What to Do When Oil is Coming Out of Your Exhaust Pipe

When you’re driving down the road and black billowing smoke starts to come out of your exhaust pipe…it’s definitely noticeable, right? You wouldn’t miss it and neither would the other drivers on the road! 

But what about more sneaky issues like oil leaks? How do drivers know when oil is coming out of the exhaust pipe — and what should you do about it? 

Oil leaking from the exhaust pipe can lead to deeper issues and it’s best to take your car to a professional for repairs as soon as possible.  

Here are some warning signs that there’s an issue and that you need a professional’s assessment as soon as possible. 


Check Your PCV Valve

Blueish smoke coming from spark plugs and reduced fuel economy are some of the initial warning signs you need to look out for.  Why? Because when the PVC valve becomes clogged, it can result in a rough idle — or worse, stalling.

If the engine becomes pressurized and forces the oil to break past seals and into the exhaust, the valve will need to be replaced. 


Replace Valve Guides

Valve guides conduct heat from the combustion process from the exhaust valve into the cylinder head. When the valve guides become worn, the lubrication from the engine oil seeps past seals around the shafts.  


As the oil leaks past the valves, it flows into exhaust gasses from the engine. This problem is associated with the blueish engine smoke you might notice when you’re driving.


Look for a Blown Head Gasket

The head gasket acts as a seal between the engine head and the block. You will need to look out for clear symptoms such as reduced engine performance, the engine overheating and fuel burning excessively. All of these issues can contribute to oil leaking from the exhaust pipe.

If this happens, in order for the engine to act normally the head gasket will need to be replaced.


Detect the Smoke Colors

If you really want to play detective, keep an eye out for the colors that come out of the tailpipe — they could be a sign indicating what the oil is actually doing to the exhaust. For example, blueish smoke means that the oil is leaking into the combustion chamber. Black smoke means that the engine is failing to burn combustion catalysts. White smoke is a sign of possible faulty piston rings and requires a full examination of the car.


In most cases, if you notice oil and even smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe, you should skip the DIY method and go straight to your trusted auto mechanic. At Living the Dream Auto Care, we can fix your problems and have your car back on the highway in no time. Call us today!

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