Condensation in the Engine - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-21-2004, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Condensation in the Engine

This is a '96 series II N/A 3800. When I remove the oil filler cap I notice condensation in it. It looks, smells and tastes like water, not coolant. Now I know everyone is going to jump on the intake gaskets but I just replaced the upper last Aug. The coolant level seems to be holding steady (it wasn't before I replaced the upper). With the amount of condensation I am seeing, there would have to be a decrease in collant level. The oil looks fine on the dipstick and when I change it. There is no creamy color indicative of a coolant leak. There is some white foam on the inside of the cap if I let it go long enough between wipings but I think that is from the condensate. I think water (or condensation) will produce the same "foam" as coolant. The other strange thing that makes me think (hope) that this is not a coolant issue is that it only happens in the winter months. I'm wondering if this might not be a malfunctioning PCV? Any thoughts or similar experiences?
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:21 PM   #2
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Ranger...Check this out:

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...749&highlight=

I just went through the EXACT same thing in my 99. Everyone seems to think it'* related to the short trip driving the car primarily gets. I changed the oil ASAP and since then I've done about 2,000 miles. We've been driving it on longer trips and the issue has gone away.

Get that oil out of there ASAP! Your accumulating condensation somewhere and it'* bound to be mixed in with the oil.
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:11 PM   #3
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It'* not so much that you need to get the oil out asap.. but more that you need to drive the car. Go shopping today, drive the car for 2 hours or so [after up to operating temp]. This will burn off any of that water. After that, you will want to stay on top of the oil changes, and try to give the car some more highway miles . If you cannot drive the car for that long, you will want to drain the oil, and then drive the car for a substancial time, anyways [anywhere around 30 minutes minimum].

And as general knowledge, short trips aren't murder, but one here and there aren't horrible, but like I have already said, you need to drive the car, and burn off any of that condensation. Condensation in an engine.. is bad, and very bad in high amounts.


-justin
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Old 12-21-2004, 05:41 PM   #4
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Default water

Before I bought my 96 it too had the condensation under the cap from all the short trip starts and stops around the lot.
After driving the car 20 min. it seemed to dry it out.
Cold winter is brutal on cars with ice cold air chilling the neck of the filler cap causing
the moisture to collect there on the inside of the engine.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:44 PM   #5
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Well, it'* good to hear that the general consensus is that it is just condensation. This is my wifes car and she does make mostly short trips but not quite as short as vital49'*. Speaking of vital49, YIKES! Mine was no where near that bad. I do change the oil on it every 3K. The HVAC blower is out in my car so I took hers to work the other day. It is about a :50 minute ride, mostly highway and I think it still had the condensation in it. I'm taking it again tomorrow as my blower motor has not arrived yet so I'll check it again. I'm starting to think it is just "the nature of the beast" with that filler neck sticking up there and cold air moving around it, especially since this is only a cold weather phenomina. BTW, I checked the PCV today and it is ok. I'll put it on a suicide watch
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
Being that you are driving it at the moment and for 50 minutes at that... It should be enough to burn off the condensation... Clean the oil cap and adapter and see if it returns while you are driving the car..
I'll check it when I get to work tomorrow afternoon and post back.
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:44 PM   #7
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Well, I drove it to work today, :50 minute trip. Still had condensation under the cap. I don't get it.

One thing I noticed that perhaps someone can help with. When I checked the PCV valve I noticed the little "slug" that rattles inside is spring loaded. I don't recall ever seeing one like that. Anyone know if that is the correct PCV valve or was the wrong one installed.......looong time ago before I purchased it?
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opensourceguy
Condensation in an engine.. is bad, and very bad in high amounts.
And so is trying to burn it out by extended driving!! What are you trying to get this guy to do?!?

"Oh, my upper intake is leaking...it'* dripping into the combustion chamber!"

"Drive 300 miles...burn it off!!"


Change the oil like previously suggested. It'* relatively cheap and the safest way.


Sheesh....some people'* kids.....
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:18 PM   #9
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I suggested the oil thing, Ranger. I went through this on my 99. Get that oil out of there. It'* good insurance for the $15 oil change to get that water out!!

My PCV sounded the exact same as yours. As long as it rattles you're fine.

Change the oil, wipe out the cap and filler neck and make a point to drive it on longer distances. And if your wife drives like mine (very easy on the car), romp on it a few times once the car is warmed up when you're driving it.
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:33 PM   #10
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Don't worry about it too much....every car does it just about....You don't need to get hasty and start changing the oil all the time....My truck has done this for years....And I just keep with my normal maintnance routine and have never had a problem.
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