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Old 25th August 2009, 13:50   #1
gpa
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Unhappy Oil Stain on Engine Cover

Hi guys,

I've noticed an oil stain on my Alto's engine cover since the past 10,000 kms. I initially spotted this a little after the 10,000 kms service and it has been present since then.

The car has now covered about ~19,500 kms and will be heading for a service pretty soon, so just thought I'll get it checked here before I do at MASS.

Am attaching a photo with the area highlighted by a white box. The engine oil level has dropped a wee bit (now it is just 4 mm below the full mark) and I've had to top up about 100 ml of oil in the past ~9,000 kms of running. Is this top up of 100 ml of oil due to this?

Or is this stain common and am I just being too finicky?

Looking forward to your inputs to help me get to the bottom of this.

Thanks,
gpa

EDIT: I'm running on Mobil 1 5W50 fully synthetic oil. If the stain is not prominent, clicking on the picture will open a much cleaer one in a new window, which should make it more visible.
Attached Thumbnails
Oil Stain on Engine Cover-image045.jpg  


Last edited by gpa : 25th August 2009 at 13:53. Reason: More info added
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Old 25th August 2009, 13:58   #2
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Was the tappet cover opened at the last service ? Its possible that the tappet cover gasket is damaged or not fitted correctly. Just have them replace the gasket at your next service. Should be inexpensive.

Tough to say if the 100 ml loss was because of this.

Last edited by CrackedHead : 25th August 2009 at 14:12.
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:02   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackedHead View Post
Was the tappet cover opened at the last service ? Its possible that the tappet cover gasket is damaged or not fitted correctly. Just have them replace the gasket at your next service. Should be inexpensive.
CrackedHead,

Thanks for your response.

No, the tappet cover was not opened nor was any other work carried out on the engine apart from a flush and oil change.

Will make mention to replace the gasket. Is it normal to loose 100 ml of engine oil via this gasket?

Regards,
gpa
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:35   #4
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As rightly pointed out, the issue is because of faulty gasket. I had my OHC loose oil and looked dirty with oil stains and dust on it. Every servicing done only washed the bay area and changed the oil. I was also told that the oil was dirty and needed change before it was supposed to be due.

I later found out that the gasket was the culprit. When I got it opened for change, it had kind of 'melted' and was uneven leading to the leak and was also sticking to the frame and had to be scraped out hard. Once changed, there was no oil leak or grmie. BTW, the car had done some 55K kms at that time
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:40   #5
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This can be caused by a few enthusiastic drives in your Car, I too have seen this in my car & also showed to a few guys + Service Adviser & most of them said to get the gaskets replaced in next service, nothing much to worry
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:53   #6
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weejai and Technocrat,

Thanks very much for your replies So I will make a mention to have the gasket changed during the 20k service in a week's time.

@Technocrat: I'm a very sedate driver, usually redline the car only once in a while just to get the engine used to the full rev band

Thanks,
gpa
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Old 25th August 2009, 22:13   #7
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I don't think its the tappet cover gasket. as most part below the tappet appears to be clean.

It was maybe due to you last oil change spills.
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Old 26th August 2009, 09:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
It was maybe due to you last oil change spills.
SirAlec,

There were no spills during the last oil change. I was supervising the oil being poured into the engine and as I was filling up Mobil 1, any spillage would be tantamount to sacrilege!

This stain builds up over time. If I wash it off clean, it reappears after about 2 to 3 weeks.

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gpa
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
SirAlec,

There were no spills during the last oil change. I was supervising the oil being poured into the engine and as I was filling up Mobil 1, any spillage would be tantamount to sacrilege!

This stain builds up over time. If I wash it off clean, it reappears after about 2 to 3 weeks.

Regards,
gpa
I assumed because, your car at 19k kms is just a baby. and that cover gasket failing is very remote.

if it fails don't it also drip on and near the block and exhaust manifold.
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:49   #10
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Its a mild gasket leak, replace it when you give it for service. Maybe a good idea to set the valves also, since you are opening the cover.

Also ask them to clean the cover and head edges properly, before putting in the new gasket.
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Old 26th August 2009, 16:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Its a mild gasket leak, replace it when you give it for service. Maybe a good idea to set the valves also, since you are opening the cover. Also ask them to clean the cover and head edges properly, before putting in the new gasket.
Jaggu,

Thanks for the info.

Will make a mention for them to clean the cover and check the valves before they slot it back in place.

Regards,
gpa
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Old 26th August 2009, 17:11   #12
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gpa,
This started after your 10K KM service. And you changed to Mobil synth oil 5W50 during that service? And you mentioned in another thread too about the car losing some oil from time to time. This viscosity is not recommended in the owner's manual, though it lists 3 - 4 viscosities. May be there is a connection?
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Old 26th August 2009, 19:47   #13
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It maybe due to use of thinner oil (5W50). When you get the gasket changed, tell the mechanic to use 'three bond' seal generously on both sides of gasket before fitting.
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Old 26th August 2009, 20:18   #14
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just give your engine bay a nice wash.
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Old 27th August 2009, 10:00   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
gpa,
This started after your 10K KM service. And you changed to Mobil synth oil 5W50 during that service? And you mentioned in another thread too about the car losing some oil from time to time. This viscosity is not recommended in the owner's manual, though it lists 3 - 4 viscosities. May be there is a connection?
Gansan,

Thanks for your response. I suspected the same as well. But then here's why I don't think its to do with the oil. Last Sept on a long drive from BLR to Trivandrum, Kerala, I passed through some really heavy rain enroute for about 50 odd kms in Kerala. So much so that when I stopped for tea, I opened the bonnet to check if there was any debris that was stuck inside after wading through some deep water.

That's when I first noticed the stain on the engine. The car was being driven for about 7 hours at a stretch (the total drive time was about 17 hours) and I suspect the faulty gasket failed then. It slipped my mind to get it checked/changed at the 10k service as it was avery minor thing.

Another friend who is also running on Mobil 1 on his Alto for over 30,000 kms reported no such staining.

So perhaps this is due to a faulty gasket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashim View Post
When you get the gasket changed, tell the mechanic to use 'three bond' seal generously on both sides of gasket before fitting.
Thanks, will make mention of this.
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