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2nd Gen (93-97) I4 2.0L Discussion of Maint Issues for I4

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Old March 13th, 2002, 02:42 PM   #1
ICantFindaName
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Unhappy smoking problem

I have a 94 SE with a problem that that neither i nor my father nor my mechanic can figure out. When i start my car after it has been sitting for more than 8 hours , it will smoke like crazy. It is much worse when the weather is cold. I just changed all my valve stem seal and valve cover gasket and it still smokes!!!! If anyone has ANY ideas whatsoever ...please do help. Thanks a lot
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Old March 13th, 2002, 03:02 PM   #2
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What color is the smoke? Where from the car is it coming?
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Old March 13th, 2002, 03:05 PM   #3
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IF ITSCOMING FROM UNDER THE HOOD CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR OIL PRESSURE SENDING UNIT IS LEAKING.
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Old March 13th, 2002, 03:07 PM   #4
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USUALY if it is it will leak down onto your exhaust (because it sits right above it ) and will continue to burn off from there. i just had this problem.
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Old March 13th, 2002, 03:11 PM   #5
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check your disty as well. On my old car, my disty leaked hot oil all over the entire manifold, causing it to smoke.
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Old March 13th, 2002, 03:11 PM   #6
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Maybe the oil filter is loose.
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Old March 14th, 2002, 08:04 AM   #7
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Hiya,

Blue smoke: oil is being burned. If vale seals have been replaced, the oil rings on the pistons might be shot. Then oil enters the combustion chamber and is burned. Also you might
have a crack somewhere in the engine block or head.

White smoke: water/cooling fluid is in your exhaust vapours. During cold days, some smoke is normal until the engine is warmed up (this is also more noticeable during colder days). But if it keeps on smoking, and it is even worse during cold days (when water in the exhaust gasses will condense quicker), you have water getting into the combustion chamber. First thing to look for then is the cylinder head gasket (not the valve cover gasket). If that doesn't help, you might have a crack in your engine block that lets cooling water enter into the engine and mix with the oil.

Did you overheat your engine once before it started smoking? If so, I am pretty sure the cylinder head gasket is shot. Costs about 100-150 US$ + labour and new head bolts.

Hope this helps.

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Old March 14th, 2002, 02:37 PM   #8
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I ran a compression test on it and...180 on all cylinders! I believe that is the specs straight out the factory. The smoke comes out of the exhaust, and not from under the hood and is white but has some blue to it, and it smells like burning oil. Also it will stop smoking after the engine warms up. Any ideas? Thanks a lot to everyone!:grin:
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Old March 14th, 2002, 02:41 PM   #9
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Come to think of it, I did overheat it one time trying to get home with no alternator belt. That really sucked! If your belts ever do start squeling, tighten them ASAP. My belt just came off when it started to squeal. TWICE. I threw it TWICE. Thanks everyone
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Old March 15th, 2002, 02:30 AM   #10
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Hiya,

Oil control rings on the pistons have few to do with the compression rings, wich are the top 2 ones. You can have a perfect compression, but still have an oil film being layed done on your cylinder walls. Bhaven can tell you a lot more info if you ask him. If something warms up, it expands, and hence the problem might become less.

But I would check the cylinder head gasket for sure. Also you might try to run 10W40 oil instead of 5W30 if you are using the 5W oil now.

Also check your cooling water, and check if there is no oil in it (easy to see, as the cooling water will look milky and/or have oil floating at the top of the cooling fluid.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Wim

PS: Every car with a cold engine will smoke at startup. In colder climates this is even more noticeable. As the engine is not yet warmed up, combustion is not yet optimal, and hence more water vapour is in the exhaust. Also the exhaust gasses are colder, so the water vapour in more easily condenses. My car smokes as well, just like all other cars around me in the morning. As soon as the engine and cat become warmed up, there is no more smoke. On warmer days it stops smoking more quickly. If this is your problem as well, and before you didn't notice it because the climate was hotter, you are worrying about nothing. Unless it is a big cloud that doesn't dissolve quickly. Normally the smoke disappears about 3 to 6 feet away from the car....
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Old March 15th, 2002, 08:18 AM   #11
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Excellent reply Wim

I don't want to claim any expert here, but I have experience rebuilding engines, just not alot of automobile engines.

If the exhaust smells like oil, then I would guess from all the information supplied in this thread (and this is one has supplied a good bit of pertinent info) the oil rings are the culprit. And to add to Wim's info about the smoke at start up, your engine will burn oil at start up even if brand new. It's just that when the engine is low mileage the amount of oil burned is so small it is difficult to measure much less notice.

Since it overheated, it is possible that the oil control rings lost some tension and will not scape the oil away as well as they did before. I would watch the oil consumption very closely. Make sure the oil is right at the top mark and record the odometer reading, then check it EVERY fuel stop.
When it gets about half way down the range of the dipstick, top it off and record the mileage and the amount of oil it took to top it off (maybe half a quart). Monitor this over a period of several hundred or thousand miles.

To give some idea of what to expect:
If you have to top it off in 100 miles then you might want to continue to look into it. If you don't have to top it off for 700 miles than it is just embarassing at startup and the engine is probably OK.

Quote:
ICantFindaName says:
...Also it will stop smoking after the engine warms up. ...
This is the most important thing to me. When the engine is cold, nothing fits together exactly right. Once warmed up everything appears to be fitting and working fine based on this observation. To ellviate the embarassing smoke the 10w40 oil might help.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 02:24 PM   #12
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Thanks SO MUCH to everyone that has helped! This has been really helpful! I also believe that it is the rings now because the clouds of smoke do not com out until after about 20 seconds after i crank the motor. This would be the time that the pistons would pick up oil that will eventually get into the combustion chamber. If the head gasket was leaking, wouldnt i have immediate clouds of smoke? The oil would be sitting in the combustion chamber, right? Thanks again to everyone!!!
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Old March 15th, 2002, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by ICantFindaName
... I also believe that it is the rings now because the clouds of smoke do not com out until after about 20 seconds after i crank the motor. This would be the time that the pistons would pick up oil that will eventually get into the combustion chamber. If the head gasket was leaking, wouldnt i have immediate clouds of smoke? The oil would be sitting in the combustion chamber, right? Thanks again to everyone!!!
That is a valid point, until the oil pressure comes up and enough oil gets into the combustion chamber could take some time. Also keep in mind that a little oil makes A LOT of smoke.
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