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Thread: Massive oil leak

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    Array guppy's Avatar
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    Massive oil leak

    So I am driving my 2008 HHR 2.2L to work. Pull up to a red light and smell burned oil. Pull into the next shopping center to look under the hood, I immediately killed the engine and there is a puddle of oil on the ground under my car, aprox 1/2 qt. There is oil covering everything around the oil filter cap. The cap appeared to be on tight. I called wife and she towed me home. I checked dip stick it showed to be bone dry. I topped it off, took a full gallon. I decided to video the oil leak, so I had the wife start the engine since I knew I would have only a few seconds. I did not expect the oil filter cap to pop off. What could have caused this?

    http://vid96.photobucket.com/albums/...R/IMG_1225.mp4

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    Did the seal go bad? Could be an over pressure of what is called crank case gasses. These engines do not have the old style PVC system. So there is no PCV valve to get clogged. The gasses vent into the intake from the head. There is a port on the head where the intake manifold meets the head.
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    I don't know if you do your own oil changes or not but do you know if a new o-ring installed without the old one being removed? I've heard of a new one being installed over the old one, sealing juuuust enough for a short amount of time before complete failure. I think I first read about it when someone was griping about Wally World, but can't remember the details.

    How does the actual casting look on the engine? In the video the oil starts gushing out of the passenger side of the filter before the cap is forced off. I've never seen anything like this before, and it may be due to my ignorance on the subject, but I can't see the cap being pushed off like that unless the double oring thing, or if the threads had some serious deformations in them, either on the cap itself or in the casting. The cap also may have been over tightened at one point causing a hairline fracture which grew with time, eventually leading to cap failure. I can't help but feel that if you had an internal issue where THAT much pressure was being built up why did it escape out of the cap? Why not on any of the other weaker sealed or gasket points that it could have escaped from? Have you checked out your PCV hose (from valve cover to air intake), valve cover orings, etc.? When my PCV system was blocked (orifice in intake manifold was caked up beyond recognition) the orings on the valve cover bolts had indications of them being 'blown out', swelled up, slightly deformed, lots of dirt and grease in the immediate surrounding area, etc.

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