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DigDug 11-07-2013 04:32 AM

My smoking problem!
I own a 2005 2.0 WRX which now has 126000km on the clocks. I have had this problem for a while now and took the car to the Subaru dealership a year and a half ago and they could find nothing. Every now and then, while it's warming up it will puff some smoke after standing at a red light or similar. It does not smoke on start-up, only about half way through to normal engine temp. Usually about 2-3 minutes into the drive. It also does not do this every day, but every other day.

Now a year ago the car went into the body shop for some repair and a respray after a hailstorm hit us. Long story short, the car stood for over a month without being driven. When the day came to pick it up, it started up as normal, no smoking. After about 2-3 minutes of driving, it started to smoke, and boy did it smoke. It was pouring out of the exhaust! It continued until the car was at normal temps, and then stopped.

I'm leaning towards a bad oil seal on the turbo, or something else on the turbo. My theory been that oil is pooling up in the exhaust and been burned off when the pipe gets hot. After it stood for so long maybe more oil pooled up and thatís why I had so much smoke? It still seems to be boosting fine but this is starting to annoy me now. Itís actually more embarrassing than annoying.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

n8mcd 11-07-2013 12:54 PM

Turbo- usually if the turbo is the cause of the smoke it might do it a little at idle but it will smoke a lot more under boost (most of the time) so warm it up and go give it a little juice and watch your mirror

Rings- the old oil take the oil cap off and rev it trick works usually... Look for smoke coming out there or another way to check is in neutral slowly bring the Rpms up (without getting into boost at all) and bring it up to 4k for a second and look at the exhaust... If it's smoking bad then it's probably rings
Note: compression tests can't mean your rings are good, there are oil rings that can be bad and not affect the compression... Leak down test can help determine this though

PCV- usually I just take the PCV valve off and blow through both sides... It should seal on way and flow freely the other without any sticking or binding inside

Valve seals- (no one said this yet?) valve seals suck oil under vaccuum... I like to get up to 60-65 and downshift to third, then downshift to second, then downshift to first.... This will put you at maximum vaccuum and it should smoke quite a bit... Sometimes when you get to the stop and go to take off again...

Headgasket- check for oil in the coolant or coolant in your oil

One last thing... I noticed you didn't directly type that it was coming out if the tailpipe... My buddy had a car the had a small valve cover gasket leak that ran down onto the exhaust pipes and would only smoke if you were really getting on it because the downpipe would get hot enough to burn the oil and we saw smoke in the mirrors and thought it was the turbo when it was a tiny simple oil leak... Luckily he found it before going through the expense and hassle of putting another turbo on.

This isn't a bible... Just how I check for oil burning in any boosted car that I own or test drive.

^copy and pasted from another oil burning thread I answered

It sounds to me like valve seals, downshift and just let the car coast and then see what happens when you go to take off again, sounds like they are just starting to go and that's why it's only doing it at half temp, try the downshift trick cold, at half temp, and fully warmed up and report back. Sitting for so long could have dried them out some. What oil are you using?

pzr2874 11-07-2013 05:59 PM

Pull your TMIC and have a look at the turbo and intercooler. Feel for shaftplay on the turbo as well. Might be able to answer your own question.

DigDug 11-08-2013 02:07 AM

I had my TMIC off about two months ago when I was repairing the starter motor. I checked for oil and there was a thin film of oil, hardly anything. The turbo outlet was also pretty dry. I did not check for shaft play so I'll make a note of that one as well as checking the PCV valve.

There is no smoke while boosting, obviously at normal engine temps, so I guess that rules out the turbo.

I don't think it's valve stem seals because if I do as described- mid revs in 3rd or so and start gearing down to 1st and then accelerating again, there are no signs of smoke.

I'll check if there is any smoke coming out of the filler cap. The car was compression tested when I took it into the dealer and it came back with decent numbers. There is no oil in the coolant and no signs of milky oil. I use Liqui-Moly 10W-40.

I'll also get under it soon and check for any visible oil leaks but I have not picked up on anything yet. It won't hurt to check though.

psinuse 11-08-2013 05:15 AM

Is it white smoke or blue smoke?

DigDug 11-12-2013 11:27 PM

It looks white to me in the mirror but I'll get someone to drive behind and check. It hasn't done it since last week so it's one of those weird issues..

n8mcd 11-13-2013 12:18 AM

Losing any coolant? Also it could be trans fluid, rear end fluid, or even cv boot grease getting thrown onto the exhaust.

DigDug 11-13-2013 12:26 AM

My coolant level seems fine. It's not dropping at all. I will get under the car and inspect for any visible leaks on Friday as I got the day off.

DigDug 11-14-2013 12:17 AM

Well it happened again this morning. First time since last week and it looks like blue smoke. I'll get underneath tomorrow and have a look.

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