I have a 1997 civic hatchback dx 5spd with 135,000. I just recently change my motor oil. Within less than 1,000 miles of driving, I check the oil dipstick, it is very dry or has oil only on the tip. What seems to be the problem and how can I fix it?
Well you need to determine if the oil is burning or leaking. Check out the plugs as a sign of burning. The burning could be a result of bad seals on the valves or rings on the pistons. Either way you are looking at some work.
October, 11, 2006 AT 3:25 PM
I pretty sure there are no leakage. What do mean by checkout the plugs? How and what do you need to look for? If I do have bad seals on the valves or rings on the pistons? I may need to replace them? How much will it cost? Is it difficult and do I need a mechanic to do it?
October, 12, 2006 AT 11:08 AM
Looking at the plugs, the tips of all of the plugs should look the same; they should be gray or light brown in color and dry. If they are black and oily or any one of them is you have a problem.
The valves go up and down above the pistons and they are continuosly covered with oil. The seals around them could fail. The oil ring on the piston could fail. A compression check on the cylinders would be helpful as well. Bottom line is you want all the plugs to be good and look the same. You want the compression to be very nearly the same in all cylinders.
Replacing the seals in the head is a job that involves taking of the valve cover and going through the process of removing the valve seals. Pretty easy. But more than likely the oil ring is giving out and that involves an overhaul of the engine. Overhauling is detailed work involving taking the engine out of the car and tearing it apart. Special tools etc. Not for the unsure, totally inexperienced mechanic unless you want to treat it as a learning experience. I have done several. Once torn apart, I take the head in to a shop usually at a parts store to have it taken care of and I take the block there as well to have the cylinders taken care of. Don't venture in to this without a repair manual that can run about $20.