Could a bad distributor cause gas to show up in my oil?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have gas in the oil of my 1979 Olds Cutlass. Is it possible that a bad
distributor is causing this? -- Greg

RAY: Is it possible that space aliens were responsible for the Iran-Contra
affair? Sure. But it's not very likely.

TOM: It's more likely that the carburetor is letting excess gasoline into the
cylinders, and that some of that unburned gasoline is getting into the oil by
flowing down the cylinder walls.

RAY: Although it's possible that a bad distributor could leave unburned gasoline
in the cylinders -- by providing too weak a spark to burn all of the gas -- it's
far more likely that the problem resides in the carburetor.

TOM: If you're lucky, it could be something simple like a misadjusted choke or
faulty choke pull-off.

RAY: If you're not as lucky, it could be something inside the carburetor like a
bad float, faulty jets or just OCCS (Old, Cruddy Carburetor Syndrome). Any of
these problems would require a carburetor rebuild. And we'd suggest a factory-
rebuilt carburetor.

TOM: And you shouldn't wait, Greg. Because of this problem, your engine has
gasoline where it's supposed to have oil. And gasoline is a lousy lubricant. So
unless you're trying to drive this car into the ground so you'll have an excuse
to get another one, I'd get this fixed as soon as possible.

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