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Head Gaskets and Valve Covers
Saturn S-Series

If you have oil in the cylinder of a 97 Saturn Sl2 how do you know if it is the valve guide rings or head gasket?

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2012-02-19 18:05:43
2012-02-19 18:05:43

replace the valve cover gasket and the spark plug o rings they come in a pack togther roughly $20.00 i would bet thats your problem. i had the same problem.

AnswerIs there oil in one cylinder or all of them?

I had oil fouling of the #3 spark plug on a 1995 SL2. The engine ran fine and never had a misfiring problem. It used about a quart of oil every 500 miles. I would exchange the #3 plug with one of the other plugs every now and then to clean it up. The problem was corrected when I replaced the cylinder head with one I bought on eBay. However, even after my own personal rebuild, the engine still uses a quart of oil every 600 miles and has done so for about 100,000 miles. Some oil consumption indicates that there is good upper cylinder lubrication. I get 36+ MPG on the highway on short trips... I don't get concerned about oil consumption as long as the plugs don't foul and I don't have to add oil in a driving rain.

If the head gasket were leaking, I don't think it would leak oil into the cylinder. You would have a much bigger leak of combustion gasses out of the gasket. If all the cylinders are getting too much oil, that indicates rings and/or valve guide seals. If only on cylinder, it could be a valve guide seal.

Are you seeing oil fouling when you remove the spark plug or is there oil in the spark plug hole before you take the plug out? If there is oil in the spark plug hole before you take the plug out, that is a leak between the valve cover and the cylinder head and is fairly simple to fix and worked the first time I replaced the gaskets.

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