Blue smoke coming out of exhaust on startup
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    1. #1
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      Blue smoke coming out of exhaust on startup

      If my car's engine is off for at least 6-7 hours I get this strange puff of blue-ish smoke when I sart the engine. It goes away after a few seconds, although not without having caused an intense cloud of smoke that is frankly quite embarrassing..

      This issue started after I got an oil change in December 2009. During the same visit to my mechanic (who specializes in Porsche) they changed my air-oil separator as ''preventative maintenance''...

      Last month I let my mechanic have a look at my car for a few weeks (was on vacation) to try and figure out exactly why smoke was coming out of the exhaust on startup. The only thing he did was replace the air-oil separator but it has not solved the problem as today my car puffed a bit of smoke after I left work. (car was sitting for 10 hours)

      I read somewhere that sometimes over-filling an engine with oil can cause this problem.

      Do you think my mechanic messed up my oil change or is it simply bad luck? It sure isn't the air-oil separator because that has been changed twice in less than a year.

      thanks
      Last edited by Markov79; 08-19-2010 at 10:26 PM.

    2. #2
      Make/model/engine/ect..?
      Of course it's company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo... always use the indefinite article a dildo, never your dildo.

    3. #3
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      2006 Boxster S, 50K miles

    4. #4
      Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Tquattro View Post
      Make/model/engine/ect..?
      regardless....I'd say valve guides or valve stem seals.
      Larry

      Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    5. #5
      edit: two posts while i was typing that short sentence? damn you, quick typers of TCL!
      Last edited by archangel06; 08-19-2010 at 06:49 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by dieselraver View Post
      1. is my post informative?
      2. am I contributing to the topic at hand?
      3. will my post offend anyone?
      if you can answer those questions go right ahead and post away.

    6. #6
      Does the smoke only come out on startup and not again during driving? Depending on the vehicle and mileage, it could be a start of a really slow leak to a seal, allowing oil to seep into the combustion chamber. If it's only on startup, check the oil level (duh!) to see if it's overfilled. If not, keep a tap on the rate of oil consumption and your response will vary depending on the rate of burn-off.

      Vehicle model/year/mileage would be fantastic whenever trouble-shooting since some vehicles are prone to certain issues and are thus more easily diagnosed.

    7. #7
      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      regardless....I'd say valve guides or valve stem seals.
      This. Valve seals/guides are one of the top things to look for when smoking.

    8. #8
      Member Vrucizzy's Avatar
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      So my guess is that it is most likely a flat 4 or 6 engine if it's a Porsche. That may make my answer useless. If not it sounds like possibly bad valve stem seals. Letting oil trickle past while shut down only to burn off right at startup and then be good again.

    9. #9
      Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by vwgtiIII View Post
      This. Valve seals/guides are one of the top things to look for when smoking.
      especially on a 911 motor....H6's are notorious for this.
      Larry

      Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    10. #10
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      The smoke ONLY comes out when I startup my car AND it was sitting for at least 6-7 hours.

      If smoke comes out of the exhaust, then I drive around a bit and turn it off and turn it back on in 1-2 hours, there will never be any smoke on startup.

      I read somewhere that overfilling could be an issue but it's hard for me to check because I have a stupid electronic oil indicator on my dash. It simply mentions that the oil level is at ''full'' with all the bars being dark.

      Perhaps I could ask my mechanic to drain just a little bit of oil to see if the problem persists?

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Markov79 View Post
      The smoke ONLY comes out when I startup my car AND it was sitting for at least 6-7 hours.

      If smoke comes out of the exhaust, then I drive around a bit and turn it off and turn it back on in 1-2 hours, there will never be any smoke on startup.

      I read somewhere that overfilling could be an issue but it's hard for me to check because I have a stupid electronic oil indicator on my dash. It simply mentions that the oil level is at ''full'' with all the bars being dark.

      Perhaps I could ask my mechanic to drain just a little bit of oil to see if the problem persists?
      It doesn't have a dip stick on the engine itself?

    12. #12
      Senior Member PowerDubs's Avatar
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      *Any* mechanic should know immediately what causes this on ANY car. If some guy claimed to be a Porsche specialist and replaced other parts... I would ask for a refund on said repair and NEVER go there again.

      Overfilling has nothing to do with it. It is valve seals.
      -Josh
      06 Phaeton 4-seater 6.0 W12 | 04 VW R32 | 03 Gti 24v VR6 | 12 Kia Soul 1.6 stick
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    13. #13
      Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by PowerDubs View Post
      *Any* mechanic should know immediately what causes this on ANY car. If some guy claimed to be a Porsche specialist and replaced other parts... I would ask for a refund on said repair and NEVER go there again.

      Overfilling has nothing to do with it. It is valve seals.

      agreed

      trust me ....I was a factory trained porsche tech in a previous life....I've rebuilt dozens of these motors.....have your Tech perform a leakdown test to verify, but I stand by my diagnosis.

      good luck.
      Larry

      Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    14. #14
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      If the problem is valve seals, why have I only seen this issue after my mechanic did an oil change?

    15. #15
      Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Markov79 View Post
      If the problem is valve seals, why have I only seen this issue after my mechanic did an oil change?
      did you switch from dino oil to synthetic? did you change oil weights?
      Last edited by .LSinLV.; 08-19-2010 at 07:03 PM. Reason: added more questions
      Larry

      Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      did you switch from dino oil to synthetic? did you change oil weights?
      Common problems people do not think about when changing. I have been leaking a little since i switched to synthetic a few years ago. But whats a qt every 4-5000 miles?

    17. #17
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      Actually this was my first oil change as I bought the car from a used car dealership and I believe the seller told me the oil he uses wasn't 100% synthetic.

      When I discovered this I immediately went to my mechanic to get the oil changed and I recall the tech guy telling me that the old oil was very dirty and not the greatest...

      So to answer your question, yes, the new oil used in the change was completely different than the old one. It was better quality though.

      But my car never puffed oil on startup before the oil change.

      Why would changing oil cause this problem though?

      So if the issue stems from the oil change do I still need to do a leakdown test to check my valve seals?
      Last edited by Markov79; 08-19-2010 at 07:08 PM.

    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Markov79 View Post
      So to answer your question, yes.

      But my car never puffed oil on startup before the oil change.
      What oil are you running now? Brand/weight?

      Syn oil will bypass seals easier then dino. same with a thinner oil.

    19. #19
      Been working for Porsche for 3 years and have never done valve seals for that complaint.

      It usually ends up being something to do with the oil seperator which is a $100 dollar part. Common knowledge is valve seals yes but in your case as it only does it after a long period of sitting then i would say take it to the dealer and have them diagnose it.

      Everything said in this thread is speculation until it get properly checked.
      Last edited by WannabeVWguy; 08-19-2010 at 07:12 PM.

    20. #20
      Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Markov79 View Post
      Actually this was my first oil change as I bought the car from a used car dealership and I believe the seller told me the oil he uses wasn't 100% synthetic.

      When I discovered this I immediately went to my mechanic to get the oil changed and I recall the tech guy telling me that the old oil was very dirty and not the greatest...

      So to answer your question, yes.

      But my car never puffed oil on startup before the oil change.
      OK...dino oil is not molecularity homogeneous like synthetic oils are....I have seen this with my own eyes, and even on my wife's 968....changing from a dino oil to a synth caused leaks.....now did it cause leaks, NO.

      the molecular size issue caused the issue of leaks.....think of it this way, some of the larger molecules "plug" the areas that might leak (dino oil), where a synth oil would leak, sue to a smaller molecular size/homogeneous sizing.

      try changing oil to a dino oil, maybe one of a higher viscosity to see if this stops the smoking.

      I hope I explained this....because it's kind of goofy, but true.
      Larry

      Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    21. #21
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by IHateSpeedBumps View Post
      What oil are you running now? Brand/weight?

      Syn oil will bypass seals easier then dino. same with a thinner oil.


      Ok thanks. I guess I will have to check my valve stem seals.

      If I have to change them how long would it take?

    22. #22
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by WannabeVWguy View Post
      Been working for Porsche for 3 years and have never done valve seals for that complaint.

      It usually ends up being something to do with the oil seperator which is a $100 dollar part. Common knowledge is valve seals yes but in your case as it only does it after a long period of sitting then i would say take it to the dealer and have them diagnose it.

      Everything said in this thread is speculation until it get properly checked.
      My air-oil separator is BRAND NEW. It was replaced this week, for the second time in less than a year.

      I wish it was as simple as that...

    23. #23
      Member under the radar's Avatar
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      i really have nothing to add. everyone has pretty much been right on in this thread. you could try switching back to dino or a blend or a heavier weight oil to see if that takes care if the problem. if the problem is getting worse look for small puffs of blue smoke during up shifts while accelerating hard.
      Quote Originally Posted by spoon! View Post
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    24. #24
      Moderator Harv's Avatar
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      Get a leak down test.
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    25. #25
      Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Markov79 View Post
      My air-oil separator is BRAND NEW. It was replaced this week, for the second time in less than a year.

      I wish it was as simple as that...
      again, performing a leakdown test will tell you for sure, but I still belive you have issues with the valve seals.

      try changing back to dino oil in a heavier wieght and if that solves your issue....fine....no biggie, you bought youself time to save up for a vavle seal job or sell the car knowing you will need to do this work in the future.
      Larry

      Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    26. #26
      My old 20k mile Boxster would (and continues to do so, according to the new 'owner') puff out a bug-bomb sized cloud for a second or two after sitting for several days, which from what I researched, is pretty normal on an M96. Sitting for a day is another story though.

      Does your oil gauge on the dash not have graduated markings indicating the fill level? All bars lit on the 986 is technically overfilled by a touch... not sure about 987s.

      Just because the AOS is new doesn't mean that it's not leaking.

    27. #27
      Senior Member PowerDubs's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Markov79 View Post
      the new oil used in the change was completely different than the old one. It was better quality though.



      Another thing to mention that you may not know-

      Higher quality oils can contain more/better detergents which can break down gunk deposits that may have been masking a worn/faulty seal.

      It is not uncommon for example for someone to switch to redline motor oil and have the next oil change look really dirty. Nothing is wrong, it is just cleaning out the engine.

      Same reason some people will do an engine flush and develop a leak. Gunk blocks 'holes'.
      -Josh
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    28. #28
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      My old 20k mile Boxster would (and continues to do so, according to the new 'owner') puff out a bug-bomb sized cloud for a second or two after sitting for several days, which from what I researched, is pretty normal on an M96. Sitting for a day is another story though.

      Does your oil gauge on the dash not have graduated markings indicating the fill level? All bars lit on the 986 is technically overfilled by a touch... not sure about 987s.

      Just because the AOS is new doesn't mean that it's not leaking.
      Yes all the oil indicator bars a lit up. I will ask my mechanic to drain a little oil and then if the problem persists I will do a leakdown test.

      thank you for your advice

    29. #29
      A leak down test is not going to tell you **** about the condition of valve seals. It will tell you about the condition of the rings and valves.

      if the rings were shot it would start smoking all the time and have an assload of blow by.

      The engine is either over filled with oil, wrong weight of oil or the valve seals are shot.

    30. #30
      Member Hawk's Avatar
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      If it ONLY happens on start up. And it happens occasionally it's PERFECTLY NORMAL.

      Go on any Porsche Board, Rennlist, Planet 9 etc and you'll quickly learn this is a characteristic of flat-6 engines. Sometimes a little oil gets burned off at start up in a blueish white haze.

      Google it.

      Many, many more threads like this one....

      Planet-9
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    31. #31
      Member patrickvr6's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by PowerDubs View Post
      *Any* mechanic should know immediately what causes this on ANY car. If some guy claimed to be a Porsche specialist and replaced other parts... I would ask for a refund on said repair and NEVER go there again.

      Overfilling has nothing to do with it. It is valve seals.
      I wouldn't be so quick to tear into a 50k Boxster to replace the valve seals. The Air\Oil separator (the OP mistakenly referred to it as and Air\Fuel separator) is a common issue on these cars. If you run for some time with a bad one the upper intake will get coated with oil and the symptoms car persist even after it is fixed. Even if you have had it replaced in the past I would have someone look at the Air\Oil separator again.

      http://sites.google.com/site/mikefoc...torreplacement
      Last edited by patrickvr6; 08-19-2010 at 09:14 PM.
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    32. #32
      My GT3 does this and always has. Every one I know with GT3s experience the same issue. I understand they're different engines, but the explanation I received from someone I trust wholeheartedly with respect to piston rings (because that's his engineering discipline and trade) said that Porsche's boxer engines, it is not uncommon if some of the gaps in certain cylinders are oriented near the 6 o'clock position, oil can seep past while the engine is at rest and enter the combustion chamber. Only the left bank of my engine does this.

    33. #33
      Member Hawk's Avatar
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      Google is your friend:

      Porsche and Blue/White Smoke
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    34. #34
      Member Markov79's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Santini View Post
      If it ONLY happens on start up. And it happens occasionally it's PERFECTLY NORMAL.

      Go on any Porsche Board, Rennlist, Planet 9 etc and you'll quickly learn this is a characteristic of flat-6 engines. Sometimes a little oil gets burned off at start up in a blueish white haze.

      Google it.

      Many, many more threads like this one....

      Planet-9
      Yes it only happens on start ups and only occasionally but what bothers me is it only started happening after an oil change.

      I will ask my mechanic which oil he used and to check if it was overfilled...

    35. #35
      Yes, from what I've read (and what just makes sense) is that the cause of smoking at startup is oil seepage past the rings, which is normal. What seems to be abnormal is that it only takes 6-7 hours for this to happen.

      Anywho, here's a shot of a properly full electronic dipstick in my old 986 (man, looking through photos almost makes me have sellers remorse):


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