Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register


Well, I had my car in for service - oil change and check up 3 days ago. No driving from them to now when I went to the store and it began pausing like spitting and spurting. I stopped right away and checked the oil, which barely showed on the dip stick, so added 1, checked level, still the same and so added a 2nd. Still the same, just a bit on the end of dip stick. But the oil light was not on. I noted there were 2 wet spots under my car on the garage floor to begin with. Hoped just condensation. The 'spitting and spirting' stopped and I continued to my destination about 15 kms away. Then it began again. I noticed the temp gage was already at the half way point and then suddenly when giving gas, white smoke began to come out of the tail pipe. So I coasted as far as possible since in the middle of nowhere without giving gas, but the oil light came on and the car instantly shut itself off. (a safety feature). What the heck is happening? I flagged a ride and of course had it towed all the way back to the mechanic who did the service 4 days ago. Help?


  • edited November 2008
    How many miles on what kind of car, what year?
  • edited November 2008
    White smoke = water
    Blue smoke = oil
    Black smoke = Fuel- Too much

    Year, make, milage would help a whole lot.
  • edited November 2008
    You checked the engine oil dip stick & oil was barely showing.

    Then you added 2 quarts & no change on the dipstick??

    Could it have been the transmission dipstick that you were looking at & now the engine is overfilled with oil?

    As mentioned what are you driving?
  • edited November 2008
    Thanks for replying. The car is a 98 Mercury Mystique with 183,000 kms on it.

  • edited November 2008
    What automatic safety shut-off feature are you talking about.

    Why did a "spitting and spurting" engine give you the idea to check the oil?
  • edited November 2008
    I too, think you were looking at the wrong dipstick.
  • edited November 2008
    Sorry, but this car has too many KM on it to allow it to be repaired. These cars were not very good to begin with and it will be easier to just replace it even if the damage is under $2000 to fix.
  • edited November 2008
    With a white cloud exhaust, engine coolant has gotten into the engine cylinders where it has been vaporized........causing the white smoke. The usual route into the engine cylinders is through a cylinder head gasket which has deteriorated, cracked, etc. Some times, it's a metal crack in the cylinder head, or engine block. Your mechanic can find out what happened. You'll have to wait for his report.
  • edited November 2008
    Well I would not put too much money into this car, but I would not write it off. The OP should pay to have it checked and to get an estimate before giving up.
This discussion has been closed.