bad head gasket or valve cover gasket

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Year and Model: 95 Volvo 850T5
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bad head gasket or valve cover gasket

Post by chrisjm91 »

So my car has thrown a random misfire code and P1310 code. It has been misfiring occasionally after start up, long starts, and misfiring on stop-and-goes and long term fuel trim is at 25%. I just started delving into everything to find the culprit and this what I found: the base of the plug wires were dry but had evidence of oil. Didn't think much of tjat because I had to replace the PVC system due to it being clogged and so it put oil on the top if the engine from the breather next to the plug wires. So I figured that was from it. But then I pulled the plug and here I am.

I am not sure if this is due to the head gasket or valve cover gasket? I am losing a little bit of oil but not losing any coolant. Can anybody point me in the right direction, head gasket or valve cover gasket to get to the tube gaskets? Also if it helps; I had this engine put in under 2 years ago and im thinking they replaced the valve cover gasket but I dont know about the spark plug tube gaskets. Any advice would GREATLY appreciated, thank you!

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Post by chrisjm91 »

Im having trouble posting the picture. Its telling me its "unable to complete previous operation due to low memory". Ill figure it out in a min...

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Post by chrisjm91 »

Here they are....

Ozark Lee
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Post by Ozark Lee »

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out where you are on this. Are you saying that you have in fact serviced the PCV or not? You also say that you added oil through the breather and I'm trying to figure that one out as well. The oil goes in through the oil cap.

If you have serviced the PCV and the oil is new from after that service was performed then it may be a bad gasket on the oil cap.

Neither a bad head gasket nor a bad seal at the cam cover (there is no valve cover gasket per-se, it is a chemical gasket) would cause oil to pool around the spark plugs. The oil pooling is actually quite common and it is typically due to a clogged PCV or a bad oil cap gasket. I change the cap gasket out on my Volvos at about every 5th or 6th oil change - about once a year.

What kind of spark plugs are those? I have never seen any like them and that may be the root of your problems with misfires. The whiteblock engines are very, very, picky about the spark plug gap and the gap on those spark plugs doesn't appear to be adjustable at all. I once tried a set of Bosch +2 platinums that didn't have an adjustable gap and the car ran like crap until I pulled them out and put in some cheap single electrode Bosch Copper cores and gapped them at 0.028. The old Bosch number was FR7-DC but they changed it a few years back to some 4 digit number, a parts store should be able to cross reference that number though.

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Post by clifford06 »

Greetings. Check all of the black 10mm bolts under the plug cover. I had a leak due to one of these being loose. Clean, start observe for leaks.

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Post by JeffHicks »

The first thing I'd do is replace the spark plugs. I don't know what kind those are, but I've never seen anything like them. Volvos like their OEM plugs.

Regarding the oil... My hope is that it's the oil cap gasket. That would manifest itself in oil being in the plug holes of cylinders 2,3, and 4, more than 1 and 5.

If it's not that, it's possible that the problem is that spark plug gaskets - which are little o-rings that fit between the bottom half and top half of the head. The gaskets are very cheap, but the fix is not.
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Post by rspi »

The cam covers on these cars almost NEVER leak. The main reason I got a fair deal on the car I purchased on the side of the road was because the owner thought the "VALVE COVER" was leaking. It had the wrong oil cap on it and it hasn't leaked a drop of oil since I took care of that.

As for the misfires, like others have noted, properly tune the car up and you'll probably be fine.
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Post by chrisjm91 »

Thanks guys! And no I didnt add oil through the breather tube lol. Ive had problems with my pvc system being clogged and I replaced everything. The oil separator, ptc nipple, vacuum hoses, cleaned the two ports on the engine block till nothing was coming out, which barely any crud came out but I could blow into the ports and hear a bubbling so I knew they were open. The clogged system cause oil to build up around under the plastic cover. To answer about the plugs, they are E3's. I bought them a few years ago when they first came out. I will replace my plugs today or tomorrow and see how that does. Hopefully its drops my fuel usage. Like I said the long-term was at 25%.

Also on another note, I noticed while I was looking over my live data that fuel system 1 was reading closed-fault? And has been like that for a while now. Could this have something to do with it??

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Post by chrisjm91 »

Also I did replace the 710 cap sea and dipstick tubr seal when I replaced the pvc system.

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Post by draser »

Long trim at 25% positive means that ECU is adding fuel so you're running lean, which shows on the plugs. That fuel trim points to an air leak so I'd look for that. I'm reading that there's a "closed loop" fault? Sounds like ECU does not get correct engine temperature info and thinks it's still in open loop and keeps on adding fuel. I'd look at engine temp in your live data, better yet post here what you have. You also should have a lean code and some freeze data. Running lean may cause the misfire you're seeing.
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