Thursday, September 22, 2011

Will an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?

I have a 97 Chevy Blazer, 2wd, 4dr. When I bought it for $1000, 4 months ago, I knew it had a small oil leak. I still thought it was a great deal, since the car still drove well and all else seemed in good condition. I had my dad look at it, and we initially thought the oil leak was a bad Oil Send/Receive Unit or Sensor. I'm still not sure if that's actually what the oil leak is due to or not because, I later determined that there was no way I could replace the part by's nestled in behind the engine....something way over my head.

Now for the reality, I'm a full time college student, there's no way I can afford to go to a mechanic. I feel reasonably confident in my abilities to fix most automotive problems, assuming I can even get to the problem.

Here's where it gets interesting: 2 months after I bought the truck, it started overheating. Not like smoke billowing out or anything, just way high into the red on the temp gauge. Then the overheating got bad enough for it to stall out on me one day. I did a full check of hoses, radiator and reservoir, here's what I found - a brownish-stain like build-up in the bottom of the reservoir; a lot of creamy looking gunk built up on the radiator cap; and the hose that runs from the water pump had a tear in it at the base where it connected.

Here's what I did : I flushed the reservoir and radiator (unhooked main hoses to allow free flow), with water as completely as I could. Water seemed to be making a full circulation, was coming out pretty clear once antifreeze was flushed out. I snipped the hose that had the tear above where the tear was, and re-clamped it to the base. I added fresh antifreeze to the reservoir and radiator, and cleaned the radiator cap.

The over-heating seemed to lessen a little, but then became sporadic after would over-heat pretty quickly, and then drop back down to normal range....if i drove too much longer, it would rise back towards the red again.

So then I took a guess for the Thermostat, went and bought a top-of-the-line from Autozone, and replaced it.

Still over-heating.

All this time, the oil leak is still present, it's cause still unknown. I'm having to put in about a gallon of oil once a month. Last time I checked the levels, (a week ago), the oil level seems to actually be a little high, though most of the oil on the dipstick looks way watered down. Not sure if it would do anygood to do an actual oil change since there's such a big leak. I also forgot to mention that I did check obvious things like the drain-pan plug and oil filter, when I first bought it, to make sure that wasn't the source of the oil leak, but everything seems to be nice and tight.

I also had a check light come on a couple months ago, and a diagnotic showed I needed to replace the Oxygen Sensor. I bought one, thinking I would replace...but jack-*** me, I didn't realize I have several. I'm still not sure how many I actually have, or where they all are. Since I bought the truck from someone else, I have no owner manual, and have yet to find a repair manual ffrom an AutoZone. Oy.

I have no idea if the Oxygen Sensor could be affecting the oil leak...or the over-heating.

Yesterday, after driving home from school...while the truck was still hot and in the red, i opened the hood....there's a hissing noise...and smoke coming from what looks like the alternator (though the could be from below that..?).

As of two weeks ago, the truck is now nearly undrivable for more than 5-7 minutes. After approximately 7 minutes of driving, the temp gauge is WAY passed the red, and any further driving will cause the car to completely stall out. A new development: Now when it stalls out, a battery symbol appears on my dash, the brakes get rock-hard and won't pump at all, followed by an immediate stall. When the truck is running, the battery gauge sits right in the middle. Is this due to oil or battery?

I know that if I could just figure out what part needs to be replaced, and how to get to the damn part, I could fix it, or call a friend and get help fixing it.

As it stands though, I don't know enough about cars to know how to determine what the problem actually is. I don't know if any of these problems could be affecting or causing any of the other problems or if they're all seperate, and I don't know which I should address first.

I need help....I will humbly accept any suggestions or ideas.Will an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
The oil leak should have been easy to find normally, because you just put cardboard under the engine and seel where it drips.

But the over heating should never have happened.

You never drive a car with any over heating, at all.

You fix it immediately.

It might have just been the hose tear and low coolant, but now it sounds like you let the engine get so hot it warped the head.

Once the head gasket does not seal any more, you can get oil in the radiator, and water in the oil.

Both are horrible.

You need to take the head/s off, have them machined flat, and replace the head gaskets.

It will cost you about $800.

And ignore the oxygen sensor. That is just reacting to the fact the head gasket is blown and you are pumping out oil and water in the exhaust.Will an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
Thanks for all the help and great advice everyone. I called a couple of mechanics for a really rough estimate for the head gasket, the worst was $2000. I'm told I could do it myself, but I thought the heads need to be sent out to make sure they're straight or flat or something?

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Will an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
sounds like a head gasket gone if you have a creamy sediment in the radWill an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
seems like you've got a big L but what can you expect for a $1000 check your fan clutch that may be the reason that it is over heating most people over look those types of things as for the oil leak i've got the same problem i have no idea whats the name of the thing its coming from so can't help you right thereWill an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
I think, (hope?)you have multiple problems, because I cannot think of one thing that would explain all this. Yes , oil does help cool the engine, so an oil leak would cause it to run warmer, but not like this. Some parts of this story sound like a blown head gasket. That would explain the overheating and the oil leak. A blown headgasket right behing the alternator could explain the hissing (steam) and a wet alternator could cause the battery light to come on.

The hard brakes sound like a large vaccuum that removes the power from the powerbrakes.

Cannot help you with the Oxygen Sensor(s) Are you sure there are several?

Good Luck, I would like to here about the root of this mysteryWill an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
Check your water pump. Try to move it by wiggling the fan. Also, check the drive belt. It may just be loose. Of course, you didn't mention if the fan belt is even there.Will an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
You can replace the head gasket. It is'n't rocket scienceWill an oil leak effect or cause over-heating?
All that writing on your part and all I have to tell you is you have a blown head gasket. Sorry but that is whats wrong.