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Posted: 7/29/2005 5:36:46 PM EDT
Just went to pick up my GFs car that was in the body shop due to some front end damage from a parking lot fender bender.

I was driving behind her, and as soon as she pulled out of the parking lot I noticed that her car was burning oil pretty good. I stopped her as soon as I could, and since the place is closed for the weekend (they left the keys in the car for her to pick it up) we just left it sit where it was.

It was not burning any oil as of last week, I changed to oil, and the acessory drive belt, and the car was not burning oil at all when I was letting it warm up for the oil change. At the same time, I dont know what they would have done to it to cause it to burn oil all of a sudden.

We will be going in first thing monday morning to talk to them.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 4:41:44 AM EDT
Only six views, and no advise?
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 4:49:25 AM EDT
What kind of car/engine? How many miles? How long was it at the shop? Did you record the mileage when you dropped it off?
Link Posted: 7/30/2005 4:51:49 AM EDT
Advise and opinion are 2 different things.

Here's my opinion. Unless you suspect them of taking the car out for a smokin' joy ride, the odds are that thay did nothing to cause the smoking.

There are 2 possibilities.

The Fender Bender caused somthing to cut loose and cause the smoking

or, the most likely and logical answer....

Whatever the problem is, just decided show itself at the exact time you picked the car up. Bad timing.

If the shop is reputable, then I would not go in there and start accusing someone of screwing up the car. If you do it right, you can actually get them to help you find a repair shop that they get a substantial discount from.

Link Posted: 7/30/2005 9:55:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:
What kind of car/engine? How many miles? How long was it at the shop? Did you record the mileage when you dropped it off?

99' saturn sl1 about 86K. It was there for about a week. I am not sure if she recorded the milage when she dropped it off. That was one of the first things I though of myself.

I just thoug it was a little odd that I worked on it less than a week before she took it in, with no signs of burning oil, and now it is smoking to beat hell.
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 1:46:28 AM EDT
With that mileage I would suspect that the accident caused more damage than the body shop origionaly found.
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 3:56:48 AM EDT
I've work in a bodyshop for 31 years, never heard anything like this.
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 4:52:34 AM EDT
I have never worked on a saturn, but my guess is hidden damage to the engine as a result of the collision.

I have seen similar, seemingly minor accidents do drive train damage. The most common one I saw was to full sized Cherokee and Wagoneers with quadratrac, these vehicles would tqake a minor hit to the front end, and the body repair would be cheap and quick to fix. But, if the body shop wasn't familiar with the drive train, they would miss the cracked transmission case. The drivetrain repair would add another $1800 to the repair bill, usually after the customer got the car back.

I would suspect something like this on the saturn. They are light weight cars, and the transverse engines don't have much crush room around them. Perhaps you could contact a dealership bodyshop that is used to this vehicle and see if there is characteristic engine damage usually found in a collision like yours.
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 5:12:29 AM EDT
I would guess that the valve guides are worn out. With the car just sitting for a week not running to keep the oil burned off, when you drove it off it was burning off this leaked oil. A little bit of oil makes a lot of smoke in the exhaust.Most inline engines hold quite a bit of oil on top of the cylinder head and if the valve guides are worn this can slowly migrate down the valve stem and into the cylinder.

I would check the oil level and then crank the car and run it at about 2500rpm for several minutes. If it clears up don't worry about it but you should probably change the plugs(they will have carbonized oil on them and the engine may develop a miss).

I would be very surprised to find this was the result of the wreck unless radiator damage occurred and the car was driven hot.

Link Posted: 7/31/2005 3:50:19 PM EDT
I appreciate all of the advise on this thread. I had come to the same conclustion as most of you, but I wanted to get some feed back. It is odd that it happend all at once, but I will get to the bottom of it and let you know what turns up.
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