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How can I test if there's too much blow-by in the engine of my 2010 Holden Colorado?

Asked by Paul

I have oil leaking from the intercooler hoses on my 2010 Holden Colorado. I was told it needs a new turbo as the seals are leaking. Then I was told there could be too much blow-by in the engine (290,000 km). When I take off the hose for the breather, there is a small amount of visible fumes from there, but if I take the off oil-filler cap, the engine pumps out heaps of fumes and also oil. How can I test this without doing a cylinder leakage test?

Answered by CarsGuide

16 Sep 2020 David Morley

The symptoms you have certainly suggest an engine with far too much blow-by (combustion pressure escaping past the piston rings and into the crankcase). Sometimes, the same symptoms can be caused by a crankcase ventilation system that isn’t working properly, but it’s often blow-by that’s the cause. That’s usually the result of internal engine wear which, at 290,000km and counting, is hardly out of the question.

Basically, the observations you’ve made regarding crankcase fumes are about as far as you can go without actually performing a compression and cylinder leak-down test. The good news is that these tests aren’t overly complicated and don’t take long, but they will give you a vastly more accurate idea of what’s going on inside the engine. Oil in the intercooler can also be a sign of this sort of wear, but, as you’ve been told, can also be the fault of blown turbocharger seals. Either way, it sounds like your engine is due for a freshen up in the name of reliability and clean running.

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