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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
On Friday my 1994 900SE V6 was running very rough, with lots of valve noise. I checked the oil and it was below the dipstick level*. I put 2 quarts of oil in and got it on the dipstick and it limped another few miles, then stalled on the road.

I just did an oil change and it will start with effort and then runs very rough. The oil coming out of the car looked normal, ie no bits of metal or coolant. Complicating diagnosis by sound is a loose, rattling heat shield. Any ideas?

Here is a link to a video of it starting and chugging along: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0jsqt0taanvsl8f/Video Nov 11, 11 14 36.mp4?dl=0

*I hadn't checked it in a while. :(
 

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Eeesh.. Done a compression check? The 2.5 V6 is a not a particularly stout motor. Running with low oil isn't going to do it any favors.
 

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Haven't done a compression check yet. I pulled out the front spark plugs yesterday and the wells are full of oil. The ends of the one plug we pulled out is also fouled with oil.
The engine does turn over though, so right now my plan is to check the rear* plugs and see how bad they are. Then replace the valve cover gaskets and fix any cracks in the valve covers (JB Weld or similar). If I can get it running again for less than $100, awesome. Otherwise it's time to take it out back behind the barn.

*never buying a V6 again. The intake has to come off for you to even see the rear plugs. Ridiculous.
 

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That's pretty typical of FWD V6s... Packaging isn't easy.

If you have leaks onto the plugs, you may have dodged a bullet. Do you have a maintenance history on this vehicle?
 

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Running with oil below the dipstick doesn’t do any engine much good. That video had all sorts of chugging and it was hard to tell when the engine was actually running but I did see the oil light go off meaning it is generating some pressure. The chugging sounded a lot more than a heat shield though.
The valve covers are plastic, and leaking around the Orings that protect the spark plug wells is common on lots of cars. It is possible that the oil in the wells could cause a significant misfire that could be the chugging.
Jvanabra is right, most v6 engines have the plugs on the rear covered up. Want simple plug changes? You are stuck with a 4 cyl, v8, and v6 are larger engines that are usually shoehorned in, Saab is no different than any other.
 
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