New Plugs are Powdery Black. w/PIC. Diagnosis?

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Picked up a '99 Saturn SC2, DOHC for $400. smile Guy only sold it cheap as he was hearing a sudden bang-bang from the engine. Rest of the car is "NEAR MINT". banana A rinky-dink shop did a compression test, numbers are 1) 150 2) 135 3) 200 4) 180 They put new plugs in it & must have started it. Here is what the new plugs look like: Thoughts on what is turning them so black?? Thanks!
 
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Try a higher heat range plug. Since the plugs are new, this could be a sign of oil burning ( bad rings). Are you gettting the bang-bang from the engine, especially after removing and reinstalling the plugs?
 

Turk

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Originally Posted By: Boomer
Try a higher heat range plug. Since the plugs are new, this could be a sign of oil burning ( bad rings). Are you gettting the bang-bang from the engine, especially after removing and reinstalling the plugs?
Haven't started it yet; will today. Without knowing what's wrong, I'm trying to avoid additional damage. It was over 1 Quart overfilled with oil that I just drained out.... Does that mean anything?
 
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The engine is running pig rich you need to find out why. Cracked intake boot after the MAF? Bad MAF? fuel pressure regulator? Look for the obvious like broke/cracked vacuum hoses then do a fuel pressure test and use a scan tool on it.
 
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Hello, Ahhh.....another patchy post. They installed new plugs "and must have started it". Should they not have? You removed the brand new plugs-or the one you photographed- without getting the car home? How did you do that without starting it? An extra quart of oil can always spell smoke or too much oil for the oil control ring to deal with. A fiend's '95 Saturn was down 3 quarts of oil once. If that's any indication of how Saturns burn oil maybe the previous owner was in the habit of throwing oil into the engine habitually. You said a rinky-dink shop measured the compression. "Does that mean anything"? Kira
 

Turk

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Originally Posted By: Kira
Hello, Ahhh.....another patchy post. They installed new plugs "and must have started it". Should they not have?
Not necessarily... From my original post: "Guy only sold it cheap as he was hearing a sudden bang-bang from the engine."
 
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Originally Posted By: spasm3
I would replace the coolant temp sensor. They are know to go bad.Get a brass tipped one. I would do that first.
Trav has a good list of things to check on and this is a really good one too.
 

Turk

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Originally Posted By: spasm3
I would replace the coolant temp sensor. They are know to go bad.Get a brass tipped one. I would do that first.
Yep, I know all about those buggers. wink I just cleaned the port under the MAP Sensor; it was quite black.
 
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Leaking injector causing a rich condition, causing hyrdolock(banging), and fuel dilution "making oil"?? A leaking injector would also essentially cause a wet compression test, explaining the 180 and 200. What cylinders had the black plugs.
 
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Originally Posted By: asand1
Leaking injector causing a rich condition, causing hyrdolock(banging), and fuel dilution "making oil"?? A leaking injector would also essentially cause a wet compression test, explaining the 180 and 200. What cylinders had the black plugs.
Maybe. But a blown head gasket would explain all symptoms as well.......Especially the "Bang bang".
 

Turk

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Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: asand1
Leaking injector causing a rich condition, causing hyrdolock(banging), and fuel dilution "making oil"?? A leaking injector would also essentially cause a wet compression test, explaining the 180 and 200. What cylinders had the black plugs.
Maybe. But a blown head gasket would explain all symptoms as well.......Especially the "Bang bang".
All 4 cylinders have a black, dry, coating all over the plugs.
 
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Originally Posted By: Turk
Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: asand1
Leaking injector causing a rich condition, causing hyrdolock(banging), and fuel dilution "making oil"?? A leaking injector would also essentially cause a wet compression test, explaining the 180 and 200. What cylinders had the black plugs.
Maybe. But a blown head gasket would explain all symptoms as well.......Especially the "Bang bang".
All 4 cylinders have a black, dry, coating all over the plugs.
If you have not run the engine, the black powder could just be a result of several cold startups, with very short runs in between. Which is likely, with a bad engine noise being diagnosed. Oh, and it really is not kosher to do a compression test on a cold engine. So, the shop's results only show that all the cylinders have compression. You really are going to have to run this thing to go much further in diagnosing it.
 
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How many miles on the car? If many, probably oil burner. That would foul the plugs for sure. The bang-bang could be from running it dry. High oil could be from covering up low oil a bit too much. Disclaimer: I didn't actually see your picture, as images blocked at my work.
 

Turk

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186k on the car & engine. It's DUMPING fuel into the cylinders, big pools sitting on top of the Pistons. Going to buy a new fuel filter/regulator.
 
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Originally Posted By: Trav
The engine is running pig rich you need to find out why. Cracked intake boot after the MAF? Bad MAF? fuel pressure regulator? Look for the obvious like broke/cracked vacuum hoses then do a fuel pressure test and use a scan tool on it.
Yes, also check the O2 sensor. A leaking injector will cause a cascading series of symptions. If the plugs are dry, IE; not oiley, then it's fuel soot. Also, make sure the plug wires are on the correct plugs. A cross wired motor will make all sorts of noises and soot up the plugs and the O2 sensor. Good luck, Wayne
 
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Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: Turk
Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: asand1
Leaking injector causing a rich condition, causing hyrdolock(banging), and fuel dilution "making oil"?? A leaking injector would also essentially cause a wet compression test, explaining the 180 and 200. What cylinders had the black plugs.
Maybe. But a blown head gasket would explain all symptoms as well.......Especially the "Bang bang".
All 4 cylinders have a black, dry, coating all over the plugs.
If you have not run the engine, the black powder could just be a result of several cold startups, with very short runs in between. Which is likely, with a bad engine noise being diagnosed. Oh, and it really is not kosher to do a compression test on a cold engine. So, the shop's results only show that all the cylinders have compression. You really are going to have to run this thing to go much further in diagnosing it.
^This. First, what on earth is a 'Bang bang' sound? And as an FYI, a car with that sound cannot be accurately described as 'near mint'. You're in a forum of gear heads, we could care less about cosmetics. 1) A qt. over can produce black plugs..the extra oil is typically burned off, and as a result, you'd get a lot of black gook over the plugs. 2) Plugs typically need some time to warm up to burn off the typically richer conditions on start up. 3) replace the plugs, do a proper oil change with the right filter and oil (and amount), drive the thing around for at least 50 miles and let the plugs cool, and pull one and see if it's clean. The Law of Parsimony: The simplest explanation (or action) that adequately explains (or resolves) your situation is always preferable. Don't go digging around the engine unless you a) Have justification, or b) really know what you;re doing. Otherwise, you're far more likely to create problems than resolve them.
 

Turk

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Originally Posted By: Noey
First, what on earth is a 'Bang bang' sound? And as an FYI, a car with that sound cannot be accurately described as 'near mint'.
The owner of the car, who is from Kenya, said it was making a "bang-bang" sound coming from the engine. That is ALL I have to go by as I have not started it yet! Everything else on the car is near perfect; mechanically & cosmetically. Easy, cowboy... wink
 
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Originally Posted By: Turk
186k on the car & engine. It's DUMPING fuel into the cylinders, big pools sitting on top of the Pistons. Going to buy a new fuel filter/regulator.
I would check for any codes from the OBDII port, before I bought anything. A bad fuel filter will not flood the engine. Are you certain that it is fuel on the pistons? Could it be coolant?
 
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