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Old 07-21-2019, 09:41 PM   #1
seansaturn
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Devil Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

Saturn Vue 3.5L 2007 185k miles

Seem to be having a string of bad luck with cars lately, only 2 days from vacation and it's one thing after another!

I was driving uphill with AC on, it wasnt Colorado or anything crazy, but I presume it put too much strain on the engine. The Engine Coolant Temp light came on, then almost immediately, the temp guage sky rocketed. I pulled over and turned the car off.

Under the hood, there was oil over the battery, fuse box, and a little on the throttle body (maybe a quarter liter total, maybe little less, but enough to make you panic). I examined all the hoses and there was no visible leakage. I looked around the engine, nothing there either. I had no idea where this oil came from, but there is one hose with had a plastic white piece shoved it in the end. Its connected to a little notch on the side of the fuse box. I suspected from there? Breather hose maybe? (Will post pic soon)

I assume there was too much pressure in the crankcase and the oil erupted. After digging around online, I could only find a thread about problems with the PCV lines in freezing conditions, but nothing else. It's over 100F here.

I turned the AC off and put the heaters on full, the engine light went out after 5mins. Drove it 200 miles back home at 65mph with no problems (other than boiling my beans!).

Has anybody any experience with this issue? Stuck closed PCV? clogged tube somewhere? What is that mysterious line connected to the side of the fuse box?

I will post pictures up to compliment this post a little later.

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Old 07-26-2019, 05:36 PM   #2
Vue6
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

...That hose you are talking about is the breather for the trans. Questions are , when was the last time a tune up was done ,water pump, plugs, etc. pcv valve is in front on left side , facing motor,on the head, it is bolted in with one bolt and sealed with an o ring..

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Old 08-30-2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

Thanks for the response. I have just returned from a long vacation. So I can look into this now

I'm not sure where this oil came from then, it definitely wasn't trans fluid. It was all around the fuse box area! Any ideas?

Plugs - 6 months ago
Thermostat - 2 months ago
Water pump - no idea! I don't have any history on the vehicle. The coolant is very clean though and the engine operating temperature never goes over halfway, other than this incident. No white sludge/goo under the oil cap. I don't think oil and coolant is mixing.

I could give it an oil change and new oil filter as i have no history, but it doesnt look particularly dark... but i didnt want to throw money at it willy nilly.

There are no visible leaks (i havent foamed the engine or anything, but nothing has dropped on the driveway or where ive parked), even after a month away and some local driving after this incident.

I ordered a PCV as it was very cheap and will replace that... based on some research online... but kinda shooting in the dark here so any advice is welcome.

Last edited by seansaturn; 08-30-2019 at 09:33 AM..

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Old 08-30-2019, 05:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

...Hmmm, possibly check the heads ,on the ends/sides , maybe cam seals? On that side of motor? not too much that leaks oil, valvecover gaskets also? Just a thought , hopefully others will chime in, DC

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Old 08-31-2019, 10:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

I have no idea why an oil explosion event would've occurred on your VUE, I just have a suggestion for a possible online search. If you've not done so already it might be worth looking into websites for the Honda Pilot or Acura MDX as they use the same engine. With a little luck...

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Old 08-31-2019, 11:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

Thanks for updates, any more info welcome!

I checked all the seals where I thought it might have stemmed from, but no luck. I was almost certain it came from that breather hose until I found out it was for the trans.

Is there a breather hose around which could spew oil? Maybe it's been positioned in the incorrect place?

Oil cap was solid and oil dip stick was secure, so not there either.

Maybe I can try and think about it another way.... What would cause the temperature gauge sky rocket? Given the information I have provided?

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Old 08-31-2019, 10:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

Was there any greenish yellow dye from this oil?

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Old 09-01-2019, 02:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

Not really no. Just black. No odor. Just seemed like oil to me!

AC still works fine, like it should. Pressure as it was before.

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Old 09-15-2019, 01:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

I think I will have to wait this one out and see if it happens again I will update if I figure anything out.

I made a video replacing the PCV value, if that will help anybody, you can see the video here: https://youtu.be/8Fp2xPZKca0

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Old 09-20-2019, 07:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil Explosion under hood with overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by seansaturn View Post
Plugs - 6 months ago
Thermostat - 2 months ago
Water pump - no idea! I don't have any history on the vehicle.
If you don't know when the water pump was changed you don't know when the timing belt was changed. And with 185,000 miles you're driving a ticking time bomb.

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