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32dmadden, Auto Repair Shop Owner
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1207
Experience:  A.S.E. Certified Master Technician, L-1 37 yrs. Auto Repair Experience
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If the #1 and #4 rods had water in them wouldnt the liquid be a merky

Customer Question

If the #1 and #4 rods had water in them wouldn't the liquid be a merky white? As apposed to clear? And when the oil was checked would it not have been merky white also? And would water in the cylinders cause the rod to snap if it was a good rod? This engine only has 1400 miles on it
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  32dmadden replied 8 years ago.
If there was water in the oil it would be milky. But it would go to all of the rod bearings. What I think happened is the water got into the top of the cylinders. It was on top of the piston. If it came from the outside it would have to have come through the intake track past the intake valve and into the cylinder. It also could have come from the coolant system from a leaky head gasket or a cracked head. When the water gets in a cylinder like that if there is enough water it will cause a hydraulic lock up. The reason is water doesn't compress. So when the piston comes to the top it is like having a two inch thick piece of metal between the piston and the head. When that happens something has to give and it is usually the rod. So the question is where did the water come from? Cylinders 1 & 4 are on opposite sides so two head gaskets or two heads would have to go bad at the same time. Possible but very unlikely. Did it ever run hot after it was installed? If it did that could be the reason for the gaskets or cracks, if not back to the same old question where did the water come from. Hope this helps explain why the rods failed. Let me know if you need more help.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
But wouldn't the water in the cylinders be milky? And wouldn't the oil have been milky when it was checked just prior to start up? And no it never ran hot
Expert:  32dmadden replied 8 years ago.
No the oil would not have to be milky. If it is only on top of the piston and under the head it never gets near the oil. It goes out the exhaust valve when the engine is turning over. The oil is in the pan it lubes the valve train up top but doesn't get in the cylinders. There is very little oil in the cylinders. The oil lubes the cylinders by going through the oil rings on the piston as it goes up and is scraped off by the scraper ring as the piston goes down. None of the oil gets on top of the piston. If it does get up there because of bad piston rings it burns and blows blue smoke out the exhaust. I hope this helps you understand why the oil would not be milky. What you need to ask the shop is where did the water come from. Did it storm that day, was the sprinkler on getting the car wet. Was the engine spray washed? If not get them to tell you how and where the water came from. Did they check the heads and head gaskets. Was the cooling system pressure checked. If they don't know where it came from how can they say it won't happen again? I'll be here if you need me.
32dmadden and 4 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  32dmadden replied 8 years ago.
I just remembered that there was a sevice bullitin out on that engine for intake gaskets leaking water. And they leaked in the front where cylinders 1 & 4 are. Have that check real good because that is an assembly problem if that engine just was rebuilt.