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Well, this was odd

Yesterday, we had an odd experience with my wife’s 2019 Buick Encore. We’ve had it a little over a month, and it has fewer than 800 miles on the odometer. Here’s what happened:

Temperature was around 20 degrees F. We had just started out from home when my wife noticed excessive smoke/vapor from the exhaust. No CEL illuminated, gauges read normal values. We pulled over and the engine sputtered and stalled. I checked the fluid. Coolant tank full. When I pulled on the oil dipstick, it popped out with a strong whoosh. The crankcase was clearly pressurized. The oil level was full. I then opened the oil filler cap and found some ice. After letting it sit for a few minutes, we returned home, about a mile away, and I re-checked the dip stick. No pressure this time. The car then idled smoothly with no hint of stalling. We then proceeded to go on our merry way to some wineries.

Other pertinent facts: we are in upstate NY (rather cold since we got the car), and my wife drives pretty much only short trips, 15 minutes or less.

My hypothesis: moisture in the oil, not boiled off due to her driving pattern, had frozen in the PCV system somewhere, causing the problem.

Does this sound plausible.

Extremely plausible.

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Hey!

It’s a GM.

Anything is possible.

Tester

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This is a known problem with my 2013 Equinox with the 2.4 4 cyl. The PCV system is built into the valve cover with no replaceable PCV valve. Under the conditions you’ve described the system clogs up with ice, builds up crankcase pressure and can blow out the rear engine seal. I suggest some longer drives to clear out the moisture in the engine. GM engineering at its finest.

As a precaution, I replaced the oil filler cap with the vented oil cap mentioned in the TSB, AC Delco FC219 (part no. 12589430).

Good luck,

Ed B.

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Check it out. This applies to my Silverado (saw it a few years back). Seems like it would apply to other cars also!

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2014/SB-10069485-0335.pdf

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