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    Thread: Can't stop smoking! (blue exhaust smoke)

    1. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      02-28-2011 03:16 PM #1
      Ok, I've asked before, and need some more opinions. When I bought my car, after long periods of idle, I'd notice it'd smoke when you hit the gas. Didn't seem like a big issue and actually forgot about it. Last summer I put a 3" catless dp on, and notice after about 1min of idling, sometimes less, it'd start smoking, and hitting the throttle would cause big plumes of smoke. Then it started to do it in the amount of time just at stop lights and stop signs. Then it was pretty much every time I'd accelerate. The intercooler would fill up with oil, probably about a cup or two of oil every oil change. So this is what I did. Thinking it's probably the turbo, but thought I'd start with simple things first.

      First I ditched the PCV system and installed a catch can... didn't help with smoking, so it's not the PCV valve.

      Winter hit and the smoking seemed to go away (probably mostly just blending in with typical winter exhaust vapor). but it did seem to stop consuming as much oil as it did. Then it started up again.

      Earlier this month I swapped turbos, and it seemed to help a lot, but I still notice after idling for a few minutes, it'll put out a significant quantity of smoke. Now, I drained the intercooler, but didn't really "clean" it out. So parts of me says it's just that, but other parts say I'm kidding myself and there's more problems.

      Can anyone else give me ideas? Smokes after periods of idle. Doesn't smoke on cold start-up, but will smoke a bit if started after only a short period of being off. Turbo new, PCV system redone. That's about all I can say right now.
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    2. Member jeffs789's Avatar
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      02-28-2011 07:16 PM #2
      turbo might be leaking oil directly into the exhaust causing the smoke. If so itll smoke really bad at idle and go away when you rev it up.

      it might also be your valve stem seals.
      owning a VW is like having a hot girlfriend with a mental disorder

    3. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      02-28-2011 07:17 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by jeffs789 View Post
      turbo might be leaking oil directly into the exhaust causing the smoke. If so itll smoke really bad at idle and go away when you rev it up.

      it might also be your valve stem seals.
      Turbo is new.

      I did notice a little kink in my return line, I'm gonna try replacing that and see what happens.
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    4. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-01-2011 10:48 AM #4
      This is "comforting" to me, lol
      http://www.rx7club.com/showthread.php?t=727476

      I know it's from an rx7 forum, but it's about turbos in general, and I'm thinking that's what is going on with mine.
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    5. Member elliott18t's Avatar
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      03-01-2011 02:32 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by jeffs789 View Post
      turbo might be leaking oil directly into the exhaust causing the smoke. If so itll smoke really bad at idle and go away when you rev it up.

      it might also be your valve stem seals.
      I had this problem and was hoping it wasn't the VSS... Yet the fact that i can pour oil out of my old turbo and I get no smoke now, leads me to think its more likely the turbo .


      does it look like there is some fresh oil on the turbo driping? run fine but just have the blue smoke?

      it used to be only after long idles for me too, then not long ago it just started dumping oil out the exhaust

      i don't think there is a real good way to test which it is, but im going to put my bets on bad turbo seals.

    6. 03-01-2011 03:12 PM #6
      I have the exact same problem. Haven't really dug into it yet but I checked my intercooler and charge lines which were bone dry. Very curious to see what you find.

    7. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-01-2011 04:40 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by elliott18t View Post
      I had this problem and was hoping it wasn't the VSS... Yet the fact that i can pour oil out of my old turbo and I get no smoke now, leads me to think its more likely the turbo .


      does it look like there is some fresh oil on the turbo driping? run fine but just have the blue smoke?

      it used to be only after long idles for me too, then not long ago it just started dumping oil out the exhaust

      i don't think there is a real good way to test which it is, but im going to put my bets on bad turbo seals.
      Once again, turbo is not even a month old. Since I had oil in the intercooler, it must not be VSS or Rings because it wouldn't be going to the intercooler, it'd have to work it's way against the flow of the engine.

      It still seems the return line is the culprit, at least that's what I'm going with now, I'll let you guys know when I get it done.
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    8. 03-01-2011 05:00 PM #8
      Consider checking your head gasket. Take a mirror and look behind the engine as well as as the front for any signs of wetness or leakage. These are the same symptoms as a failed head gasket.

    9. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-01-2011 05:02 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by tsouth View Post
      Consider checking your head gasket. Take a mirror and look behind the engine as well as as the front for any signs of wetness or leakage. These are the same symptoms as a failed head gasket.
      No white smoke, just blue, and haven't gone through ANY coolant, and coolant is free of oil and oil is free of coolant.
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    10. 03-01-2011 05:08 PM #10
      My car didn't have any mixture of oil and coolant vice versa as well, but the headgasket has blown.

      Another probable cause may be that the water condensates inside the catch can which is then burnt through the pcv system. Check to see if there is any liquid inside the catch can and pour it out.

      Either way, good luck to you man. I hope it isn't anything serious.

    11. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-01-2011 05:11 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by tsouth View Post
      My car didn't have any mixture of oil and coolant vice versa as well, but the headgasket has blown.

      Another probable cause may be that the water condensates inside the catch can which is then burnt through the pcv system. Check to see if there is any liquid inside the catch can and pour it out.

      Either way, good luck to you man. I hope it isn't anything serious.
      Thanks, I'm pretty sure it's not the head gasket because it's definitely oil smoke, not coolant smoke, but yeah, hopefully this will fix it. There is liquid in the catch can, but that's what it's supposed to do and with the temps lately it catches a lot, but nothing coolant like that I can tell. Thanks for the suggestion.
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    12. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-03-2011 11:22 PM #12
      Replaced this tonight, well see if it helps, I sure hope so, but it got dark so it was tough to see if it was starting to smoke again. I'll check in the morning after a few highway runs to try and clear things up.

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    13. Member martin13's Avatar
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      03-03-2011 11:57 PM #13
      does your catch can vent to air or back into the intake? when i took my pcv off and put in a recirculating catch can my car smoked like crazy at idle so i got a different catch can that vented to atmosphere and it fixed it. the first can i had didnt have baffles. it was a ****ty ebay one but i bought one from 034 and its way better.

    14. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-04-2011 12:08 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by martin13 View Post
      does your catch can vent to air or back into the intake? when i took my pcv off and put in a recirculating catch can my car smoked like crazy at idle so i got a different catch can that vented to atmosphere and it fixed it. the first can i had didnt have baffles. it was a ****ty ebay one but i bought one from 034 and its way better.
      Yeah, mines a eBay one, but I have ran it venting to atmosphere before, and it didn't change anything, but it was just for a short time.
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    15. Member martin13's Avatar
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      03-04-2011 12:31 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by sdavis872 View Post
      Yeah, mines a eBay one, but I have ran it venting to atmosphere before, and it didn't change anything, but it was just for a short time.
      what size is the tubing youre running to it? if the tubing is too small (it should ideally be like 3/4" -1") then it wont let enough gas vent and it can cause oil to burn.

    16. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-04-2011 12:50 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by martin13 View Post
      what size is the tubing youre running to it? if the tubing is too small (it should ideally be like 3/4" -1") then it wont let enough gas vent and it can cause oil to burn.
      3/4 from the breathers to 5/8 (since that's what the fittings on the can are). Maybe I will try larger hose, or just stick a filter on there and let it breath freely, haha.
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      03-04-2011 10:53 AM #17
      i have the same problem i changed my turbo recently thinking it was that and nope samething. just the other day i changed the pcv valve and still the samething and lost alot of boost.

      any update on it?

    18. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-04-2011 12:01 PM #18
      I'll let you know after a few days. I might also go back and rework my catch can. I'm feeling confident that it was this return line.
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    19. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-06-2011 11:43 PM #19
      Well, it still seems to be smoking....
      Parts of me want to say it's just residual, but I've done too many mile since to think it's just that.

      But here's the update:
      I completely ditched the catch can and just stuck 2 breather filters on (one for valve cover, one for the lower block breather). Why? Because I was thinking if I was getting excess blow by in an amount that the catch can couldn't catch, maybe that was it. But it didn't seem to help.

      I noticed today it gives a little huff on start up, so maybe it's bad valve stem seals....

      Here's when it smokes (a clearer description):
      It smokes a very little bit on cold starts.
      It smokes a lot on "hot" starts (such as if I drive, then shut it of, then within like 15min start it again).
      And after periods of idle (maybe even only like 30 seconds).

      What I just dont get is it seems to, for the most park, be smoking almost as much, but I replaced the turbo, the oil return line, no blow by is able to get in, so how did oil collect in the intercooler from the turbo? Things seem to lean towards valve seals, but I dont see how oil could get in the intercooler from that.
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    20. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-07-2011 12:07 AM #20
      One thing I'm thinking still is, could I just have not enough back pressure? I mean, people run straight piped and have no problems, but maybe I'm just unlucky enough to have a car that doesn't like it. The smoke really didn't show it's face until I switched to a catless 3" down pipe. If it doesn't clear up soon, I'll probably either put the stock DP back on or buy a cat to put on the 3" to add a little back pressure and clean some of the oil smoke.
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      03-08-2011 04:48 PM #21
      do a compression test. normally blue smoke = oil, or is a sign of bad piston rings.
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    22. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-08-2011 05:50 PM #22
      It's definitely oil. I do need to do a compression test, I just dont really want to, lol. But what are the symptoms of bad rings and why do bad rings cause smoke? I just dont see my symptoms fitting bad rings.
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      03-09-2011 11:50 PM #23
      do a compression test and you will see the symptoms are. When you start you car at cold start, blue smoke for a few seconds - blue smoke while driving in some cases. I recommend doing a compression test asap, its also cant hurt. Lmk
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    24. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-09-2011 11:53 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Pg-Getta1.8 View Post
      do a compression test and you will see the symptoms are. When you start you car at cold start, blue smoke for a few seconds - blue smoke while driving in some cases. I recommend doing a compression test asap, its also cant hurt. Lmk
      It's more like when I start it cold, the's a tiny little wisp of smoke, and I've only seen it happen once actually, but then as it get warmer, it smokes more after idle. If I shut it off and restart while still warm (say, 10 min later) it'll let out a big puff of smoke.

      Usually in all cases when I hit the throttle, lets out it's puff then it goes away until I start to idle for a time.

      But yes, I'll try and get a compression test done soon.
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    25. Member sdavis872's Avatar
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      03-13-2011 09:40 PM #25
      Haven't done a compression test yet, but I've found that if I drive aggressively, it DOESN'T smoke as much, if at all. Thought I'd share that. Oil level hasn't dropped (at least to notice it). Once I get a friend with the stuff to do a compression test I'll do it.

      Could this be residual that I just cant get cleared out, but when I'm driving more aggressively it clears it to a place that makes it smoke less, then when I'm less aggressive it "pools" back to where it was? I'll have to check my intercooler as I haven't since I did the oil return line. But how much oil need to be sucked in to cause smoke? Because if just a little amount can cause it, then maybe this is plausible.
      Last edited by sdavis872; 03-13-2011 at 09:43 PM.
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