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The Poster Formerly Known As "Bethlumboy"
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My '03 PT Cruiser GT (2.4 turbo, 4-speed automatic) has had an oil leak for the last couple of days. This has happened before, and my mechanic attributed it to a bad oil filter.

It also has CEL codes P0037 and P0038, bad O2 sensors.

I could not get the car into the shop because of the holiday and I have an appointment for an inspection later in the week, so I have been keeping an eye on the temperature gauge and topping off the oil when the indicator light came on. The light has only come on when decelerating, and it has turned back off once the car was moving. I made the mistake of not checking the dipstick before or after adding oil, relying on the indicator light to tell me when it had enough oil. Engine temperature has remained steady.

Tonight, shortly after putting two quarts of oil in the car, I was driving it onto the highway when I heard a slight ticking sound coming from under the hood in front of the the steering wheel. Before I could react, massive amounts of white smoke began pouring out of the exhaust pipe. The temperature remained normal.

I quickly pulled over, shut off the engine, and evacuated the vehicle. Despite the smoke and ticking sound, the engine never seized and seemed to be running fine.

I checked the dipstick, and the oil level was WELL ABOVE "max."

The car was taken by flatbed to a nearby mechanic. The truck driver indicated a significant amount of oil on the flatbed once my PT was removed after a ten-minute trip. The shop was closing, so they said they would look at it in the morning.

Does anyone have any insights as to what I can expect when the mechanic calls me in the morning?
 

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Super Moderator
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Maybe what was leaking engine oil (the filter?) let go completely and sprayed oil onto the hot exhaust? What brand oil filter do you use? Is it being overtightened? Stuck pressure relief valve?
The O2 heater failure codes, especially upstream and downstream together at the same time make me think that it isn't the O2 sensors themselves. It would be very unusual for both heaters to fail at once.
 

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Super Moderator
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31,982 Posts
As mentioned, the warning light does NOT indicate oil level, but rather near-zero oil pressure, which means if you were driving, you almost certainly scored bearings and caused significant damage to the engine. NEVER drive at all with the oil pressure warning light on.
 

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As bob mentioned, low oil pressure caused by a bad filter bad pump or bad crankshaft and bearings. The puddle on the deck is most likely from a hole in the pan. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but thats what i have seen in the past. Good luck.
 
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