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Thread: Long story, all about an oil leak....

  
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    paul_1011's Avatar
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    Long story, all about an oil leak....

    I had quite a bad oil leak on my 2001 Astra Coupe Z20LET which I admit I left for too long. During that time the performance gradually got worse and worse.

    Eventually it broke down and when the AA came out and removed the spark plug cover there was oil inside the spark plug sockets, espcially in the first socket.

    He took the spark plugs out and cleaned the oil up, put it all back together again and it ran again. After a few miles it broke down again and I got a tow home.

    The car went into the garage where they replaced the cam cover gasket and cleaned up the oil. At this point the car was working OK, but performance was poor.

    So then the coil pack was replaced and after that it drove beautifully again for a couple of weeks, and then performance dropped off once more. I took it back to the garage and they replaced the breather hoses, which has not really made any difference.

    It has never really got back to the performance levels that it should have and I'd like to get it sorted. A minor oil leak has developed again.

    I have lost faith in the garage that have been working on it and I'd like to have a go at fixing it myself.

    I know the spark plugs in there at the moment are cheapy and I'd like to replace the spark plugs, the cam cover and cam cover gasket in the hope of getting my car back to its former self.

    So my questions:

    1) I have no experience of doing this kind of thing, what are the chances I will break it completely? it does not seem that hard, but I don't really have a clue.

    2) Do you think it will actually fix it?

    3) Anyone know this engine really well that lives near Weybridge that would like to do it for me for a reasonable price?!

    Sorry for the lengthy post, hope someone can help. If not im going to have to try and find a new car as this one just isn't right anymore

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    MikeWarner's Avatar
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    Well - you have to ask how oil got on the spark plugs. I assume they replaced the cam cover gasket as they thought oil was dripping down the spark plug holes. I would not expect this to be related.

    Alternatively, you could have oil on the plugs because the head gasket has gone. Try and find a garage that can do a leak down test to check for this. Also, make sure your coolant is not contaminated. Also, check to see if water is in your oil.

    If your head gasket is fine, you power loss may be nothing to do with oil at all, and may simply be something like and AFM going dodgy.

    How exactly does the car feels when it isn't running right?
    8 Astras in a row! Can Anyone Beat That?
    Star Silver Astra Sporthatch SRi XP 1.9 CDTi (150PS)
    A Vauxhall site about Vauxhalls.

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    It feels lazy, like pressure is being lost somewhere and it does not build up enough until the high revs to really push forward.

    At lower revs its just very unresponsive, compared with the quite aggressive feel of the engine when it is running properly.

    I will have to get the other things checked out by a garage as I woudlnt know how to check the oil, but the coolant looks normal.

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    Happy to say that I think I finally got this sorted this morning!

    Originally I replaced the cam cover and the cam cover gasket and spark plugs. This made the car slighty better and the new sparks definatley fixed my rough idle issue.

    But the car still had ropey performance, after reading the forums I started to look into what else it might be.

    There was a lot of oil around where the main breather pipe connects to the front/bottom of the engine.

    So this morning I took it off and all the other breather hoses as well. What a discovery! The metal breather pipe with the bend about half way was almost completely blocked. After about ten minutes with carb cleaner and some tubing I managed to get the blockage clear, but the crud was really caked on.

    Cleaned out all the other hoses as well, though they were slighty blocked, nothing like as bad as the main breather pipe.

    Put it all back together and went for a good drive, it is like a completely different car.

    I suspect that other gaskets will have taken the brunt of the lack of air flow through the main breather, but I dont know enough to be sure. But for now it is a massive improvment, back to the performance I remember!

    Anyone know the part number for that main breather pipe? I might jsut replace it with a brand new one, though I am sure my existing one will be fine now that it has been cleaned up.

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    Clemo SXi's Avatar
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    Glad to hear, can I ask if the brather pipe you're on about is the one on the front right of the engine (circled in pic) cuz something similar is happening to mine, I've sorted what was a leak, but didn't check any breather pipes.
    (mines a 2001 Z20let too)!




    Cheers
    I'm after another Coupe Turbo

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    wow, cool engine bay.

    Anyway, not it is not, but almost. The circled pipe was OK on mine, a little grubby but nothing to worry about.

    The pipe that I cleaned up was the metal pipe which the circled pipe is connected to, which goes right down to the engine.

    It has a little bend in it about half way, which is where it had become really messy, the ends were not too bad.

    It was a bit of a pain to remove, but well worth it in this case. How many miles has yours done?

    If you want further clarification, I will take a photo if you of the tube in question if you like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_1011 View Post
    wow, cool engine bay.

    Cheers , its changed even more since I took that photo

    I think I know where you mean, the cars on 66k so things are starting to wear a bit .

    I shall have a look at that pipe though, was there anywhere else you found had a build up of excess crap? lol
    I'm after another Coupe Turbo

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    There was a bit of a build up in the breather hose which is just above and to the left of the oil filler cap.

    I think I have read that a blockage in the breather system may contanimate the oil, so I am thinking I should maybe change the oil as well. I will see how it runs for a few weeks I think.

    Mine has a lot of miles though, 115k. Trying to run it to 130k by which time I will have hopefully saved up enough cash to get a replacement car.

    Do love my Astra though, will miss it so much when I sell it.

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    i had the same simptoms...low boost on low rpm's...altough the car goes 240km/h....

    today i cleaned up that metal pipe and the hose (it was a mess in there, you couldn't see the light trough the pipe) and now the car feels really different, it's fantastic...

    very good advice

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    thats what i like to see people that look and listen to advice
    Arden Blue Zafira Gsi

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