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Blue Smoke from Exhaust of Car

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What does blue smoke from exhaust mean? Blue smoke from the exhaust of the car happens when the oil burns inside the engine due to bad rings/seals or leaking turbocharger seals.

If the car start but blue smoke comes out from Exhaust, it means that the engine is burning oil. The problem is why the engine is burning oil, that is what we are going to find out. When an engine burns oil, the most common reason is a bad ring. If the engine has a bad ring aside from burning oil it will also show signs of loss in power, especially when driving uphill.

What causes blue smoke from exhaust

(1) Bad rings
(2) Bad stem seals
(3) Leaking turbocharger seal

Bad rings

If the engine has a loss in power especially when going uphill. And in addition to blue smoke after starting, the engine seems to be less powerful than it used to be.

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The combination of blue smoke coming from the exhaust along with a loss of engine power is a telltale sign of the rings being bad. The purpose of the rings is to keep the engine oil from entering the engine combustion chambers and also, the rings maintain proper engine compression for adequate power. Why does an engine need compression? The engine needs compression so that it can generate power.

White Smoke From Exhaust
If there is white smoke that comes out from the exhaust while the engine was running at any engine temperature like when it's cold, warm, or hot then it means that there is a problem with the engine. Learn more: White Smoke From Exhaust

Now, when the rings are bad or for example worn out, the ring will become sloppy and will not adequately seal the wall in between the piston and cylinder. In this case, it causes the oil to leak out into the combustion chamber and burn - hence, creating blue smoke coming out the exhaust. Also, it causes weak compression which means weak engine power. As the rings get worse, the more blue smoke and weaker the engine is.

What to do?
You'll need either a ring job or a new engine. Expect that this is going to be serious money.  Does your car still under warranty? If yes, you're covered.  If no, first take the car to a car shop that specializes in this kind of job and have the mechanic positively verify that the rings are indeed bad. This can be done with a "wet compression test".

The test involves removing one of the spark plugs, screwing a compression gauge into the spark plug hole, and taking a compression reading while the engine is cranking.  Then, the compression gauge is unscrewed and some oil is squirted into the cylinder.

Engine Compression Test

The compression gauge is then screwed back in and another compression reading is taken again while the engine is cranking.  If the second reading is significantly higher than the first, the rings are indeed bad. After considering the cost of a ring job/new engine, you may want to consider replacing your car.

Bad stem seals

If the blue smoke is notice mainly when accelerating usually the problem is a bad stem seal. Some oil is leaking past the valve stems and into the combustion chamber. This oil then burns and comes out of the exhaust as blue smoke.

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What to do?
You will need to have the valve stem seals replaced. If this vehicle is still under warranty, this procedure will be covered. If it's not, Expect that this is going to be serious money

Leaking turbocharger seal

If your car has a turbocharger, turbocharger seals leaking is possible. Occasionally, the seals of a turbocharger leak causing the oil to reach the exhaust system of your car. The oil "smokes" when it comes in contact with hot exhaust components and then, of course, out it, comes ... blue smoke.

What to do?
Take your car to a car repair shop and have the mechanic verify that the turbocharger seals are indeed leaking. If this is the case, have the problem fixed. If this vehicle is still under warranty, this service will be covered.

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