Guys...Did I just kill my car? - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Guys...Did I just kill my car?

Alrighty...so I had myself an action packed day. I was about 60 miles from home from visiting a friend when I heard a loud thump from the rear of the car. No later than 30 seconds after, there was a cloud of smoke coming out of the back of the car. I quickly pulled over ans shut off the car. Turns out, the thump was my oil filter taking flight and a ton of oil making contact with the exhaust. The car pretty much bled itself out on the side of the road.

Lucky for me, I had a spare oil filter in the back...however, I only had a quart and 3 quarters of Mobil 1 in the back accompanying said filter. Thankfully, I pulled over only about a half mile from the only store in town, a tiny petrol station. Said petrol station only had conventional oil (ugh).

So, I had to make a decision, wait a few hours for my parents to try to rescue me, run it very low on oil, or run it on a conventional/Mobil 1 mix until I got home. Considering that daylight was fading fast and there wasn't a chance in the world of my parents of ever finding me (they're that bad with directions), I bought the conventional.

New oil in and new filter on, the car seemed ready to jet! I got it to about 20 miles from home before I noticed something a little odd. Coolant temps were hanging around 205 degrees and there was a rather concerning amount of heat coming from the hand brake.

With 10 miles to go, the car started heavily sputtering. The CEL came on and started flashing.

At that point, I pulled over again and I got out. The car was heavily smoking and I feared that it was actually on fire..but nope, the smoke cleared and after a few minutes, I started the car back up again...white smoke shot out of the exhaust and I very carefully set out again. The car's acceleration is definitely messed up. I can't tell if it's the engine doing it or the transmission. If I rev it in Neutral, all's normal...but any acceleration on the road itself causes the engine to almost stall out...

So what gives? Is my engine dead or something? Or did my transmission pick now to give up the ghost?

Edit: Oh, and my coolant tank is still full (albeit there were bubbles popping inside as if it were boiling), I was only 1k until my next oil change, and the CEL didn't throw a code for some reason.
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post #2 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:14 PM
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Coolant temps at 205 isn't anything to worry about. The oil filter falling off and white smoke IS.

How did the oil filter fall off?? The "thunk" you heard may have been an object you ran over on the road that hit the filter and smacked it off? Hard to believe. The filter would be dented, but it wouldn't rotate itself off.

White smoke is usually a blown head gasket. You may have had a massive engine failure due to lack of oil filter, which could have caused a cracked block or blown head because oil also helps cool the engine.

Sounds like your engine is toast.
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post #3 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ah crap. Might need to call in that favour from my parents and get a 453 much sooner than I thought.

Anyway, I have no idea why it fell off. I didn't hit anything in the road. It was a long and straight country road. And prior to today, the engine ran like a champ.
I mean, it COULD have been sabotage from a coworker who probably doesn't like me...I do work in a corporation where the majority of my coworkers aren't shall I say, LBGT friendly...
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post #4 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Does it matter if the white smoke was only for a couple minutes? Either way, the coolant sure did bubble for quite a long time after shutting off the car.
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post #5 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 06:29 PM
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Sorry to hear about your bad news. Especially such a major and costly situation. Oil filters do not just fall off. Once they are torqued down properly, it's over. It isn't coming off. So if it fell off, it either wasn't secured properly from the very beginning, was damaged and knocked off, or it very possibly could have been an act of sabotage if you are concerned about it. Did you collect it for evidence?

Fire up the car again and see if it's still misfires. Is the white smoke back? Pull the dipstick and check for a milky substance.
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post #6 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 07:00 PM
 
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From what you described and confirming Mister_smart_LA's diagnosis, it sounds like you have a blown head gasket or possibly worse situation involving a cracked or warped cylinder head. There is a simple test procedure and you can purchase the test kit for a reasonable price that will check for the presence of combustion gasses in the cooling system. The test is called BlocCheck. Not sure I have the spelling quite right but the test is easy to perform. A compression test may also reveal confirm a compression loss in one or more cylinders. However, a cold engine may not readily reveal a compression loss.
What is suspicious is why did your oil filter fell off unless it was not properly installed and vibrated off or worse yet, it may have been loosened. However, what is strange, is that the oil loss shouldn't have really caused a head gasket failure, especially since it appears you shut the engine down right away.

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post #7 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 07:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smart Bob View Post
What is suspicious is why did your oil filter fall off unless it was not properly installed and vibrated off or worse yet, it may have been loosened.

Who installed your oil filter?

Might want to get that person or business involved immediately, if there may be any suspicion of fault.
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post #8 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I installed the filter, roughly 9,000 miles ago. Anyway, I just ran another road test.

No smoke this time.

However, every 10 minutes or so, the engine starts shuddering like crazy and power drops off the map. I've found that restarting the engine remedies the issue for another 10 minutes or so.

A code finally appeared on my UG, P0303...or what the Google tells me is a misfire in cylinder 3. Now, what does that mean exactly?
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post #9 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 08:17 PM
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Normally I'd say a burned valve, but not with this scenario. Need to check for coolant in the oil and I'd pull the plugs and clean them just for grins. If there are no signs of a coolant leak (as into the cylinders) and the oil looks good it may clear up if you run it hard enough. Can't really fathom the oil filter just unscrewing itself after 9K miles....
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post #10 of 147 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 08:18 PM
 
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It indicates that combustion is not taking place in cyl. #3. I would check the coil or swap coils between the cylinders after erasing the code and see if the misfire happens on another cylinder. If you are still getting a P0303 code, pull the spark plug and inspect it for fowling or unusual deposits. Next, I would perform a compression test of all 3 cylinders, #1 being on the right, #2 is the middle cyl. & #3 is on the left side. If #3 shows a lower reading then 1 & 2, a cyl. leakage test would be in order. From what you describe as boiling in the coolant recovery tank, it unfortunately doesn't look too good. Keep us posted. You may need to acquire a good used engine or rebuild yours.

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