'96 Eclipse GS - Smoking after head gasket replacement

Tiny
ANTON_D
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 MITSUBISHI
Hi, I have a well-maintained '96 Mitsu Eclipse GS, 4.0L FWD, 96K, with the Chrysler 420A engine that is known to have head gasket problems.

Before I replaced the head gasket, oil was leaking at an increasing rate, but it wasn't smoking.

After a replacement at a Mitsu shop near Pittsburgh (Baierl), I started to smell burning oil at stops. At first, I assumed it was previously leaked oil burning off. It became increasingly worse, and now, I see plumes of smoke periodically in my sideview mirror.

The engine smokes fairly randomly. I have a hard time reproducing it, but I smell it fairly often when I come to a full stop.

Do you have any suggestions on how I should proceed? Any hypothetical diagnoses? What claims by shop should I be skeptical about?

I suspect the head gasket job was poor, and it's leaking again. How can I avoid getting ripped off? What kind of tests should I allow them to do?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 8:07 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I would drop it off and tell them to fix it, that's all just fix it, you may have to go to court later, they are the "pro" don't tell them how to fix the car, if they refuse to do anything, head to small claims court!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 8:14 AM
Tiny
ANTON_D
  • MEMBER
It's been about three months since the repair. I called a tech soon after the repair, and he said a little burning is ok (at the time, I wasn't positive it was smoking, just could smell it).

I haven't driven the car in about a month, and now that I'm using it again, the smoke is so obvious that I can't ignore the smell. It seems like a serious problem.

I'm worried that because taking the head off is so involved and an expensive job, they will refuse to do it for free. Is there anything I can use as a bargaining chip, or threaten them with, if I must?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Usually courts decide in favor of the vehicle owner, most Judges don't think much of garages that don't stand behind thier work! If they refuse to fix it, file a claim, when they get the summons, they might call you, they might not! In the meantime have you checked the dipstick? Maybe it's not pushed on all the way, or the seal at the top is NG!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 8:32 AM
Tiny
ANTON_D
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the legal advice. I should clarify that the smoke is coming out of the tail pipe.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 9:01 AM
Tiny
ANTON_D
  • MEMBER
Hi, the shop that did the head gasket job is going to do a free cylinder balance test because they're positive the head gasket job has next to nothing to do with the burning oil.

They said that valve seals shouldn't have been touched during the head gasket replacement.

Should I ask another shop to do a cylinder balance test first?

Another thing I noticed is a quiet, regular thumping noise that's audible on the driver's side in the cabin at 1K rpm. Could this be related to the piston ring problem? Possibly a rod nut?

Am I wimping out by not holding them responsible for the smoke? What kind of damage could they have done during the head gasket replacement?

Any advice on how to approach this problem with the shop will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 AT 9:52 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
No one I know replaces a head gasket without checking the head! If you had a warped head and all they did was the gasket, that's pretty lame! Of couse the stem seal should have been done! And the head checked, or it all could have been done for nothing!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 AT 5:29 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides