Piston Rings...? - 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 08-22-2007, 04:38 PM   #1
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Default Piston Rings...?

My Bonne started making a squeaking and clicking sound a few days ago. It changes with the rev of the engine. I went in for a much needed oil change today and the Mech said that it was most likely the Piston Rings.

1.Does this sound right?

2.If so...How vital is it that they be replaced? (ASAP or "It can go a little longer)
-The Mech didn't seem too worried about it.
-I am only driving a Mile to and from work in it.
-No highway driving.

3.How much money am I looking at?
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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First, try taking your accesory belt off and seeing if that takes care of the sound. If it does, then you know it'* not the piston rings. You will only need to start it for a few seconds to listen.

If it continues, do a compression test on all cylinders.

To replace the rings(The only way I know of anyways) requires the following.

New rings

New head gaskets and bolts

A glaze breaker

Possibly new connecting rod bolts(not sure if they are TTY or not)

Ring compressor

All of the associated tools

Basically, you tear the entire engine down, pull the pistons out through the top of the bores, run a glazer breaker through each cylinder, test the ring gap to make sure you have the correct size rings, reinstall each piston in the same hole bore it came out of, hook the rods and rod caps back up to the crank, put the top end back on, and presto. Lots of little intricacies inbetween, but the general idea is you strip the engine down to the block, front cover, and crank. Then you have to make sure you don't get any debris on the crank journals, nor can you leave anything in the bores or you risk premature failure.

I don't know, but I find it hard to believe you are losing piston rings... It'* been my experience that a vehicle with rings going out has poor compression on one or more cylinders and runs rougher than a dog crapping bones.

I'm waiting for someone to suggest the harmonic balancer. I think those tend to click when they are going bad.... I don't really know on the series one stuff to be honest.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:26 PM   #3
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My oil pressure has been staying around or below 40. Some times well below. Never in the RED though. Could it be a failing oil pump.

I had all the gaskets replaced in Jan. 07. The mech said that it "sounded" like the water pump was going downhill and too watch out for that. It cools OK, gets a hair over 200 idling in Texas summer heat. Could a bad water pump be the culprit.

Over all it is running absolutely fine. No power loss. It has always been quirky when you first get on the road, but otherwise fine.

As far as I can tell it is just "noisy".

I will point out...I won't be doing the repairs. I just like to go into things as informed as possible.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:59 PM   #4
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Then pull the belt for a second and get back to us. You can start the vehicle and listen to the engine and try to decide where the sound is coming from prior to pulling the belt. The low pressure could be due to the gauge, so I would have a mechanical gauge put on to have it tested and verify the accuracy.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:02 PM   #5
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Honestly..no mechanic can hear rings. If your car isn't spewing nastiness from the exhaust..your rings are fine.

Be wary of that mechanic overcharging you for blinker fluid and other retarded items that don't exist.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:36 PM   #6
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"Don't worry about me getting fooled. I am a fart smeller, I mean a smart feller"

How do I go about taking the belt off without royally screwing things up? I am a computer geek, not a car geek so much. Although I have done a lot myself. (Blower motor, stereo, speakers, and other things). But when it comes to touching anything directly connected to the engine block, I get weary.

Is it neccessarily a good thing that I am not seeing any performance problems.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:57 PM   #7
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Enter someone with an S1 who knows the tensioner setup and belt routing please
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:24 PM   #8
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Theres no accesory belt. It is a serpintine I think.

That be it the case, without the belt you would have no AC, no power steering, no alt, no smog pump.

I don't know if it would cause harm taking it off for a minute.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:26 PM   #9
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Hows the condition of your belt? Also have you just put an ear around to hear? Take a long screw driver. Handle to your ear and 'listen' to your power steering pump and alternator by putting the other end against the items as its running.

I would think its the alternator, tensioner pulley, or power steering making the noise.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:36 PM   #10
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Diagnosing what side of the engine the sound is coming from will help determine if the belt even needs to be messed with.

It will run without the belt to diagnose if the problem exists with the (potentially but not likely) engines rotating assembly, or if it'* one of the peripherals. As long as it isn't left running it will be fine. It takes literally no time to check. When the belt is off, start the car, if the sound is gone, start looking at the alternator, power steering, air con, smog pump(eeeewww!).
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