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Is my engine blown?

I bought my car and 1 week later the check oil light came on. I checked and the oil was black. Before I bought it, the oil was as if just right out of the bottle. I topped the oil off. Again same thing - oil light on - checked, oil black - topped off. Had an oil change thinking this might help. 1 week later same thing. I began putting in oil stop leak - suppossed to seal rings, etc. Slowed down problem, now putting in oil about once a month. My back bumper is black right above my dual exhausts. What do I need to do to check if my engine is blown? Oh yes! It smokes (white) often. I love my 98 Lincoln C. Has all the toys I like and gets 26mpg when I take it 600 miles to Arkansas.

Sounds like the former owner NEVER changed the oil…Good Luck! If you made it 600 miles to Arkansas, the engine is not blown…yet…

A blown engine does not go 600 miles. Do a quick check to see if your PCV valve is plugged. May well be more than that, but its cheap and quick so get it out of the way. Does the oil when it’s black have a strong gas smell and look runny? White smoke can point at head gasket problem and water going into cylinders. How is the coolant level holding up? Ever any black smoke bursts from the exhaust? Any blue clouds? Can you do a compression test on each cylinder? Could be bad valve(s) and/or rings. If your getting 26mpg and taking 600 mile trips, then this babe still has a good chance (if we can nail down this rapid deterioration of oil.

Need a Horse - greetings! Suggestions much appreciated. Thanks! I have printed your response and will get to checking on these things immediately. I will let you know how it goes.

Angeltone. Just to reiterate. Your 26 mpg is amazing for this car and tells me there is alot going right. I’d be very satisfied with 20 mpg. The black oil in and of itself can be normal for a big engine with high miles and, it can be nothing to worry about for smaller engines alot newer than yours. Nonetheless, its worth the time and money to have some tests run and get to a point where you know what’s going on.

Angel One, While You’re Poking Around Under The Hood Be Sure And Check The Coolant Level. Be Careful. Don’t Work On A Hot Engine. Do This When It’s Cool.

Regarding that “Oh yes! It smokes (white) often.” . . .
Make sure the coolant is full in the radiator (if this car is equipped with a radiator cap) and at the “Full Cold” mark in the coolant resevoir.


Need A Horse read my mind. Start with a cmpression test, chacking for leakdown (the ability of the cylinders to hold pressure) while you’re there.

Also, as contrary to logic as this sounds, if the compression looks okay you can try some oil daditive to degum the lubrication system. Like seafoam perhaps. Follow the directions on the bottle to the letter. It is possible that the oil rings are gummed up and not properly wiping downn the walls.

Like others, the white smoke concerned me. It is possible, even likely fom these symptoms, that you have a blown headgasket. The leakdown test will tell you this.

the same mountainbike, greetings! Thanks for the suggestions. Not being a mechanic, what is seafoam or to be more exact what is a brand name for this product?


Seafoam is a brand name of a very good crankcase/fuel system cleaner.
You can find it at Auto Zone and other major parts retailers.