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Hey guys 2002 GLS here with about 180K miles on the clock. First let me give you some background. The car has burned/lost about half a quart every 5000K miles Ever since I picked it up at 160K. Not bad I guess for such an old engine. It had a leaking oil drain plug and valve cover gasket, which was fixed. This helped the oil consumption a bit, but not a whole bunch. About a year ago I replaced the timing belt and water pump. I was losing coolant recently then realized the seal on the water pump had failed, so did a warranty change out and replaced the water pump as well as the thermostat housing gasket, since I noticed a small leak there too. I've always has an intermittent PO420 code, but it doesn't affect drivability. I'm sure the cat is out. Could have something to do with oil consumption. I'm not convinced its burning oil tho because there's no smoke or smell... could also be because its losing oil so slowly.

The other day I turned the heat on, which I don't use very often since I'm in Houston. No heat. Checked the radiator, it was a bit low. It seems I am still losing coolant very very slowly. The oil has also started disappearing faster. I did a pressure test for maybe 30min, and it would not hold, it went down very slow. I looked at the radiator, hoses and everywhere coolant runs, but could not find any leak. I also pulled each plug to see if there was coolant on the plugs or in the cylinder. No luck. However, when i pulled cyl # 4 wire, the spark plug tube was full of oil. All the tubes has a SLIGHT but of oil, maybe just a residue, but #4 was full of it. When I changed the valve cover gasket I did not change the tube seals. I am doing that today to see if it fixes the problem.

I havent noticed any milky or oil smelling coolant, but the oil has been getting almost sludge-like when I check it. I thought coolant would make the oil milky, not sludgly?? Am I incorrect? If the spark plug tube fills up after I change this seal, is there a lower tube seal like on Japanese cars? If I have to change the head gasket it wont be that big of a deal since its only a 4cyl, just a pain that Im trying to avoid. Is there any surefire way to diagnose a blown head gasket without having to pay a mechanic? Thanks in advance for your help,

The spark plug tube seals fixed the oil leaking into the tube but a hydrocarbon test confirmed I have a blown head gasket... Any good write ups on here?
 

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I already have a login on that site... It's not that great except to get torque values. They leave a lot out. I'd use my Haynes manual first lol

I looked under the valve cover and it looked like I could get all the head bolts out with the cams in place. What do you guys think? Got the gaskets on the way.
 
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