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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Engine is smoking and I don't like it.

2000 2.5RS with 217k miles.

Was running fine. Got an oil change. I usually use 10w30 synthetic, but they were out so I let them use 5wt30 instead. Change finished, I left, drove about 1 mile home. Car smelled like something was burning the whole way home but it was dark, so I couldn't see where the smoke was, if anywhere. Figured they probably just spilled a little, so I wasn't going to worry about it. Next morning I drove off, got only a couple blocks from home before I noticed smoke coming out of my passenger side hood vent. I immediately turned around, drove home and parked it. Got out and sure enough it was smoking from the passengers side of the engine, pretty much only around the valve cover. I didn't have time to do anything about it, so I jumped in my truck and have been commuting with that instead. Haven't driven the RS more than a mile or two since.

This weekend, I got some 10wt30 mobile 1 and changed the oil again myself so I could be sure of the levels and quality. Engine wouldn't smoke during warm up, but as soon as it's up to temp, the smoke starts again.

No smoke from exhaust. No oil discoloration. No coolant discoloration. Head gaskets were replaced around 180k.

It certainly seems like it should be the valve cover gasket. But there's no obvious leaks and I can't seem to find anyone else who's had smoke escaping from inside the valve cover. I'm going to order up the parts to replace the gaskets, but is there anything else that could be wrong that I should prepare for?

:noes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not yet. Just read all the write ups about it this morning. It'll probably have to wait till the weekend.

I assumed that if it was the valve seals or guides that I'd be getting smoke from the exhaust, not escaping into the engine bay itself?
 

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I assumed that if it was the valve seals or guides that I'd be getting smoke from the exhaust, not escaping into the engine bay itself?

Well I'm assuming you actually made sure the "smoke" was coming from inside the valve cover. In which case, it would be vaporizing oil causing the "smoke".

Now it could also be a number of other things, such as the valve cover gasket is simply leaking, and the oil is dripping onto something hot, such as the exhaust manifold. This is more likely, but you said you saw no leaks.

Or, your timing belt could be rubbing on something and causing a "smoke" from the rubber belt rubbing on whatever. This is less likely.

There is a number of different things it could be, and I'm not trying to sound like a dick, but you started a thread for help without even really looking into the matter in detail.

More information aids in diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not hear to call anyone names. I started this thread in the "troubleshooting" forum specifically because I don't know all the details to check. I've appreciated your help.

I've been under the car with it running, smoke certainly appears to be coming from at least the bottom and front of the valve cover with no sign of oil leaks. It does not appear to be coming from as low as the manifold. I have not looked at the belts specifically, but again, the smoke seems to be coming from the cover. I feel that it's too spread out to be the belt and it certainly smells more like oil to me.

As for the guides and seats, I would have no idea how to inspect those if it came to it. Can they be checked with with just the cover off? I don't know what to look for on them, nor would I have the resources to fix them if it comes to it.
 

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From the vague search I made through other forums. It appears that the smoke could be water condesation in the engine as a result of a bad PCV valve or bad head gaskets.

Since the head gaskets are relatively new, my next question is, when did you last replace the PCV valve?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good question. I had a major service at 210k by a reputable local shop (AHQ). But I'd have to pull out the invoice to confirm if the PCV was replaced or not.

Looking more and more likely that I'll have to take it to a shop to confirm any diagnosis at this point.
 
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