbow looked like this:

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97591&stc=1&d=1229226448

I checked my dipstick and it looked fine. If anything it was a little overfilled. Could the frothy substance be from too much oil? When looking in the engine, the oil near the springs looked ok, and no sign of that peanut butter substance. See below.

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97592&stc=1&d=1229226455

Please help guys, thanks.

ShoddyHog
12-13-2008, 07:01 PM
Water is my guess. Do you often do short trips in a cold environment without letting the car get hot for a while?

Gerry

aquariussuperman
12-13-2008, 07:12 PM
No sir, this trip was over 30 miles. My normal, weekly commute is about 9 miles to work. I've never noticed this on the oil cap, and I do check it ever other week or so.

I do run an oil breather cap. Uh oh. Flamesuit.

RitcheyRch
12-13-2008, 07:31 PM
My thoughts exactly or now has a blown head gasket.


Water is my guess. Do you often do short trips in a cold environment without letting the car get hot for a while?

Gerry

ShoddyHog
12-13-2008, 07:51 PM
No sir, this trip was over 30 miles. My normal, weekly commute is about 9 miles to work. I've never noticed this on the oil cap, and I do check it ever other week or so.

I do run an oil breather cap. Uh oh. Flamesuit.

^^^ Might be the problem.

Don't know...if it is related to the smell, then it might be a head gasket. "Sweet butter and oil" doesn't sound like you're describing Dex Cool to me though.

Gerry

pharmdgto
12-13-2008, 08:12 PM
Come on man...you were making sweet love to your ls2:sneaky:

seriously though, that doesn't look that much different than my dipstick after the car has been sitting on the trailer in the garage for 2 months in sub 30 degree temps and fired up again for whatever reason.

Would be a ton of condensation though and if it is that nasty in there....well you know where I was going. Drain the oil and see what it looks like in the pan..

aquariussuperman
12-13-2008, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the input guys. There's nothing wrong with the dipstick when I pulled it out, no buttery residue or anything.

Would you really be able to tell anything by draining all the oil out? If it's a foamy substance, then wouldn't it just stay at the top of the engine or at least show up on the dipstick? What the easiest way to tell if it's a blown head gasket?

The car has 33k, intake, exhaust, tune, barely putting 350hp to the wheels. She even got 18.6 mpg last fillup.

smokeybrown
12-14-2008, 02:19 AM
^^^ Might be the problem.

Don't know...if it is related to the smell, then it might be a head gasket. "Sweet butter and oil" doesn't sound like you're describing Dex Cool to me though.

Gerry

Well, if his 9 mile commute is a problem, I am screwed with my 1 1/2 mile commute.

Smokey

ShoddyHog
12-14-2008, 02:34 AM
Well, if his 9 mile commute is a problem, I am screwed with my 1 1/2 mile commute.

Smokey

Lol. I envy you.

In that short a time span, you don't build up enough heat in the motor to burn off all the moisture that builds up inside.

Gerry

dave s
12-14-2008, 04:09 AM
If a blown head gasket is the culprit, then won't there be coolant in the engine oil?

Drain the oil to see.

Ramsey
12-14-2008, 05:39 AM
That reminds me of what the fluid in a differential on an LAV looks like after it gets exposed to water. It would always turn a milky yellowish color just like that. So yeah I think its water.

mistermike
12-14-2008, 05:47 AM
No sir, this trip was over 30 miles. My normal, weekly commute is about 9 miles to work. I've never noticed this on the oil cap, and I do check it ever other week or so.

I do run an oil breather cap. Uh oh. Flamesuit.

A 9 mile trip isn't long enough to boil all the water out of the oil and consume the vapor in the intake. A single longer trip isn't going to undo what the shorter trips have built up.

Any other modifications to PCV system other than oil breather?

aquariussuperman
12-14-2008, 06:50 AM
No oil in the intake manifold was my goal. Didn't realize it would discolor the oil. See below.

http://sincitygoats.com/gallery/d/15958-1/OILBREATHER1.JPG

URNMYGTO
12-14-2008, 06:57 AM
Mmmmm

RitcheyRch
12-14-2008, 07:45 AM
Exactly. Not even sure if letting the engine warm up in the drive way is enough.


Lol. I envy you.

In that short a time span, you don't build up enough heat in the motor to burn off all the moisture that builds up inside.

Gerry

thedak
12-14-2008, 08:32 AM
That is def condensation. The breather you have on your oil cap is allowing moisture to enter around the neck. Plus your short commute with a disabled PCV system isnt helping.

IMO is would hook the PCV system back up with a catch can and leave the system closed.

mistermike
12-14-2008, 08:54 AM
No oil in the intake manifold was my goal. Didn't realize it would discolor the oil. See below.

http://sincitygoats.com/gallery/d/15958-1/OILBREATHER1.JPG

It appears that you've completely disabled your PCV system. Moisture buildup in the crankcase is pretty much what you can expect.

I would (pick one):

A. Put PCV back to stock without breather. Install catch can and oil mist filter in main PCV inlet. Put a check valve in the make up air line to prevent positive crankcase pressure from pushing oil into the throttle body. (This is often overlooked )

B. If blowby is pressurizing crankcase excessively, reinstall breather, but have a check valve to only allow air to exit in addition to the check valve suggested above. This will prevent unmetered air from entering the PCV, but still vent positive CC pressure.

C. Have a vacuum pump to evacuate the crankcase.

s/c'd cav
12-14-2008, 09:53 AM
or get a vacuum pump

provided you have ruled out a coolant leak into the motor

Don Smeechleone
12-14-2008, 12:20 PM
just have a shop sniff for HC from the radiator cap...that will rule out the head gasket. Takes a minute to do.. give you peace of mind.... I doubt it's the HG..

aquariussuperman
12-14-2008, 01:01 PM
A. Put PCV back to stock without breather. Install catch can and oil mist filter in main PCV inlet. Put a check valve in the make up air line to prevent positive crankcase pressure from pushing oil into the throttle body. (This is often overlooked )

Is the "main PCV inlet" the hard line that runs down the passenger side fuel line? Or are they the ones under the throttle body that people hook their catch can to? Thanks.

mistermike
12-14-2008, 02:04 PM
It's the one that dumps into the valley cover. That's where most people put the catch can. Putting a coalescing filter after the catch can will eliminate all but trace amounts of oil in the intake.

aquariussuperman
12-16-2008, 12:47 PM
What types of air check valves would work on our GTO? There seem to be ones that are $5-$10 (Tomco) and there's others that are $25-$50 (Motorcraft) They all look the same as below, but is there a reason I shouldn't go with Tomco? Has this been covered before?

$4
http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97759&stc=1&d=1229463852

$68
http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97760&stc=1&d=1229464031

Daniel Linnett
12-16-2008, 12:51 PM
http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97591&stc=1&d=1229226448


Please help guys, thanks.


That is exactly what mine looked like a couple of days ago. I have a blown head gasket.

aquariussuperman
12-16-2008, 12:54 PM
Did you have any other signs to let you know it was a blown head gasket? Other than having 3 gazillion horsepower? More people are saying it's just condensation burning off?

Daniel Linnett
12-16-2008, 12:57 PM
Did you have any other signs to let you know it was a blown head gasket? Other than having 3 gazillion horsepower? More people are saying it's just condensation burning off?

Yeah at 150mph smoke was pouring out the engine bay on the driverside as the coolant leaked out the heads.

I just notice the gazillion hp, that is funny!

aquariussuperman
12-16-2008, 12:59 PM
Haha, nice.

CRAP, I just remembered, I mixed Penzoil and Mobil 5w30 (both synthetic) during the last oil change (500 miles ago). Could it be a problem with mixing the two synthetic oils? I guess I should drain it all out.....

gjellis
12-16-2008, 01:24 PM
Mixing the different brands of oils definitely would not cause this.

As others said, the excess moisture built up in your crankcase is due to the entire PCV system being disabled. That, along with the cooler weather, is allowing moisture to be drawn into the crankcase after the car is turned off. Then, the short trips are not allowing the engine to heat up enough to completely burn off all the condensation.

aquariussuperman
12-16-2008, 01:41 PM
Didn't realize Las Vegas' 20% humidity in the winter would cause enough moisture buildup in the engine. Boo.

gjellis
12-16-2008, 02:01 PM
Didn't realize Las Vegas' 20% humidity in the winter would cause enough moisture buildup in the engine. Boo.

The humidity factor doesn't really make that much difference. The cooler weather aids in condensation and allows the 'outside' air to be drawn back into the engine block through the breather you have installed.

I'm really hoping that it is an issue with the PCV system being dissabled and not a blown head gasket.

05 goater
12-16-2008, 02:27 PM
drain it out and see whats in the oil if coolant its the head gasket if not its moister in the motor..

aquariussuperman
12-16-2008, 05:41 PM
Couldn't I just monitor the coolant level as well? I mean, if it's a head gasket it should be a pretty significant coolant loss...

lanceygto
12-16-2008, 06:58 PM
If you happen to see white smoke coming out of the exhaust then you have coolant going into the combustion chamber. One sign of such could be water condensation in the oil cap.

One thing you can do is to take all the spark plugs out, disconnect the coils and start the car having someone observing the spark plug locations. Iif there is coolant inside the combustion chambers it is going to flush out the spark plug hole. There are other things you can do like comoression tests, blow air inside the combustion chamber with the rockers removed to see if air comes out the coolant reservoir, etc. etc.

Oil mixed with water will look like what I see in your picture. Take this sign very seriously for if you get into hydrolock situation you could have engine catastrophic failure.

I myself, if I saw somethiong like what I see in your pic would raise the red alert and test for coolant in the engine.

KirkDob
12-17-2008, 06:09 AM
why not start with putting the PCV back to original configuration and see what happens? I would be willing to bet the short trips and no ventilation are the culprit. PCV is a good thing for most of the cars here. If you're running a charger or using heavy spray, no. But stock or nearly stock it keeps the goo from building up. Add a catch can and fuggetaboutit.

ArthurJGuy
12-17-2008, 08:07 AM
Tom if its a head gasket mosy likly there are a few obvious things to watch for.

- Significant loss of power
- Smoke from the exhaust (bad, smelling like coolant probably also)
- Your coolant and Oil should look like a Chocolate Shake, which looks about the same as the crap on your oil cap

A surefire way to know if its a headgasket would be a compression test. If you have a headgasket issue you should have 2 cyllinders next to each other that are way off from the other cyllinders.

If you are able to come by the DM meeting tonight I'm sure the guys can diagnose it for you.

sindir
12-17-2008, 08:54 AM
That looks like way too much moisture to be only from condensation not burning off.

I drive only 5 miles in -F temps all week and I do not see anything close to that in the oil cap area.

Steel Chicken
12-17-2008, 08:57 AM
thats definitely water in the earl. now its time to find the source.
I doubt very seriously thats from condensation.

aquariussuperman
12-17-2008, 09:16 AM
I'm leary of hooking the PCV system back up since there's so much of that froth coming out of the engine. I don't want to let that get back into the intake manifold.

Would it be best to let it idle until most of the "moisture vapor" burns off? That might take a while. I'm just wondering if draining the oil won't get rid of all that yellowish foam. Yuk.

Thanks again guys for all your input.

BTW, my coolant looks great and my dipstick shows NO sign of this yellowish/brown crap. Also, no power loss whatsoever and no abnormal smoke out the tailpipes.

ArthurJGuy
12-17-2008, 09:24 AM
I would guess the headgaskets are fine then, but a compression test will tell you for sure.

By chance did you wash the engine recently and perhaps get some water in the breather?

DFWGTO
12-17-2008, 10:09 AM
Do you smell pancakes? It smells like pancake syrup when coolant burns...

bookemdano
12-17-2008, 05:40 PM
That looks like the Cuban espresso coffee they serve in Hialeah lol...

for those who don't know, Hialeah is in FL....:)

ShoddyHog
12-17-2008, 06:20 PM
I'm leary of hooking the PCV system back up since there's so much of that froth coming out of the engine. I don't want to let that get back into the intake manifold.

Would it be best to let it idle until most of the "moisture vapor" burns off? That might take a while. I'm just wondering if draining the oil won't get rid of all that yellowish foam. Yuk.

You have the filler tube removed already, why not just clean that off with some alcohol or something then hook the PCV system back up?

This is just me, so take it FWIW. Even during the summer, I try to never start my car unless I can DRIVE it for at least 15-20 minutes, and in this cold weather I am even more strict about it.

Gerry

KirkDob
12-18-2008, 06:06 AM
I would guess the headgaskets are fine then, but a compression test will tell you for sure.

By chance did you wash the engine recently and perhaps get some water in the breather?

No neccesarily. It's possible to have a head gasket leaking between a water jacket and an oil passage only and not affect cylinder sealing. That leak would not show up on a compression test. And I still suggest clean up the mess, change the oil and hook up the damned PCV. You guys are looking for huge problems without eliminating the simple stuff first. Ah the internet.....

ArthurJGuy
12-18-2008, 07:58 AM
No neccesarily. It's possible to have a head gasket leaking between a water jacket and an oil passage only and not affect cylinder sealing. That leak would not show up on a compression test.

Valid point.

I agree, put the PCV system back holmes.

aquariussuperman
12-18-2008, 04:27 PM
Once the snow melts, I shall drain the oil, and let you know what I find. You'd be surprised how many places the front end can hide snow in. Holy cow!

06GTORR
12-18-2008, 08:03 PM
hmmm I run a catch can to the air filter part of intake and with a breather on oil fill. Oil look great.

theblackgoat
12-18-2008, 08:22 PM
Any idea what this substance could have came from? I changed my oil about 500 miles ago with Penzoil Synthetic 5w30 and Purolator filter. I had 5 quarts of the Penzoil and filled the rest with some left over Mobil 1 5w30 (about a quart or so). Are the 2 oils not compatible?

I just drove home from a 45 degree, windy, freeway errand this evening and got a weird smell in the car. Almost like sweet butter and oil. To my surprise my oil cap elbow looked like this:

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97591&stc=1&d=1229226448

I checked my dipstick and it looked fine. If anything it was a little overfilled. Could the frothy substance be from too much oil? When looking in the engine, the oil near the springs looked ok, and no sign of that peanut butter substance. See below.

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=97592&stc=1&d=1229226455

Please help guys, thanks.

this actually happens periodically. if you look at chrysler vehicles they actually have a plug (called a "fume hood" by my co-worker) you pull out of the oil fill point so you can clean that crap off. it's just from the oil fumes (or something to do with the oil fume vapors) that build up. that stuff showed up every time i changed the oil on my previous vehicle (06 liberty).

i wouldn't say this is completley normal, but that would have to be the cause because, your oil is clean. i see this alot at my shop and i'm quite sure it's pretty normal.

Junkyard Dog
12-19-2008, 07:09 AM
The look inside the valve cover look fine.... This is why they ventalate the crankcase.

On a similar issue....I've had saltwater cooled boat engines ingest "gallons" of saltwater. The whole inside looks like a oil/water milkshake. The culprit is usually a faulty exhaust riser where the water and exhaust mixes before exiting the boat. Now in a boat you hardly ever have access to the drain plug so you pump it all out through the dip stick. Marine dip stick tubes go to the bottom of the pan for this. Then I stick a garden hose in and flush it with fresh water (right into the oil filler). Pull the plugs and crank it over to get he water out and flush the cylinders with fresh water. Then change the oil and filter 3 or 4 times between short, 10 to 20 minute runs. After the last change I just take it for a ride and run it easy but run it. All the moisture will evporate out. At this point one of two things happens. Either it blows up, or runs fine for hundreds of hours more without issue. Actually, they usually run fine.... Of course you fix the bad riser first. And you don't want to wait too long to start the process with the water in the engine. Change the oil one last time and go boating... The first time someone see this, they can't believe it will ever run again.

aquariussuperman
12-20-2008, 12:32 PM
So I let the engine cool down and cracked the oil drain plug to let the oil seep out. If there's any water in the pan it should come out before the oil. To my surprise, no water is seen in the container overnight!
So maybe the condensation is just limited to the upper part of the engine for now. I hooked back up the PVC system, but with an inline 1/4" filter (similar to a catch can), hopefully it'll keep the oil crap outta the intake manifold.

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=98043&stc=1&d=1229808670

KirkDob
12-20-2008, 01:49 PM
So I let the engine cool down and cracked the oil drain plug to let the oil seep out. If there's any water in the pan it should come out before the oil. To my surprise, no water is seen in the container overnight!
So maybe the condensation is just limited to the upper part of the engine for now. I hooked back up the PVC system, but with an inline 1/4" filter (similar to a catch can), hopefully it'll keep the oil crap outta the intake manifold.

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=98043&stc=1&d=1229808670

No no no. Take out the filter. It will impede air flow and leave you back with the same mess you had before. Do it right with a catch can, or just leave it stock. No inline filter will flow enough, especially when it has an oil vapor film on the filter media.

aquariussuperman
12-20-2008, 08:51 PM
Point taken.

So, we've got 2 locations that the crankcase dumps into the manifold, correct? The one on top of the passenger's manifold and the one under the throttle body (catch can location). If one were to be plugged/blocked, then the other would flow more, correct? I'm trying to understand where the oil vapor begins and ends.

The inline filter is rated up to 200F. Can the oil vapor get above that?
http://www.coilhose.com/uploads/products/Page%2045.pdf

KirkDob
12-20-2008, 09:45 PM
Point taken.

So, we've got 2 locations that the crankcase dumps into the manifold, correct? The one on top of the passenger's manifold and the one under the throttle body (catch can location). If one were to be plugged/blocked, then the other would flow more, correct? I'm trying to understand where the oil vapor begins and ends.

The inline filter is rated up to 200F. Can the oil vapor get above that?
http://www.coilhose.com/uploads/products/Page%2045.pdf

The product you linked is a filter that is designed to stop debris from entering air tools that are fed compressed air at 80-125 psi.
Why would you assume it would function as a catch can or oil separator that runs on vacuum of maybe 20"?

Hook up PCV as factory and install a good catch can when you get around to it. An inline air tool filter is NOT the answer.

aquariussuperman
12-22-2008, 07:18 AM
Just trying out different ideas without blowing up the car. I see your point in that the filter will eventually get plugged up with oil, but isn't that what the catch can has? AFAIK, the catch can has a brass filter element that the oil passes through. Although, the holes might be a little larger.
It's how things get invented I suppose. Thanks for your patience as I'm sure I've pissed off a few members after reading all this.

ddawson
12-22-2008, 07:45 AM
Jumping in here.

One line goes from the valley cover to the intake track. Under vacuum is suck from the block.

The other line is the fresh air supply.

You want a catch can at the valley/intake.

You can use a catch can that Home Depot sells or buy a dedicated product.
The piece you show would be clogged within a week.

The idea is the create a low pressure point for the oil/moisture to separate from the air stream. The car catch cans have the airflow come in from the top though a screen to the oil can cling to it then drop to the bottom of the can. The air then exists the catch can close to the top so it can't suck the gunk back up.

The Home Depot solution is get the moisture out of a air compressor line. Air comes in one side then goes out the other. It works well but is plastic.

aquariussuperman
12-22-2008, 07:52 AM
"The other line is fresh air supply"

Under high rpms that line actually BLOWS oil vapor into the intake. Under normal idle conditions it's SUCKING and allowing fresh air to enter the crankcase. This line should be 'metered' air AFTER the MAF sensor.

Is that a correct statement?

ddawson
12-22-2008, 08:57 AM
That sounds correct but I don’t think much air comes out of the valve cover line into the intake.

Under high RPM load you have 0 vacuum.

Idle and light load you would see vacuum in the intake. About 20 Hg.

The PCV uses the engine vacuum as an air pump. Because after the throttle body there is vacuum it sucks fumes from the valley cover. As the pressure drops on the block air is pulled from the fresh air line which is before the TB, zero vacuum and after the air filter so you don’t get dust in the block.

Many will add a check valve here as mistermike pointed out.

So in your picture the line labeled “Connected to lower port” is where fresh air enters the block. That air enters the valve covers and works its way to the center of the engine. It enters the valley cover and its sucked into the engine.

So the reason you seeing the gunk is because the fumes are rising to the top of the engine because it’s hot, then cools and condenses once it reaches the colder air outside of the engine. The PCV system forces the process because natural convection is replaced with forced vacuum.

ShoddyHog
12-22-2008, 09:12 AM
FWIW, I've seen that same sort of contamination on the filler neck to my Bonneville. Not quite as much, but the same. She's @ 205,000 miles.

Gerry

aquariussuperman
12-22-2008, 11:59 AM
Holy cow! 20" Hg? That's 9.8 psi correct? Never realized it was that high.

Thanks ddawson and I think I have exactly the check valve that mistermike was referring to. It a polypropylene check valve body (good to 275F) with a Viton o-ring (good from 0-450F continuous) Here's a picture and link:
http://www.smartproducts.com/images/v/series200-214flat.gif
http://www.smartproducts.com/docs/Check_Valve_Materials_Selection_Chart.pdf

ddawson
12-22-2008, 01:00 PM
It's measured in inch HG.

http://www.autometer.com/cat_gaugedetail.aspx?gid=2478&sid=1

John Doe
01-16-2009, 05:37 AM
Returned your PM. You will have the same condensation in the oil fill neck regardless of Breather or not, especially if your commute is only 9 miles. Just so you know, you will still get oil in your intake with a CC.

onesickxp
01-30-2009, 04:04 PM
did anyone think about if he cleaned the filter and it wasnt all the way dry and put it back on at cadillac the peaple put them filters on the vavle cover and clean them then bang theres coco in the neck. we check for blown headgaskets and leaks notta it turns out to be that filter wet with water and leakin in the neck. this is on the cts v has been common latley.

mistermike
01-30-2009, 04:53 PM
Huh?

ddawson
01-30-2009, 05:12 PM
Huh?

LOL agreed!!!!

SJFGTO
01-30-2009, 05:23 PM
Dagnabit, how could I have missed that? I must be slipping.

aquariussuperman
01-30-2009, 05:55 PM
did anyone think about if he cleaned the filter and it wasnt all the way dry and put it back on at cadillac the peaple put them filters on the vavle cover and clean them then bang theres coco in the neck. we check for blown headgaskets and leaks notta it turns out to be that filter wet with water and leakin in the neck. this is on the cts v has been common latley.

You were the one that cleaned the filter with your special solution, right?. It was completely dry when we put it back on. I had to be.
I really think the 'coco' occured because of the cold weather and condensation, so I took it off for the time being. We'll see what happens when it stays above 50 degrees.

Thanks for the heads up though! Long time no hear bud.

6.0j0347
12-12-2009, 07:13 PM
I just checked my catch can and I had the same film at the bottom of the can and the bottom of the filler cap. I didnt have this problem before I got my catch can.

KirkDob
12-12-2009, 09:37 PM
You gain nothing by disconnecting PCV system, hook it up and your problem will be gone.
If you have oil in the intake concerns get a catch can. Your crankcase is not venting out condensation properly.