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#810262 - 01/14/07 09:27 AM Need to get my beater car to stop smoking.
dx92beater Offline

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 444
Loc: va

I got a 92 Mazda Protege DX about 2 years ago. I used it for my primary car, but it became my beater car after about 1 years use.

After putting some miles on the car, I noticed that it was smoking white. Yes, white, not blue. I assumed that the headgasket was bad, so I threw some pellets in the radiator and just ended up blocking the radiator.

It turns out that the whitish smoke was in actuality oil burning. (Yes, I know it's supposed to be blue when it burns oil, and now it burns blue).

Again, this is my beater car. I want it to run and get me to work until it croaks. I DON'T WANT TO SPEND ALOT OF MONEY and don't think that a used engine would be cost effective either.

BTW, I have failed to mention the symptoms:

Smokes in the morning for about 1 minute. HUGE BLUE CLOUDS ETC and stench of oil etc. Smokes so bad that I am sure the plugs are getting sprayed with oil during that time period to the degree where it misfires during that time.

I have been able to get rid of this by doing the following:

Using 20w-50 motor oil (Cheap stuff like supertech) and just replacing it as it burns off.

I have changed the oils every 3000 miles regardless as the car is really only burning about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles.

At some point though, it started smoking again. I can't remember the sequence of events though.

I got drastic to try and get it to stop by doing the following:

2 quarts Lucas Stabilizer w/ 2 quarts Valvoline high mileage 20w50.

This cut down on the smoke, but it still smoked about 50% as bad.

Well then I lost my senses and got too greedy. I decided to get Walmart's cheap synthetic oil (Warren oil under the Supertech Badge)(since it was about the same price as a high mileage anyways).

When I put the synthetic in I developed a rear main seal leak. I am assuming that the high detergent action in the synthetic caused this. Then I got TONS of smoke in the morning.

I went back to the 2 quarts Lucas, and 2 quarts Valvoline High Mileage 20w 50 and the rear main seal stopped leaking, but the burning in the morning is really bad, AND I MEAN BADDDDD.

I have some "Restore" sitting in there, and it hasn't done a #@$%! thing.

I assume that the problem is bad valve stem seals (compression is OK).

I have a few ideas:

1) Get some cheap non-detergent oil, and run the car till it sludges back up.

2) Try some Castrol 20w 50 GTX high mileage.

3) Just keep adding cheap 20w 50 and neglect oil changes for longer durations....go 7.5k miles between changes to thicken the oil up etc. (I notice that it smokes even worse when adding quarts of "normal" cheap non-high mileage oil.

Just want to crutch it along and learn something.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!

Remember, I don't want to thrown much money into this car, but the gas mileage is unbelievable.

I got 42 mpg the other night in rural/city driving (2 stop lights on a 50 mile trip) with 3 people in the car....driving it like a granny. That was with the 2 quarts lucas and 2 quarts 20w 50!!!!!!

#810263 - 01/14/07 09:31 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: dx92beater]
Rand Offline

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 11970
Loc: NE,Ohio
Thats a tough question but really you can do no wrong when
your car is on its last legs.
I'm not a fan of lucas OIL additive.
I would just use something like castrol HM 10w40
or maxlife 10w40

Maybe straight 30weight delo.
sounds like oil is leaking down after the engine is shut off
making it smoke like crazy on startup
(dont know if that makes sense)
2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk V6

#810264 - 01/14/07 09:42 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: Rand]
dx92beater Offline

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 444
Loc: va
Thank you,

Yes it does make plenty of sense. I presume the valve stem seals would do something like that.

A question for you, why would you recommend a thinner oil?

Bearings not getting lubricated with the 20w50?

I would probably go 10-30 over 10-40 due to gas mileage reasons, and since the burning is coming in at startup.

2 quarts 20w50 and 2 quarts lucas stabilizer is probably pushing it in the winter anyways LOL!!

I can take some smoke in the morning, but I work on a military base, so when I leave work I get the same cloud of smoke.

I also live in a heavy emissions area...DC Metro area.

I don't want any problems at work, and I am sure I am going to hear about it sooner or later.

#810265 - 01/14/07 09:44 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: Rand]
Aldaris Offline

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1174
Loc: United States
how hard would it be to fix the problem for good?
Go around, windshear ahead!

#810266 - 01/14/07 09:47 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: Aldaris]
dx92beater Offline

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 444
Loc: va
Probably not doable in my apartment complex.

Also a matter of money. I don't feel that it is worth it to do so in this area. Mechanics charge PLENTY of money to do simple things. Probably around $1000 to do so. Then I can deal with the other $5000 that the car probably needs. In the end I'd be stuck with a car that I don't like anyways.
Galant VR4, Talon TSI AWD, Forester XT, Caravan AWD, Focus, GMC Truck

#810267 - 01/14/07 09:53 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: dx92beater]
dx92beater Offline

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 444
Loc: va
also is that delo non-detergent?

Galant VR4, Talon TSI AWD, Forester XT, Caravan AWD, Focus, GMC Truck

#810268 - 01/14/07 10:02 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: dx92beater]
ekrampitzjr Offline

Registered: 03/23/03
Posts: 788
Loc: Hopewell, Virginia, USA
You could always try the notorious oil thickeners such as Motor Honey, Motor Medic, Motor Paramedic, Motor Mortician, etc., but after a point that's playing with fire, namely by clogging the oil intake. One quart every 1,000 miles should not nearly be enough to be seeing blue smoke all the time as you are.

The white smoke you remember from before concerns me. You haven't said. Are you sure you aren't losing coolant? My hunch is that you will have to get the head pulled to do a valve job (to replace the valve stem seals at least) and a head gasket job.

#810269 - 01/14/07 10:20 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: ekrampitzjr]
55Test Offline

Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 1970
Loc: New Brunswick
Get a used cylinder head from a junkyard. Toss a friend a case of beer and 50 bucks or so and have him/her change the head on a free weekend.
The total sum of everything I have learned from this website: ...Oil in engine, good!

#810270 - 01/14/07 10:21 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: dx92beater]
427Z06 Offline

Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 7409
Loc: Austin, TX
Are you sure the oil isn't getting into the combustion chamber some other way other than the rings or the valve stem seals? Maybe it's being drawn into the manifold thru the PCV system? See if you can somehow get a look in the manifold. What did the plugs look like when you pulled them? Is all the smoke coming from the tailpipe? Or is some of it possibly leaking onto the exhaust system?

If your on a military base, most use to have auto hobby shops. Hunt down a copy of a shop manual, or goggle for the procedure, and see what it would take to replace the valve stem seals. With a $100 in parts and a weekend at the hobby shop, you might be able to replace with a little help from one of your buddies.

After HM 20w50, there's little else that can be done oil wise.
"What do you get when you multiply six by nine? - In base 13."

#810271 - 01/14/07 10:32 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: 427Z06]
ebaker Offline

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 681
Loc: TX
Continue the 20w50 or thicker with walmart motor honey additive. Replace any oil fouled spark plugs with hotter ones. Check the PVC. Make sure the head is not sludged, blocking the oil return. Try idling a minute before shutdown. Park at the far end of the parking lot at work.

#810272 - 01/14/07 10:54 AM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: ebaker]
Drew99GT Online   happy

Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 21923
Loc: Colorado Springs
Pennzoil 20w-50. Eventually, after a week or two, the wax will fill in around the valve stem seals and plug up the leaks. Problem solved. Then you can go into the candle bidness

On the other hand, if the seals are really old, cracked and messed up, you could run 85w-140 gear oil and it wouldn't help the situation that much.

I'd simply run a 20w-50 high mileage oil (seal conditioners), like Supertech, and hope for the best. It's a beater, your topping off a lot etc.; go at least 7500 before doing a full oil change. Heck, you could go 10,000 miles with ease, with a filter change half way through. Your doing a full oil change every 3,000 miles anyhow with a quart ever 1K, provided you keep it topped off. That wouldn't even be pushing it. Good luck.

#810273 - 01/14/07 02:17 PM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: Drew99GT]
Char Baby Offline

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 9143
The problem is the piston rings/cylinder walls. If you pull the head you will probably see down inside the cylinder(s) all of the damage due to neglect somewhere in the engines life. You've just about tried all of the different oils/addatives available OTC and nothing has worked yet and probably won't. A boneyard motor my be the only cheap answer.
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

#810274 - 01/14/07 02:40 PM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: Char Baby]
Curious Kid Offline

Registered: 02/20/05
Posts: 1183
Loc: Vermont
So far it seems that the only thing to do is roll up your sleeves. Depending on the temp's, running with such a thick oil blend just might lead to increased rates of ring wear, though the cam assembly may benefit once oil flow initiates.

If the running appearence is as bad as you say, I'd imagine your vehicle will find itself parked sooner rather than later just from the visual emissions. Fix the problem rather than try to cover it up, unless it's some sort of end-pipe repair test bed. Even so I think one would want to draw the line somewhere.

Good luck.
The only constant is change.

#810275 - 01/14/07 03:02 PM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: dx92beater]
Fordiesel69 Offline

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 723
Loc: Erie, PA
Diagnose the problem. Find out if it is the rings, or valve seals. If it is the valve seals, try to change them. They are not as expensive as you may think. If they cannot be changed with the head on, swap out the head.

If the rings are bad, then just keep doing what your doing.
99' Crown Vic Police Interceptor (P71) w/Steet apperance package, 138K
99' Lincoln Town Car - Signature Series, Silver Frost, 89K

#810276 - 01/14/07 04:24 PM Re: Need to get my beater car to stop smoking. [Re: Fordiesel69]
jorton Offline

Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 3081
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I don't know if mazda is designed like nissan but you can check....
for a small square gasket that seals the valve cover to the top of the head. There is a crankcase vent port in the head. It's inside the valve cover, near the PCV valve. Pull the valve cover to get access.

The gasket for my nissan is a dealer item. Good luck!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti

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