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Thread: How can you tell if your piston rings are bad?

  1. #1

    How can you tell if your piston rings are bad?

    I get alot of smoke at higher RPM's. Would this be my piston rings. If so how and where can I test it to find out?
    92 EG Hatch|LS Swap|Clutchmasters Stage 4 Clutch|Golden Eagle Fuel Rail|AEM FPR|Polished Blades|Soon To Be Turbo
    "You have fast, reliable, and cheap...pick two...you can't have all three."

  2. #2
    Registered User Mixelplix's Avatar
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    Do, or have someone do a compression test for you. It's simple to do, if you have the tool.

    That will tell you that either your rings, or valves are bad. Or both.

    Of you're blowing blue smoke at high RPM's, I would assume it's rings.

    -Des!

  3. #3
    yea buy a compression tester. then you have to unscrew each sparkplug, one at a time and insert the compression tester firmly in the plug socket and have someone turn the ignition for you

  4. #4
    WHAT OK YEAH! teg92's Avatar
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    compression or a leak down test
    I want to be a Wal-Mart Mechanic

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by teg92
    compression or a leak down test
    Yes. A compression test won't tell you the whole story. For the problem, you need a leakdown test. If the pressure is leaking past the rings, you will be able to hear it coming out of the block.

  6. #6
    89 CRX si, now with b16! RevengeCRX's Avatar
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    With most 1st gen b16s i believe the piston rings get old by sitting there so damn long. So I would say yes, at high rpms a cloud of smoke indicates piston ring failure.
    89 Honda CRX si
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  7. #7
    Well, I took out all my spark plugs last night, and they have the light brown color to them. Indicating that it is not to rich or too lean. But the Number 1 cylinder has some oil on it. I think it migh be from when it dripped in the bottom of the plug from the head, but would that indicate that my piston rings are messed up in the number 1 cylinder?
    92 EG Hatch|LS Swap|Clutchmasters Stage 4 Clutch|Golden Eagle Fuel Rail|AEM FPR|Polished Blades|Soon To Be Turbo
    "You have fast, reliable, and cheap...pick two...you can't have all three."

  8. #8
    i <3 jdm jdmeg6hatchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Däs Schmoo
    Yes. A compression test won't tell you the whole story. For the problem, you need a leakdown test. If the pressure is leaking past the rings, you will be able to hear it coming out of the block.
    on the ball as usual!

  9. #9
    i <3 jdm jdmeg6hatchy's Avatar
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    if you were to replace them, I would do them all

  10. #10
    WHAT OK YEAH! teg92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedlineBoyzCRX
    would that indicate that my piston rings are messed up in the number 1 cylinder?
    Oil on a spark plug does not mean your piston rings are bad. Do a Leakdown test and that will let you know if your rings are bad
    I want to be a Wal-Mart Mechanic

  11. #11
    (-_-)/'i') DSMtuner's Avatar
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    Someone once told me to do the compression test, then put a SMALL amount of oil in the cylinder, and if the pressure reading jumps significantly, your rings are going. (The oil that isnt normally on top of the piston will seal the rings for the test)
    94 Integra LS - Daily
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSMtuner
    Someone once told me to do the compression test, then put a SMALL amount of oil in the cylinder, and if the pressure reading jumps significantly, your rings are going. (The oil that isnt normally on top of the piston will seal the rings for the test)
    That is a wet compression test.

    There are some exceptions to that rule, though. You have to keep in mind that there are two functions that the rings serve: compression and scraping the oil off the cylinder walls. The bottom rings scrape and the first ring holds the compression, so you might have good compression but are burning a lot of oil and that is due to bad oil control rings, not compression rings, so the compression test will mean nothing to you.

    I had perfect compression on mine, but I was going through a quart a week, so it wasn't the first ring, but rather the 4 underneath it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Däs Schmoo
    That is a wet compression test.

    There are some exceptions to that rule, though. You have to keep in mind that there are two functions that the rings serve: compression and scraping the oil off the cylinder walls. The bottom rings scrape and the first ring holds the compression, so you might have good compression but are burning a lot of oil and that is due to bad oil control rings, not compression rings, so the compression test will mean nothing to you.

    I had perfect compression on mine, but I was going through a quart a week, so it wasn't the first ring, but rather the 4 underneath it.
    Well, I know when I rev up my car smokes, but only on higher revs. And the exhaust smells, like sweet sour smeel. hahaha it burns my nostrols. IDK what that means, but it isnt like adry exhasut liek normal, it is like moist.
    92 EG Hatch|LS Swap|Clutchmasters Stage 4 Clutch|Golden Eagle Fuel Rail|AEM FPR|Polished Blades|Soon To Be Turbo
    "You have fast, reliable, and cheap...pick two...you can't have all three."

  14. #13
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