Earlier in the year, our friend Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained taught us all about engine blow-by. Today we're getting to see what it looks like with a real world example. A 2016 Chevrolet Malibu with the turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder and just under 20,000 miles on its odometer is having engine problems. The mechanic uses this car as an opportunity to show us what blow-by looks like, and it isn't pretty.
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There's a lot of huffing and puffing, and probably crying for the owner of the Malibu. According to the video description, the number one cylinder has failed and done so quite prematurely given the low mileage on the car. That's allowing air and fuel to head down into the crankcase or oil to head up out through the cylinder. In the video, you can see it's the oil that is evacuating the engine. It's puffing out of the oil cap and up out through the dipstick tube.
Our friendly mechanic goes on to say that he's seeing a lot of this. GM engines are eating pistons on the smaller engines, and it's resulting in some unhappy cars and customers. We'll have to do some more digging to find out more about that, but for now "enjoy" this up close look at blow-by as it's happening.