I have a funny yet sad story. Some people shouldn’t own cars!
I recently bought two 1994 Geo Metro project cars. Both have identical engines (1.0L 3 cylinder) and transmissions (5 speed manual). One car is a complete beater but the engine runs well. The other is in good shape overall but was bought with a barely running engine. I could tell the oil hadn’t been changed regularly when looking at the car and the first thing I did when I got home was change the oil in both engines. The old oil wasn’t great in either but the one engine was horrible and there was sludgy goop in the oil!
I was hoping the engine had jumped time or something but it appears it has a burned exhaust valve based on my testing. One cylinder has almost zero compression while the others are fine. My original plan was to fix both cars and sell the beater while keeping the better one as a gas mileage car. My plans have changed and I am now going to strip any good useable parts off the beater and scrap the rest. The engine from the both cars have been pulled and I am going to put the good engine from the beater into the better car after replacing some seals, gaskets, timing belt, water pump, etc. as well as some minor rust in the engine bay of the good car (currently waiting on parts). I am going to keep the bad engine as a potentially rebuildable core and might do most of the work myself at my own pace.
I later bumped into the previous owner of the car before the guy I bought it from. He is a neighbor of the guy who sold it to me and he was talking about how oil changes are a huge scam and all you ever need to do is just add oil to keep it topped off. He says he has literally gone 100k without an oil change before! Note to self: never buy a car from this guy! He says that his cars run great until he gets rid of them. All except for this one which went 20-30k before giving it up. He told me the car had a brand new clutch and this looked to be true once I pulled everything apart. The flywheel had been recently turned and the pressure plate looked like new with no rust, etc. The clutch disc was already about half worn down so I guess someone wasn’t driving it right or something was out of adjustment. Anyway, I also have a new friction disc on order.
I have been posting on Geo Metro forums about this project and everyone says these are solid engines but not forgiving to poor maintenance. The oil change is especially important to the valves and lifters. The lifters get clogged with gunk and cannot properly bleed off pressure when the valves are to be closed. This results in the valves being ever so slightly open during combustion, allowing hot gasses to seep past and erode the valves, mainly the exhaust valves.
Anyway, I thought this was an interesting story that many here would be entertained by in a sick sort of way.