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Old 06-03-2008, 08:07 AM   #1
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Default How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad??

Hey everyone well my question is this how can you tell if your car has bad piston rings or if the valve seals are bad??

-My car drives normal and fine but when I push the car passing 6 RPM's it smokes a lot (white smoke) and and when I stop pushing the car it still smoked for like 30 seconds but then stops smoking. Once again it only smokes when I start push the car at high RPM's, IDK if its the valve seals or piston rings. Please let me know what you think or what the difference would be on how to tell which one is bad thanks.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (jc2801)

Do a compression test, if a cylinder has significantly lower psi reading than the rest poor a teaspoon of oil down the cylinder and retest, if the psi reading jumps up then you know the rings are bad. Or you can do a leak down test.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (jc2801)

do a compression test to check the rings...next step would be a leakdown test to pinpoint any problems

edit: i think me and all-mtr-teg posted like literally seconds apart lol
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (boots)

Quote:
Originally Posted by boots
do a compression test to check the rings...next step would be a leakdown test to pinpoint any problems

edit: i think me and all-mtr-teg posted like literally seconds apart lol
Good info nonetheless Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (all-mtr-teg)

i dont think a compression test will tell you the condition of your oil control rings.

If you burn oil at idle then its most likely valve seals. if you burn it when you get on it then decelerate then its most likely your rings due to high vacuum.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:47 PM   #6
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (dthug)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthug
i dont think a compression test will tell you the condition of your oil control rings.

If you burn oil at idle then its most likely valve seals. if you burn it when you get on it then decelerate then its most likely your rings due to high vacuum.
Not exactly. Oil stem seals are also capable of only leaking under high manifold vac as well. Now, with the throttle wide open and the pistons sucking in mass amounts of air, this CAN cause additional leakage to the point that one might not notice it under light throttle but would under WOT conditions.

It seems a lot of people just read the topic and overlooked the details here. He said his problem is WHITE SMOKE. Oil will burn blue, collant will burn white. This guy needs to use a block tester more then he needs to focus on leakdown and compression. It sounds to me like his problem is in the headgasket.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (Hybrid96EK)

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Not exactly. Oil stem seals are also capable of only leaking under high manifold vac as well. Now, with the throttle wide open and the pistons sucking in mass amounts of air, this CAN cause additional leakage to the point that one might not notice it under light throttle but would under WOT conditions.

It seems a lot of people just read the topic and overlooked the details here. He said his problem is WHITE SMOKE. Oil will burn blue, collant will burn white. This guy needs to use a block tester more then he needs to focus on leakdown and compression. It sounds to me like his problem is in the headgasket.

High five to you for catching that, I completely missed that Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (all-mtr-teg)

Lots of people confuse white smoke and blue smoke. Its usually a very light blue. Compression or leakdown tests are useless with oil ring problems. 99% of the time it is ring issues on these motors.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:17 AM   #10
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Default

thanks for the info. everyone. Yea I'm doing a compression check either way this weekend and yeah the smoke does look white. BUt if its the head gasket wouldn't that mean the motor would be over heating?? (which it doesn't).
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: (jc2801)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc2801
thanks for the info. everyone. Yea I'm doing a compression check either way this weekend and yeah the smoke does look white. BUt if its the head gasket wouldn't that mean the motor would be over heating?? (which it doesn't).
not neccesarily...depends on how bad the leak is
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: (boots)

Rings= oil burn all the time. Valve seals= burn after conditions like sitting at a stop light for a while and go, or after off-throttle at high rpm.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (Runnerdown)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnerdown
Lots of people confuse white smoke and blue smoke. Its usually a very light blue. Compression or leakdown tests are useless with oil ring problems. 99% of the time it is ring issues on these motors.
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (jc2801)

I recently purchased a 96 cx hatch with b16 turbo swap. The car starts, but its extremely hard to start and burns perfuse amounts of oil, i didn't know how much the kid boosted until i got bored of looking at the thing so i took it for one quick run and saw that it boosts 15 psi and its running a deathmu for fuel managment, so i figured that the oil rings along witht he comp rings got pretty burnt out seeing that it smoked so horribly bad, so i did a compression test and only got it to 65 psi on all cylinders, so im thinking that the rings are gone in all the cylinders, wondering if i could get some backup upon that diagnosis.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (97civicdxt)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97civicdxt
I recently purchased a 96 cx hatch with b16 turbo swap. The car starts, but its extremely hard to start and burns perfuse amounts of oil, i didn't know how much the kid boosted until i got bored of looking at the thing so i took it for one quick run and saw that it boosts 15 psi and its running a deathmu for fuel managment, so i figured that the oil rings along witht he comp rings got pretty burnt out seeing that it smoked so horribly bad, so i did a compression test and only got it to 65 psi on all cylinders, so im thinking that the rings are gone in all the cylinders, wondering if i could get some backup upon that diagnosis.
Thread jack...
Being as how this is boost related, you'd have better luck in the FI forums. Only 65 psi on each cylinder is bad. You should look into a whole bottom end overhaul.
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (Runnerdown)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnerdown
Lots of people confuse white smoke and blue smoke. Its usually a very light blue. Compression or leakdown tests are useless with oil ring problems. 99% of the time it is ring issues on these motors.
I know that for a fact. My car was smoking quite a bit, just started smoking WHITE/GRAy smoke one day. I did a compression test: 225 across the board. Then I did a leak down test: less then 5% across the board.

So i decided to reaplce the easiest thing first, valve seals.

Still smoked after that, did new pistons and rings, no smoke.

My compression test and leakdown test were EXCELLENT. I truly believe that they have no bearing whatsoever on an oil consumption issue.

(Unless, of course, a piston's compresssion and oil control ring took a ****!)
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to tell if valve seals or piston rings are bad?? (emotionisdead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by emotionisdead

I know that for a fact. My car was smoking quite a bit, just started smoking WHITE/GRAy smoke one day. I did a compression test: 225 across the board. Then I did a leak down test: less then 5% across the board.

So i decided to reaplce the easiest thing first, valve seals.

Still smoked after that, did new pistons and rings, no smoke.

My compression test and leakdown test were EXCELLENT. I truly believe that they have no bearing whatsoever on an oil consumption issue.

(Unless, of course, a piston's compresssion and oil control ring took a ****!)
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