Engine Diagnosis & Oil in the Exhaust

Written by david mcguffin
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Engine Diagnosis & Oil in the Exhaust
Older car engines can burn oil, dropping the oil level dangerously low. (car engine image by itsallgood from Fotolia.com)

Oil that burns off in the exhaust of an automobile can lead to serious problems, including total engine failure. If your vehicle does not have enough oil to lubricate and help cool the engine, then engine components may overheat and freeze.

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Signs of Oil in the Exhaust

Oil burning off is usually seen in the form of blue smoke coming out of the exhaust or tailpipe. If you suspect that your car is burning oil, check the oil level frequently, adding oil if the tank is low.


If oil is burning in your engine, then chances are that a gasket or O-ring has rotted and is not properly keeping oil from inside the cylinder. As a result, oil could coat the spark plug and cause it to misfire. The spark plug will have to be removed and cleaned or replaced.

What to Do?

Continue to listen for misfires and check the oil level. Using a thicker weight of oil along with some oil additives to thicken up and lubricate the oil system can help prevent leaks and extend the life of the engine. Eventually, the gaskets will need to be replaced in order to prevent oil leaks worsening.

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