valvecover removed pics

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Dec 3, 2002
los angeles county


i was in the process of removing my cams and i saw this. ive been using GC for the last 13,000 miles or so (3 OCI's)and mobil 1 10w-30 before that. the last time i removed my valve cover, it didnt look anything like this. it looked spotless before. ive cleaned the valve cover and the cam cover (or whatever theyre called) a while ago, when i first recieved the motor, so this is recent build-up. i think this may have to do with too much fuel in my oil causing the oil to shear. what do you guys think? im going to continue to use GC, but im currently doing a poor mans rinse by putting in chevrvon 10w-30 w/ wix 51344 filter for about 500 miles. then im going to start using GC w/ toyo roki honda filter again.

[ January 26, 2004, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: oilcanboyd ]
I got that same message, but all you have to do is click on the white banner and then click view picture (or whatever your computer does so you can open up a picture in a new window)...then the images come right up.
in the first pic, your finger smudge marks make me think there is alot of soot in the oil. that stuff you can wipe off with your fingers is common for diesels.
my friends vw diesel gets that dark stuff in his engine after ~500 miles of an oci, and it wipes off easily with just fingers.

what is your oci? what is your soot level?
Don't think this is a diesel. Believe it's a Honda engine. The smear marks on the valve cover looks like he just washed it with some kind of solvent and softened it up. As ChrisW said, I would check the PCV system and EGR. I've never seen a synthetic oil do this on a gas engine.

The smear marks on the valve cover looks like he just washed it with some kind of solvent and softened it up.

i didnt spray anything on the inside of the valve cover. i just took off the valve cover and used my fingers to make those smear marks. i was suprised to see this b/c i didnt think that synthetic oil would leave a residue like this. ive been doing about 4500-5000 mile OCI's with synthetic oil (GC and mobil1). the little black box on the back of the block (oil seperator?) seems to be full and leaking oil. im going to remove it, drain it and also replace the PCV valve.
i never implied his engine was a diesel. i just stated i had seen a similar coating on various diesel engines.

vw diesel in praticular, i have seen numerous ones that look exactly like that. it is a blackness that easily wipes off with your finger tips. reminds me of soot.

are you using any gas additives , or anything like that?
This type of build-up is usually found in the bottom oil pan of an engine. For it to show up in the top end, I'd suspect something wrong with the PCV system or an overly rich mixture (as has already been suggested). I don't think it's the oil's fault, but rather something that's changed in the engine since the last inspection.....
hey oilcanboyd did you do a UOA with the german castrol? I'm wondering if a UOA would show this type of build up you had in your engine
Could be a rich mixture, but I would firstly suppose an excessive blow by. May be both. What is the oil consumption ? In case of blow by a higher viscosity grade may help to make engine cleaner.
yes i did do two UOA's with GC and im currently have another sample to be sent in with 4761 miles on it. the last time i used a fuel cleaner was techron about 2000 miles ago and no fuel cleaners were used during these UOA's.

recent UOA

first UOA
One thing I noticed about GC when I first ran it in my Passat was that after about 1000 miles, the gas mileage spiked, almost like the oil sheared a grade. I couldn't believe my eyes because the trip computer was reporting the highest MPG numbers I had ever seen in my car. And it did it consistently for about 1000 miles. After a while, things returned to normal.

This makes me wonder if this oil does shear and then thicken back up again. I also had something similar happen when I was running Castrol GTX 5w-30. Never had this experience with any other oil so now I'm a little worried.
My opinion is that it likely isnt oil related. I think you have a serious blow by issue with that engine. Might be running overly rich too. How do the spark plugs look ?, I would check them out too.

You arent running one of those mini filters on the valve cover are you ?, in place of the breather tube. Those can create problems like this.

I think its more of an engine problem than oil.

the engine component failure I had when using German Castrol SLX 0w-30 SJ in a VW engine was most likely caused by varnish. It occurred in a relatively short time period

That particular engine always ran very hot oil temperatures - up to about 110C+

The details are archived on this Board no doubt under German Castrol SLX or similar

Hey Doug,

I tried looking for your post about the VW engine failure, but couldn't find it--were you able to do a UOA, and if so did it show anything abnormal?

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