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Old Jul 15, 2016, 10:49 AM
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Smoking at idle

I've noticed this problem in the last few days and was hoping someone could help me out. If my car is idling for awhile, like sitting in a parking lot not the short time at a light, the exhaust starts smoking. My rpms seem to fluctuate as well when it starts smoking. Once I start driving everything is fine and no more smoke. I've been checking the oil and I don't see anything in it and it's keeping it's level. The coolant looks fine as well but has gone down a bit. I replaced the pcv valve as I've read that could be the problem but it's still doing it after the replacement. Could it be a bad head gasket even though I'm not getting any contamination in the oil or coolant?
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 12:33 PM
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First - is it steam (water vapor) or smoke?


If it is white and doesn't really smell like anything and water is dripping from the exhaust tips - it is the head. The lower coolant level supports this. You would not necessarily see coolant in the oil. You can confirm with a compression test.


If it is bluish and smells kinda' like oil -it is (Dant, dant, dah!!) leaking oil past a piston ring or valve seal. Again, a compression test and leak down will guide you.


If it is black`ish - it could be fuel from going super-pig-rich (like a injector temporarily stuck open).


So... let us know a bit more.... Maybe pix if unsure.
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 01:30 PM
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It's very random when it happens so I'll try to get a pic or video next time if I can. It's not black and it doesn't look blueish but it's hard to tell. It does have a smell to it though. If I was burning oil I would think my oil level would be going down and it's not.
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Old Jul 20, 2016, 10:20 AM
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It doesn't take much oil to smoke up quite a bit. So the level not going down does not rule it out...


Pull the spark plugs - is one waaay cleaner than the other 3?
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Old Jul 20, 2016, 10:21 AM
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Last edited by Veronica; Jul 20, 2016 at 10:23 AM. Reason: double post
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Old Jul 20, 2016, 11:51 AM
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I let it sit and idle yesterday when I got home from work and after about 10-15 minutes it started smoking. It wasn't pouring smoke, just enough to notice it. Tried to take a picture but it didn't show up in the pictures. I'll check the plugs and see how they look, I just changed them a couple months ago.
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Old Jul 16, 2017, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by iwantevonow View Post
Is this the only issue with the car? or is this a re occurring incident? more info would really help.
Way to bump a year old thread for post count. You have been reported.
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