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Diesel engine exhaust

I have a jetta diesel that smokes when I first start it. Is the engine old?

I have a 2005 VW Jetta TDI Wagon with 140,000 miles. When I start the car, there is a lot of smoke/exhaust that comes out of the tailpipe for a few seconds. It only happens when the car is sitting for a while. Is the engine going bad (rings or pistons)? I am thinking to convert it to vegetable oil but wondering if it is worth putting money into.

Thank you for your time,


Blue smoke for a few seconds on startup after the car has been sitting for a while often indicates worn valve seals and/or guides. How much oil are you using? If the smoke is black, that would indicate fuel leaking into the cylinders, maybe from one or more leaking fuel injectors. I don’t know much about diesels, so a more knowledgeable form memeber will have to go into more depth on that.

TDIs are like gold these days. Get it fixed and hang on to it.

NYBo is on the right track, sounds like valve stem seals to me.

Color of smoke is the important question.

Blue smoke means burning motor oil - not good, but it may still last a long time.
White smoke is normal cold diesel startup - not to worry
Black smoke is incompletely burned fuel. This usually only happens under heavy load. If it happens any other time, the engine should be checked over, but it is probably not a major problem.