Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Exhaust smoke at idle

2000 Hyundai Accent with 180K. Runs and idles smoothly. When sitting for a few minutes at idle I get a waft of smoke when I accelerate. The car burns minimal ammount of oil and the smoke is not apparent while driving.

What color is the smoke? White, blue, black? Is the smoke coming when the car is warmed up, or as the car is warming up after a cold start?

Blue smoke is oil and could mean worn rings, or leaking past valve guides. If not buring a lot of oil, not much to worry about.

White smoke when the engine is cold and warming up, not a worry. White smoke when the engine is warm might indicate a head gasket problem. Check the condition of the coolant, look for traces of oil, or if is dirty, cloudy, or milky all not good. Also check for evidence of coolant in oil.

Has there been an episode of overheating the motor recently?

I’ve had the car for a year and never overheated it. It got a new timing belt and water pump before I got it. The smoke appears bluish and I have only noticed it when the car is warm. The oil is changed regularly and never looks milky. Dipstick and under cap are clean. Coolant also seems normal.

Blue smoke on takeoff at that mileage is almost certainly oil leaking past the valve guide seals. When you accelerate, the engine creates a vacuum and draws the oil into the combustion chambers where it burns and creates… blue exhaust smoke.

As stated, unless oil consumption is significant, don’t worry about it. I had a 1984 Chevy V8 do that for 4 years before I sold it. The car used 1/2 quart in 2000 miles.

Just drove it and it seems only to happen when warm and after having sat at idle for a few minutes.

My 1990 Dodge Dakota 3.9v6 does the same thing does not smoke at cold start or when driving only at idle and motor runs very good idles smooth not a miss anywhere just smokes at idle I need to replace valve guide seals if it were a cracked or broken ring u would gas in ur oil as well cause if the oil can get past a broken or worn ring so will gas pull ur dip stick smell it for traces of gas if u do not smell fuel in the oil change the valve guide seals