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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm trying to help a friend with his 2001 9-3, because he doesn't know anything about cars at all and I know a little from working on my VW's and Audis for the past 10 years (I'm still FAR from being a seasoned veteran mechanic).

Basically when he starts the motor it starts to clatter and exhaust gases almost instantly (within 2 seconds) start pouring out from around the oil cap and from around the band-clamp nearest the MAF.

I've never encountered anything like this before. The only ways I can think of that the exhaust would be able to get into the crankcase like that would be:
1. Past the piston rings.
2. Past the valves.
4. From the turbo somehow??
4. PCV system??

The problem with the first two is that the car still starts up instantly every time, which would be unlikely if it had low compression due to failed rings or valves, right?
 

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smoke coming out of the oil cap sounds like bad piston rings to me.

the clattering and smoke from the MAF though sounds like valves might be opening at the wrong times and letting exhaust gases into the intake plenum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
smoke coming out of the oil cap sounds like bad piston rings to me.

the clattering and smoke from the MAF though sounds like valves might be opening at the wrong times and letting exhaust gases into the intake plenum.
If the rings were that bad, wouldn't it be pretty difficult to start, though, due to low compression?

Are you thinking maybe the timing belt slipped a couple teeth? That sounds plausible. It would still allow the motor to start up and run, but it wouldn't like it.
 

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our cars have timing chains, and how does tthe motor sound when its running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
our cars have timing chains, and how does tthe motor sound when its running?
It clatters pretty loudly, but strangely it doesn't sound like it's missing or stumbling at all. It just fires right up and runs like all cylinders are firing. It doesn't hint at stalling or anything.
 

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I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm trying to help a friend with his 2001 9-3, because he doesn't know anything about cars at all and I know a little from working on my VW's and Audis for the past 10 years (I'm still FAR from being a seasoned veteran mechanic).

Basically when he starts the motor it starts to clatter and exhaust gases almost instantly (within 2 seconds) start pouring out from around the oil cap and from around the band-clamp nearest the MAF.

I've never encountered anything like this before. The only ways I can think of that the exhaust would be able to get into the crankcase like that would be:
1. Past the piston rings.
2. Past the valves.
4. From the turbo somehow??
4. PCV system??

The problem with the first two is that the car still starts up instantly every time, which would be unlikely if it had low compression due to failed rings or valves, right?
Wow. Wow. Sounds like stuck valve and/or debris on the seat holding a valve open. I'd bet one of the intake valves is stuck partially open. Failing that perhaps the timing components have let the exhaust cam retard and entire tooth.

Don't drive it.

Take the Valve/Cam cover off. Inspect the indexing of the cam's. If they are proper. Broken rings, gouged cylinder wall, completely glazed smooth cylinder walls.

Not likely from the turbo. Your turbo would show more signs of having failed other then that.

Given that you say oil cap it my also be a head gasket.....

Basically.... start inspecting the motor from the top down. Pull the cam cover and start the engine, if anything is horsecrap with the cam timing or valves you'll know, good luck, let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I was afraid it was something pretty bad. I just thought I'd check here first in case it was some known issue that ended up being a simple fix. I'd hate to find out later I just needed a $5 part.

I also just noticed another issue that seems pretty bad. I was looking at the turbo outlet and it's not fully connected to the downpipe anymore. It looks like it's mounted at an angle, so it's flush on one side, but with at least a 1/2" gap on the other where you can see the threads of the mounting bolts (though somehow I didn't see exhaust coming from THAT area).

Anyway, I'm not sure it's going to be worth it to him to fix it. I don't know how he managed it, but he still owes $13k on this car (his ex-wife's fault, apparently), but I guess it only blue books at about $7k and that's in running condition. It sounds like it would be in his best interest to just go ahead and let the bank repo it. His credit will take a hit, but it seems better than the alternative at this point.
 

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Wow, owing $13-k on a car that's almost 10 years old. If he's going to let the bank take it, it's not going to hurt to pull the valve cover and take a look. If there's lots of sludge, it probably needs a new engine. And be aware that this year engine was one of the engines that filled up with sludge if the oil wasn't changed often enough or poor quality oil was used. I would also do a compression test, a piston might have a hole burned in it from running too lean... Ron
 

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Exhaust out of oil cap?

Hi did you resolve the issue with your friends car. I have a strange similar issue, I have exhaust smell coming into the cabin of the car intermittently if I do not have the recirculate button on it is much worse, must be coming from under the hood. My mechanic says its not happening when he checked it was not happening, he can't find any exhaust leaks, but I noticed after the oil cap is resealed it goes away for a while. And then after driving a few days the exhaust smells comes back in. Has NO running or starting issues aside from a slight hesitation at first start once in a great while. I am going to pick up a new oil cap now to see if it works, but let me know if you found out more, THANKS!!
 
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