A very difficult problem

Hi all, Last summer my Micra (1L F reg) started to play up wouldn't idle as soon as it warmed up but thats a fairly common problem it seams. A few weeks after the idling problems the car lost all power completely so you could have the engine at max revs then ease the clutch in as slowly a possible and it would stall. This reduced as i drove on until the car worked fine again but then the oil warning light came on so i poured a liter or so of oil and again the car had no power drove on and power came back oil light went on so pour another Liter of oil in and same happened. The funny thing is the car drank 3 liters of oil in the space of 1 hour driving without dropping any on the floor or puffing any smoke out the back. I towed it to the garage where they didn't know and thought it would cost more than the car was worth to fix. (Oh it had had its mot a week before this and i had bort 2 new tyres new brakes some wielding and other bits to pass).

I then thought i would give it a go fixing it so removed the engine and dismantled it completely then rebuilt it replacing all seals and gaskets as i went. While Cleaning the bores they had a funny cross hatch markings that re-bored engines have (at 108 miles it wont be from when it was new) but i forgot to check the piston rings (big mistake) so the other week i finish the rebuilding and put the engine back in ran it and it wouldn't idle and is smoking a lot. Run it for about an hour and it starts to idle but still smokes huge amount. I think that it might be the piston rings that i didn't check but what was interesting is that the the rocker cover is pumping out gases in time with the engine stokes so i think it might be the valve stem steals but i replaced all of them. One of the tappets needs tightening down i can hear but i cant believe that would course all that smoke. The fuel its taking in is black ish but I wouldn't expect that to produce all that smoke either.

What do you reckon I should do next?

Thank you and sorry for poor spelling :grinning:


My name is Scott
Site Supporter
Try a compression test and measure the results. Then do it again but pour a little bit of oil into the cylinder and if the compression increases then its a piston ring.


Buy & Sell Member
If your valve clearances are not right then it will cause problems. If one is too tight, the valve won't shut properly and when the piston starts to come up it will push the air in the cyclinder out through the gap. The pcv system is supposed to help vent out pressure build ups in the head and other places but it can only deal with so much. Get your valve clearances set up before doing any more testing.