HELP! SMOKE AFTER OIL CHANGE...WHATS WRONG??
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This is a discussion on HELP! SMOKE AFTER OIL CHANGE...WHATS WRONG?? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I just did my first oil change on my 03 WRX (just bought the car 2 months ago). I've ...

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    HELP! SMOKE AFTER OIL CHANGE...WHATS WRONG??

    So I just did my first oil change on my 03 WRX (just bought the car 2 months ago). I've done many oil changes in my life and it was easier to do on this car than on my civic! Changed the filter and replaced with Royal Purple 5W 30 oil. After I put oil in, check the levels, ran the car for 5 mins, let it sit for an hour and then checked it again, levels were fine.

    Few hours later, took the car for a spin and there was a burning oil smell and white smoke coming out of the hood scoop. Popped the hood and the smoke was coming from turbo area. Figured some oil splashed somewhere and it was just burning off. Checked the oil level again and it was at the "F" line but not over. Problem continued for a few days, checked the oil level again and it was about a quarter inch over the "F" line, which meant I was probably running too mch oil for a few days.

    Drained the extra oil (happened to be about 1/2 quart) checked the level, ran it for 5 mins and let it sit and then checked again, levels were fine. Took it to the store, same thing happened, burning smell and smoke out of the hood scoop. Can anyone help me here? I have no idea what I could have done? Don't believe there is smoke coming from the tailpipe but its so cold here in CO right now I can't tell. (there is definitely no visible blue or black smoke coming out)

    I'm sure the comments will be flowing in about how I'm an idiot and cant do an oil change, but would appreciate any help. Never had this problem with an oil change, although I've never been dumb enough to overfill with oil either.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Rarely if the crush washer is re-used or omitted, the drain plug will leak and as air flows under the car it will force oil onto the exhaust. Some oil filter leaks do the same thing. These are the cheapest, simplest explanations.

    The other explanation is a true oil leak to the turbo feed line or from the valve cover on that side. Possible, but I'd check the drain plug crush washer and the oil filter first.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
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    I will check those things, wouldn't I see oil on the ground though if that were the case? Haven't seen any spills on the ground since this has happened. (Should probably have said that in my original post)

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cbear View Post
    I will check those things, wouldn't I see oil on the ground though if that were the case? Haven't seen any spills on the ground since this has happened. (Should probably have said that in my original post)
    It's possible that it is dripping on the exhaust and not making it to the ground. Or, if you have the plastic shield still attached, it could be dripping on that and not on the ground
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Ok, Ill check it out...if it was leaking due to the crush washer it should be pretty obvious right? I know if it was leaking from the fileter it might be dripping on the plactic pieve so I will check there as well...

    Those are things I'm not worried about. I'm more worried about doing more costly damage by running too much oil for those few days? Whats the worst I'm looking at and from the description I gave do you think its anything super serious like oil in the cylinders or anything like that?

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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    A 1/2 quart over isn't going to do any damage. The biggest issue with overfilling is if the level is high enough that the lobes on the crank whip the oil into a froth; not sure how much that takes, but it's more significant than a half quart. Overfill to a point = okay, it's a much better scenario than under filling.

    Wondering if the synthetic oil uncovered problems with the turbo seals. Any idea what was run in the car before?
    ...Rob.
    MMVI WRX - VF43 Airboy Tuned @ 3500'

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    It was running Royal Purple before, so I just chose to stick with the same. Just for my own curiosity, the crank whips the oil into a froth (which I don't believe happened), how do you determine thats what happened and how do you fix it?

    It could definitely be a seal problem in the turbo as thats where the smoke is coming from, I really don't think its oil dripping on anything I looked back in the exhaust area last night and there was no oil in that area. Guess the only way to check with the turbo is to take the heat shield off and see if there are any leaks, it just seams weird that this would randomly happen with the oil change. Thats why I figured it was something to do with overfilling because thats the only thing that went wrong, everything else was easy and smooth, no drips or anything.

    There was some grease that had dripped though on some black metal piping thats sits below and in front of the turbo, not sure where that piping goes or if that grease is new. (you locate that piping if you are looking down at the turbo from the passenger side of the vehicle...then you look down past the turbo 5 or 6 inches and then look towards the front of the car) Not sure what that goes to, maybe comes down off the block or something

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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    Regarding a massive overfill; that's purely conceptual to me as I've never overfilled that much. According to KillerB Motorsports there's ~2" of clearance between a full oil pan and the crank lobes (this was a guesstimate based on CAD drawings, not official). I'm not sure how much volume that equates to, but it's much more than 1/2 quart.

    Sounds like you're referring to the PCV assembly, but I'm not familiar with it's layout on the '03; differs slightly form my '06.
    ...Rob.
    MMVI WRX - VF43 Airboy Tuned @ 3500'

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    ok, a lot less stressed out about the overfill now. Thanks! Well I guess I'll just have to do some digging and start emilinating options. I'll stard with the crush washer and filter then move on to the turbo I guess, I appreciate the help!

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    While you are under there check the CV boots for grease leaking. The grease would make a more pungent smell than motor oil but it's also a possibility.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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