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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys;

Im not finding an answer to this question (i found some threads but none of them seem to conclude). I think i have excessive blowby on my 2008 Ford Focus S Sedan. Its a manual trans, if that matters. Can you read my description below and confirm or deny? Also what should i do about it if its a problem?

The last few oil changes i've done were through a quick Lube chain. (Good quality oil though) and after the oil change the car smells like burning oil for a little while (few weeks) then goes away. Been like this for a while. My last oil change was last week, and when i drove the car today, the oil smell was really strong. Stronger than usual.

So when i parked, i popped the hood to see if i have a failed gasket or something, and i didnt find any drips/leaks/ or anything unusual. So i popped off the oil fill cap and i could get a steady pulse of pressure as the car was running and it was quite loud. Never checked this before, so i dont know if thats normal. Put the cap back on, and its fine.

Then i noticed that the passenger strut tower is caked in oil. I couldnt decide if its motor oil, or if its the undercoating that i get done, so i smelled it, and it smells like burned oil. So i wiped away a line, and i will see if it returns, indicating that there is a spray leak somewhere.



In the meantime, is the blow-by im seeing normal? Maybe i should service the PCV system which i have never done. Any other suggestions welcomed too.
 

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well hot damn I'm having almost the same issue with I guess excessive blow by.I think you should perform a leak down and compression test on all cylinders that's what I'm gonna do on mine and the PSM is hydraulic so you probabaly need a need PSM. Lmk what you come up with and keep in contact with me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had another look today in daylight. I think the pressure felt much worse to me yesterday than today.

I removed the PCV vent hose, and it had some pressure too, but not too bad. Same with oil cap, had some pressure but not as bad as i thought.

I studied the spray pattern of oil a bit. Its only on the passenger side strut tower. If it was spraying from the oil fill cap, it would likely spray 360*. in a flat plane. But the whole strut tower is covered in oil. Curiously the engine is mostly dry, except the alternator has a few splats of dried out oil stains on it.

Im thinking now i might have some oil leak from below. Maybe the Lube monkeys stripped the drain plug, or my filter is loose?

Im thinking oil from below is being flung by the pullies. Would explain why its the passenger side and no where else.
 

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Pull an oil fill cap with the engine running & figure on getting oil all over, normal from pressure pulsations when new so it's hard to tell the difference just from that as it ages.

Clean up the mess & see where it appears again, I'm not sure for your year but on some of the earlier models the P/S return line runs that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes thats exactly my line of thought. I wiped away some of the mess and i will notice when it reappears. So far it hasnt shown anything after about an hour of driving today.

Its too damn cold out, or id wash it all down and trace the leak that way.
 

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What, -20 is too cold to wash the car? ;) This is why mine is caked in dusty salt...

How's the oil level? Staying up in general or are you dumping lots in?

If it were the drain plug, it wouldn't be spraying up because there are no pullies beneath it to catch the oil and toss it up. Even if it's hitting the axle, it wouldn't make it up as far as the shock tower. And plug or filter being loose or cross-threaded would likely cause a fairly major leak, and not just under pressure when it's running. You'd see lots of dripping where it's parked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea -20 is definitely too cold for me.

Still no spray where i wiped away the oily mess on the passenger strut brace. I have only been able to put on 200kms since the oil change, so thats not alot of mileage. But i finally noticed a drip where i part. A nice little puddle of oil in the frozen snow. The oil level is not changing and im not adding any. Its just enough of a leak to be annoying.

I think im gonna take it back to the lube place and tell them to take a look. It might just be a filter issue... In fact, the last time i gave them a filter that i bought like 2 years ago and never used in my glove box. Maybe the seal is damaged or something. That just occured to me.


On top of that, someone smashed into my car last week so the side is all messed up now. Good ole insurance company is taking their sweet ass time to deal with it, (if they deal with it at all).
 

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Are you sure they're not just spilling oil and your smelling it burn off? Even if you clean and wipe the oil off the motor there is still residue that needs to be burned off. Also the oil that your seeing on your strut tower could be oil dripping out of there nozzles that they used to fill the cars up with oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, very sure its not just residue.

I know the residue smell, and it happens after the oil change. But it disappears very quickly. Like a week max. This has been going for a while, and the car has been up to temp several times already.

The reason this is different from before is after you slow down to a stop at a red light, the burning smell keeps getting stronger.

Very sure the spray on the strut tower is not from their equipment. Its a very fine black mist. Like it was sprayed on with an air brush very evenly everywhere.

Its not a spill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not much to update but its starting to get warmer out!

I just got my car back since my last post a few days ago. Someone T-boned my car in the parking lot, and it was stuck at the body shop while the insurance company sat on their thumbs.

$0 deductible and i had a rental car so all was good. I had a 2014 Cruze, and boy was i glad to get back in the focus!

In the 200kms or so that i've put on in that time, i have noticed that the smell is getting weaker. Still no new spray where i have wiped off the excess oil. maybe its just been a stupidly cold winter, and whatever little oil gets on the exhaust from the lube place has taken this long to burn off....


Im still going to hose it down when its warmer out and have a thorough inspection. In the mean time i did check out the valve covver and its totally dry all the way around.



Its been a long ass winter, and i'm thinking about doing the suspension upgrades that i wanted to do to compliment those awesome summer tires i have, but this winter was very rough on my car. It has some dings and the paint is starting to peel.

I love the car, but im thinking i might sell this one and get a lower mileage one with more options to modify. Hmmmmmm

Like i said, long ass winter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Solved!

So just to update this incase someone else runs into the same issue.

After i got my car back, and it got warmer outside, the smell had gotten very very weak, and i more or less forgot about this. I figured it got warm and the oil burned off.

Well last weekend i got another oil change at the lube place, and sure enough, as soon as i leave the place, i get a strong whiff of oil smell while waiting at a stop light. If the car is moving, i couldnt smell it. Luckily the engine bay is still spotless and dry from the last time, so if there was any new spay this time around, i would have seen it.


I get home, pop the hood, and there is the problem. Obvious, Clear and in Plain site!

I have a failed motor mount (passenger side). For whatever reason, it weeps a good chunk of oil when i get an oil change. I guess they are rough with the motor and checking suspension, so at some point they are torquing the engine pretty good, and its enough to disturb the mount. It leaks oil, it gets onto the pullies, which spits the oil everywhere, and some of the oil gets burned off by engine or exhaust heat.

Over time, with my regular driving, the oil disappears and away it goes.

I guess when it first started there was so little oil i couldnt see it, and it would just leak downwards and onto pullies. But no i have a puddle on the top side of the mount. Engine, and valve cover a completely dry.

This explains why oil is spray everywhere, and why i couldnt find a leak on the top side.


The mount looks dead simple to replace, so i'll pick one up and get that done next weekend.
 

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The mount looks dead simple to replace, so i'll pick one up and get that done next weekend.
Really great that you came back to share what it was.[thumb]

That mount (PSM) is easy to replace. Most people here only recommend Ford branded PSM, other aftermarket ones usually fail really fast; not including poly (no oil inside) mounts.

The Ford PSM can be found for about 80-100 USD here in the States from select vendors. Might concider a visit to Ford Focus Forum, Focus ST Forum, Focus RS Forum for inquiries about prices and shippment to Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea, i'll be shopping around to see whats the best price. Since the exchange rate is so bad for us these days, buying in states and shipping is a no go. Worst case, i'll just buy it from the dealer.


Are the other 2 motor mounts also oil filled? Maybe i should check them out while im at it.


Oh, and for the last year, my engine has been "idling rough", and just in the last 8 months or so, i have a vibration in the car at highway speeds. My wheels are balanced, so i bet this is the issue.
 

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Yeah, replacing all 3 is often recommended. The other two are not oil filled; and are also fairly easy to replace at home. I did all 3 at home, quite easy. Replaced 2 of them immediately after buying the car in 2013, before knowing about DO NOT buy the cheapo branded ones. So, 2 out of 3 I did a second time, THEN using Ford ones.

Gotta support the engine during the job, but not when doing the trans "dogbone" mount in the back. Need to swing/pry the engine a little when sliding the dogbone out and new one in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds good. Well if the other 2 arent oil filled, i might just leave them for now if they arent separated. $$$ is kinda tight.

I have an engine crane so i can either hook on top or use a jack below no problem.

I think i might also replace the accessory drive belt at this point, its been in for almost 100, 000 miles, it probably needs a new one. Are the belt tensioners known to go bad?
 

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Tensioner & idler both with the belt at high mileage.
 

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I think i might also replace the accessory drive belt at this point, its been in for almost 100, 000 miles, it probably needs a new one. Are the belt tensioners known to go bad?
Smart move on the belt idea. Many others might ignore it and wait for belt death. Changing it at 100K or before is a good idea. Unsure what to say about the tensioner, but my plans include replacing both the belt and the tensioner very soon. I am at 160K but also unsure if either has ever been replaced; records I got from original owner indicate both are original. Scary to think they are original at this milage & age.
 
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