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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

Chevy S-10, Oil in the Air Cleaner

Q: I get oil in the air cleaner of my Chevy S-10 after I use it on the highway. Was there a change in head gaskets making oil drain holes smaller to keep heads cooler from the manufacturer? Could that possibly be the problem? The engine was just rebuilt and the spark plugs are clean, there is no misfire and the engine runs smooth.

- Dwayne D.

A: All engines have a condition that is called blow-by. Blow-by is the gases of combustion that get around the piston rings and into the crankcase of the engine. The Positive Crankcase Ventilation system is designed to draw these blow-by gases out of the crankcase and burn them in the combustion process. Simply put, it sucks that bad stuff out and feeds it back to the engine so it can burn it. The engineers designed the PCV system to handle a reasonable amount of blow-by gases. But, if the volume of blow-by is greater than what the PCV system can remove, then the additional gas is pushed back through the vent side of the system, which happens to be in the air cleaner housing. You should also know that oil vapors hitch a ride with the blow-by gases. It is common for carbon deposits to form in the vacuum passages of the PCV system restricting the flow, resulting in the vapors being pushed into the air cleaner housing. That’s one of the reasons PCV valves are serviced/replaced regularly. If the PCV system is operating correctly and you’re still getting oil building-up inside the air cleaner housing, then you likely have internal engine problems. Have the PCV system checked and serviced as needed. If oiling in the air cleaner housing continues, go back to the engine rebuilder. Why? Something wasn’t done right.

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