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Old 01-16-2008, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default Steam From Oil on Dipstick

This evening my 02 SSEi just broke down and needed to be towed 60 miles to my mechanic.
I had been traveling on an interstate for about 50 minutes when I broke down. Fortunuately, it broke down as I was entering an on ramp to another interstate. The car just shut off. As I was coasting I put it in neutral and restarted it and it chugged so I immediatly pulled over and shut it off. When I checked the oil level the oil on the end of the dipstick was giving off steam. Is this normal? It was about 27 degrees outside. Can moisture in the air condense on to hot oil making it give off steam? I hope so. If it was moisture in the oil giving off steam, I think I've got major problems. In addition, the oil didn't look quite right. It looked almost black ..... as if it hadn't been changed in 30,000 miles (oil has less than 3000 miles on it. It didn't have any foam in it. Once we dropped the car back off at my mechanic'* gararge, I started it for about 5 seconds. There was an audible chunking of sorts coming from the engine.

I just had the intake maifold gasket changed in December of 07. I'm hoping this doesn't have anything to do with this. I'll find out soon enough tomorrow but in the mean time.... any ideas or thoughts .......
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:28 PM   #2
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sounds like somehow water/coolant got into your oil, possibly from the intake gasket changeover and took out the bottom end bearings. who did the work on the gaskets? how is your coolant level?
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:36 PM   #3
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A local mechanic did the work. I didn't check my coolant level after it broke down. Never thought of it. At that point I was a bit frazzled and was concentrating on getting the car 50 miles back to my town. $ 250 for the tow!
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:42 PM   #4
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Is this a good idea taking this car back to the same mechanic who did the work? My first thought is "yes". Any contrary thoughts out there? Being a cynic, I'm thinking another mechanic could document what the other guy did or didn't do, or did wrong. Taking back to the same mechanic who did the work would allow the mechanic to cover up his own mistakes. I'm not suggesting he would do this but ya never know. This was the first time I used this mechanic and he came highly recommended.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:50 PM   #5
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did you feel comfortable with him the first time? its possible that its not his fault at all. he might cut you a break on installing the new engine.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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I felt absolutely comfortable.

If it is the bottom end bearings, is it better to repair them or replace the engine? Sorry, I'm not very technical. Although I like to educate myself so I can make some reasonable decisions.
Thanks for your help.
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