As a vehicle owner, have you noticed your car blowing white smoke after an oil change? This scenario may warrant an investigation to discover the cause. So, the question many vehicle owners may have no answer to is why is my car blowing white smoke after an oil change?
A vehicle releasing white smoke is an everyday experience faced by many vehicle owners. Continue reading this article to learn more about why you have a car blowing white smoke after an oil change and why getting rid of the smoke is essential. You’ll also learn practical ways to fix this issue.
Why Is My Car Blowing White Smoke After an Oil Change?
When you notice your car blowing white smoke after an oil change, there are several possible causes. Perhaps you used the wrong type of oil, or there may be excess oil in the oil pan or a leaky valve stem. A cracked cylinder or blown head gasket can also cause your car to blow white smoke because the oil is not burning correctly.
Reasons Car Is Blowing White Smoke After an Oil Change
Suppose a vehicle starts passing white smoke out of its exhaust pipe. In this case, it could indicate a problem with the car, which requires immediate attention to prevent the engine from getting damaged.
However, under normal conditions, a vehicle may release white smoke that is light, and the same smoke disappears after some time, especially if the car is turned on in cold weather.
In this situation, the smoke shows that the vaporized oil in the engine is starting to condense or change to liquid. Therefore, there is no reason to worry about this situation. Regardless, if white smoke persists and gets thicker, it could be caused by any of these factors:
1. Using the Wrong Oil
If the wrong type of oil and viscosity is put into a vehicle’s engine, it can lead to excessive smoke. This is caused by the oil’s inability to burn as it should, allowing it to enter the exhaust pipe. It is for this reason that the vehicle’s exhaust releases white smoke.
The good thing is that the proper type of oil can be gotten at the nearest automotive store. Therefore, this problem can be easily fixed at a minimal cost by just replacing the oil.
Pro Tip: To prevent a scenario like this, always go through the owner’s manual for directives on how to change the vehicle’s oil and follow the owner’s manual recommendations.
Putting the wrong type of oil in a vehicle’s engine is a popular mistake many people are guilty of when they service their cars, which could also cause the exhaust to start releasing smoke.
2. There’s Excess Oil in the Oil Pan
If the vehicle owner notices that the exhaust is passing bluish-white smoke immediately after replacing the oil, it could indicate excess oil in the sump.
When new oil is poured into a vehicle after taking out the old oil, it usually flows straight into the vehicle’s sump because of the air pressure, which makes it unable to move upwards and out of the car.
If this is the situation, stop driving the vehicle and immediately look around for a mechanic to help remove a quantity of the extra oil in the vehicle’s sump.
3. The Valve Stem Seal Is Leaking
A leaking valve stem seal can make oil in a vehicle find its way into the combustor, which would burn and turn to white smoke. To solve this problem, change the valve stems’ seals, which are usually small rubber materials and can be found on both sides of a vehicle’s valves.
If the tools required to execute the job are unavailable, online stores like Amazon have them readily available for sale, and they may be gotten from local shops too.
4. Your Car Cylinder Is Cracked
If a vehicle’s cylinder gets cracked, it can cause oil leakage. If this oil finds its way into the engine’s cylinders, the exhaust may start passing out white smoke. The best thing to do is to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. This means something serious has gone wrong with the engine, and professional attention is required.
The vehicle may turn off suddenly if this symptom is not taken seriously, and no action is taken to cure this problem.
5. Your Head Gasket Is Blown
If coolant or water does not pass through the combustor, the head gasket might have blown and caused a leak that makes the vehicle burn oil rather than fuel. Consequently, the vehicle exhaust starts blowing white smoke.
Allow a mechanic to check the vehicle immediately when this is noticed, as it can lead to more serious issues relating to the engine’s coolant system if it is given no attention for a long while.
Also Read: Oil Leak After Oil Change (Causes & Solutions)
What to Do When a Car Blows White Smoke After an Oil Change?
Occasionally, even after taking out old oil and a new one has been poured in or after inspecting other vehicle components, the vehicle’s exhaust may not stop passing out white smoke.
This white smoke from the exhaust can be fixed by simply inviting a mechanic to inspect every component of the engine and repair any damaged component that may be contributing to the issue. In addition, the mechanic should clean the valves and fuel injectors, the primary sources through which air in the engine can be polluted.
In the alternative, inspect the pipes attached to the engine’s exhaust pipe or the engine’s muffler system. Furthermore, check for any loose bolts and nuts on the engine to ascertain there’s no gas or oil leakage.
If these procedures do not change the situation and the white smoke persists, then an issue with the vehicle’s internal combustor may cause the problem. This situation requires immediate attention because it can cause severe damage to the vehicle’s engine if left unattended for a long time.
Taking preventive measures is better than going through the struggles of fixing the cause of the release of white smoke from your exhaust. Some valuable tips to help stop a vehicle from passing out white smoke later on include:
- Go through the vehicle’s manual before trying to change the oil in the car.
- Do not fill the vehicle’s oil to the brim, as this may flow into the sump if it is overfilled.
- Check the vehicle parts frequently so as to notice any problem without delay.
Also Read: Car Temperature Gauge Goes Up And Down While Driving (Causes and Solutions)
How to Fix White Smoke From Exhaust
There is no general solution to fix the white smoke issue. However, in solving the white smoke problem, the sources of the problem have to be identified (it could be any of the reasons stated above) and fixed accordingly.
1. Fixing Accumulated Condensation
An accumulated condensation can fix itself and is also the only issue with this kind of attribute. All it takes is to be patient. Once white smoke stops, it will not occur anymore.
2. Fixing Damaged Cylinder Head
To repair a bad cylinder head, the best thing to be done is to change it. Notwithstanding the material used in making the vehicle’s cylinder head, overheating can damage it. To prevent a cylinder head from cracking, check the car regularly to avoid overheating.
3. Fixing Faulty Fuel Injector
Replacing or cleaning a fuel injector will fix its problem. When replacing fuel injectors, ensure it is appropriately done to aid the engine’s smooth performance. However, cleaning is advised only when clogging is its problem.
Contaminants that may have gathered for a while are the major cause of damaged fuel injectors. To prevent this, purchase fuel at trusted gas stations, and fuel filters should be changed regularly too.
4. Fixing Oil Leakage
Fixing oil leakage requires that the valve seals and piston rings be replaced. Although valve seals are not as expensive as piston rings, taking down the engine is necessary to replace them. Hence, having a mechanic fix it is advisable.
5. Fixing a Damaged Coolant Reservoir Tank
Although this does not happen frequently, a replacement works for fixing a damaged coolant reservoir.
6. How to Fix a Damaged Engine Block
Leaving it unattended should not be considered if an engine block gets damaged. If you do this, it will only cause problems for other components.
If a replacement can not be done, it is better to stitch, patch or re-weld it with cold metal. Regardless of the preference, it should be done with experience. Hence a professional may be required.
7. How to Fix a Faulty Engine Control Unit
A faulty ECU can be repaired by simply taking out the vehicle’s battery for some minutes so it can reset, and this problem will be fixed. However, if the problem persists, an expert may need to come and check it out.
8. How to Fix a Cracked Head Gasket
If the head gasket of a vehicle cracks, repairing it is impossible. Hence, a total replacement is the only solution.
Does Low Oil Cause White Smoke?
The Internal combustors use oil for lubricating moving components inside them. The oil prevents these components from having contact, so they can last longer and not get worn quickly due to the pressure from driving fast. However, will white smoke come out of the exhaust when the oil level is low?
A low oil level usually does not cause white smoke in a vehicle. Although, if the oil used is of a lower quality than that recommended for the vehicle’s engine, smoke may come up. Furthermore, if oil finds a way into the combustor, smoke with shades of blue may be released from the exhaust.
Also Read: How Far Can You Drive An Overheating Car?
Why Is My Engine Smoking After I Put Oil in It?
An engine can produce smoke even after filling it with oil if the oil spills on the vehicle’s engine, oil poured in is too much, or there is oil leakage. To quickly fix these issues, taking out the extra oil and waiting for it to evaporate are the best solutions.
If these steps do not work, it may result in a more severe problem that will require the services of a mechanic. Hence, find a mechanic without delay.
Can I Drive My Car With White Smoke?
If the cause of white smoke from the exhaust has been identified, the next line of thought will be whether or not the vehicle can be driven in its condition.
Do not risk driving a vehicle that has a white smoke problem. If such a risk is taken without fixing the underlying issue, an engine failure may be the consequence, and severe damage may be done to other parts of the vehicle.
Therefore, meeting with a professional mechanic is highly recommended, and also, keep a close eye on the car in case any more signs of white smoke appear.
Frequently Asked Questions – Car Blowing White Smoke After an Oil Change
Is it normal for white smoke after an oil change?
If white smoke occurs after changing oil, it could indicate that coolant or water has found its way into the exhaust port or combustion area. This is possible if coolant leaks through its head. Also, it also could happen if water enters the carburetor or exhaust after pressure-washing the engine.
Can too much oil cause white smoke?
If excess oil is put in a vehicle, it may cause a thick white smoke. While driving, if a dense white smoke is released from the exhaust, it may be because too much oil is burning in the engine block. However, fluids like antifreeze could also cause white smoke.
Can oil leak cause white smoke from exhaust?
If oil leaks find their way into the combustion area, it combines with the burning of the air and fuel mixture, and they are all blown out through the exhaust. This causes bluish-white or white smoke. This is a severe problem because oil has no business in the combustion area.
Can wrong oil cause white smoke?
If wrong or bad oil is used in an engine, it can make the seals and gaskets start leaking. Also, oil leaks and spills under the vehicle, with white smoke coming from the vehicle’s exhaust, is a sign that the oil in the car is not the right one.
How do you stop your car from smoking after an oil change?
If the seal of the valve stem leaks, it may allow oil to find a way into the combustion area, where it burns and turn to white smoke. Replacing the seal will solve this issue. They are the little rubber pieces on both sides of a vehicle’s valve.
Does white smoke always mean blown head gasket?
White smoke from the exhaust indicates that the head gasket of a vehicle has blown. The effect of this is that the same way coolant mixes with engine oil is the same way engine oil mixes with coolant.
Does white smoke mean burning oil?
A thick grey or white smoke being released from the exhaust consistently is a common indication that the head gasket of such a vehicle is leaking or has blown. This grey or white color is usually seen when the coolant leaks into the combustor.
What would happen if you put too much oil in your engine?
Excess oil in a vehicle’s engine creates too much pressure, which could cause damage to the seals of the engine, and also leads to oil leakage. Therefore, if a vehicle is overfilled with oil, it should be reduced to the required quantity.
Conclusion – Car Blowing White Smoke After an Oil Change
White smoke is a common indication of problems relating to the internal combustion engine and can cause severe consequences if left for a while without attention.
To stay away from the struggles of repairing this problem, using premium quality oil for a vehicle and going through the owner’s manual will help. Also, keeping a close eye on the warning signals of the car is likewise essential.
Immediately you notice the white smoke coming out of the exhaust, having a professional mechanic check the car and fix it before putting it back on the road is very important.