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Old 03-20-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
guygettnby
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Talking 11 wrx puff of smoke on start up. (UPDATED)

i have done some searching about this subject but did not find the answer i am looking for.

the other day i drove my car to my parents house. about an hour or so later i started it up to leave. i sat there for about 30sec to 1 min waiting on my wife to get in the car when i noticed a huge puff of white/grey smoke surround the car. i quickly turned off the car not knowing what it was. i didnt see anything buring or really even notice a smell coming from the car.

so i had my wife start the car and nothing else happened. i did a walk around the car and noticed a little bit of smoke/condensation maybe coming from the exhaust tips. it smelled basically like raw fuel and maybe a slight oil smell.

i have modded the car with the following
TurboXS catless TB
Cobb sf intake w/box
Cobb AP stg 2 OTS map (changed to TP stg 2 map shortly after issue started)

now with having a catless DP i knew to expect the raw fuel smell. thats a given on any vehicle without cats. but what i did not expect was the huge puff of smoke the car put out. i have not noticed the problem at all since early sunday when it happened. i plan on doing a compression/leak down test this weekend just to check things out. i also have noticed alittle hesitation when im under full throttle going thru the RPM's. i have a feeling it is the OTS map and plan on getting a decent tune here shortly as well. but here is my main question i have not seen an answer for while searching.

Will i have the puffs of smoke every once in awhile when running a catless DP? is this normal for a subaru to do every once in awhile?

i know if the car continues to smoke, it is not normal and there could be an issue. but it has only happened to me once since going stage 2 and hasnt happened since last sunday. car is not smoking at all other then that day when it happened. another thing i have considered is turbo seals... but the dealer replaced my turbo about 1500 miles ago. so i would hope that is not a possible issue and it doesnt seem likely since it has only happened once.

so what do you think about this? wondering if other people running close to the same set up or catless DP have noticed these issues?
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Last edited by guygettnby; 06-19-2012 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
mattw278
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Have you checked your boost levels under WOT? Those mods tend to boost creep like crazy on our cars. I run stage 1+AEM OTS map and I had to run the low wastegate version of the map because I was over boosting. You could have overboosted and damaged the motor, so I would check if you're exceeding target boost. Also like you said get a compression test, smoke is never normal especially with an oil smell.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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i have done 3 data logs so far, 3rd gear from 2k-7k and they are all under 18psi. i have yet to have boost creep with this setup yet lucky me. but while driving around one day with the AP plugged up it did see a spike up to 19, but it did not stay there as it was a spike.

i have had a small amount of fine knock learning in the first 2 runs but the 3rd run had nothing and seemed to be perfectly fine. i want to do the tests before i do another data log just incase something is actually wrong with the car.

the car only did it that one time and has not smoked again since then. the hesitation of power has been there since i flashed from stage 1 to stage 2.... so i really have a feeling it has to do with my setup and the tune. but the smoke bothers me as it happened out of the blue and im aware of what it usually means when it starts to happen. just wanted some other feed back
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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It wouldn't hurt to pull the down pipe off and see if there's any oil on the hot side of the turbo and check for shaft play. While idling you can pull the oil cap off, if you see any smoke coming from the fill tube this could be a sign of a bad ringland. A little smoke is normal from time to time with a catless exhaust but it's worth looking into a little more.

Mike
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimmSpeed View Post
It wouldn't hurt to pull the down pipe off and see if there's any oil on the hot side of the turbo and check for shaft play. While idling you can pull the oil cap off, if you see any smoke coming from the fill tube this could be a sign of a bad ringland. A little smoke is normal from time to time with a catless exhaust but it's worth looking into a little more.

Mike
i will add this to the list of stuff i am doing to it this weekend. does it matter when i take the oil cap off? during cold start, while it is warm or just any time it is idling?

i know when i installed the DP alittle over a week ago there was no oil and no shaft play. only oil i saw was in the TMIC and alittle in the hose between TB and TMIC. i finally fixed that hose and installed T-bolt clamps, thats the only reason i know and i did that all at the same time.

thanks for the input.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:38 PM   #6
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I'm looking into getting a WRX soon, I'm subscribing to this thread. Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guygettnby View Post
i will add this to the list of stuff i am doing to it this weekend. does it matter when i take the oil cap off? during cold start, while it is warm or just any time it is idling?

i know when i installed the DP alittle over a week ago there was no oil and no shaft play. only oil i saw was in the TMIC and alittle in the hose between TB and TMIC. i finally fixed that hose and installed T-bolt clamps, thats the only reason i know and i did that all at the same time.

thanks for the input.
You should be able to check the oil fill tube any time the car is running but cold start ups would probably be best.

Mike
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimmSpeed View Post
You should be able to check the oil fill tube any time the car is running but cold start ups would probably be best.

Mike
i checked the oil fill tube yesterday at different times, cold startup, after normal driving and after alittle harder driving. did not see any smoke what so ever. i even hit full boost for alittle bit to see if that would make a difference, but i didnt see any smoke coming out of it at all.

i also dont notice any smoke behind me while i am driving at all. usually if the turbo seals were bad i would see some smoke while driving the car and even while idling correct?
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:44 AM   #9
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the Cobb OTS stg 2 map runs rich. before i got protuned my car would backfire and blow fireballs when WOT and went to redline.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
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the Cobb OTS stg 2 map runs rich. before i got protuned my car would backfire and blow fireballs when WOT and went to redline.
i had thought about that. i also called a local tuner and asked them about it all. they said the problem i had was normal for not having a cat and i shouldnt worry about it since it only happened that once and im not showing any signs of a problem. said im probably just running rich or burning off something that was left in the exhaust from when the car was turned off.

i trust them, but i will still be testing the car to double check things for myself and put my mind at ease. better to be safe then sorry.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:26 PM   #11
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forgot to mention something else. since sunday i have been checking the oil everyday and the level has never really changed since i bought the car. always been spot on, so im not really burning any oil that i can tell. probably willl pull the DP off tonight to check for any oil on the turbo or in the DP. but if it is leaking anywere it is extremely minimal.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:04 AM   #12
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so after doing more research, i find that i may have figured some thing out.

is it possible that i had unburned fuel and the air pump helped ignite the unburned fuel thus causing a big puff of smoke from the unburned fuel since i have a catless TB exhaust on my car... i do have the cobb OTS stage 2 map wich i know is running rich. so i think it could be very possible.

but since sunday i have also noticed i am smelling the exhaust alot more and i can smell the unburned rich gas as it is spewing out. were as before it really wasnt that noticable. could possibly be related and the reason the car was puffing smoke.

sorry guys, guess im just brain storming while typing this
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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i got this in my car a couple times only on start up and it was cold out, i wouldnt worry about it, probably just a little bit of oil burning off. Might be getting a little bit of blow by but nothing i would worry about/ out of the norm.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:43 PM   #14
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I had the same thing when I first went to stage 2 with my catless. The first time it happened it was a decent amount of smoke and got me nervous, and I think it's happened only one other time since but not nearly as bad. It doesn't seem like a ringland problem. You would get smoke on cold starts and probably start noticing some power loss at some point. My car does use oil though, almost a quart every oil change. I have oil in the intercooler and the lines but told it was normal.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:57 PM   #15
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yea a little bit of oil is normal, im going to be getting an air/oil seperator in the near future
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:25 PM   #16
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I've heard people say they are a complete waste of money and others swear by them. I'm assuming they work and Grimmspeed's doesn't use a catch can which is sweet. A little on the pricey side though.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddy121389 View Post
yea a little bit of oil is normal, im going to be getting an air/oil seperator in the near future
alittle bit of oil is normal for sure and im not too worried abot the oil i have noticed. i have also heard mixed reviews on theair/oil sepertor so im not sure what i will do as far as that goes.

this ittle issue has prevented me from getting the Tq map untl i figured ot what the issue could be. but i have also been considering just holding off till i can go to turboxs and get the car tuned there.

eric has somegood maps, but i cant decide if i hould go stage 2 or stage 3 for his map. dont think i want to add a TMIC or FMIC until my warrenty is up. but i do want to add an EBCS to help regulate boost better.

on a side note the car is still doing fine as far as i can tell and sill no signs of smoke, low oil, smoke coming from oil filler cap and no more smoke from exhaust that i am worried about. i did notice abit of lose in power and some fine knock while doing some data logs. maybe just the OTS map i am using... who knows
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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Wanted to update this thread. I finally changed some things around and did some testing. Currently I am now running the torqued performance stage 2 map and the car feels so much stronger and smoother. I have no more knock and all my logs are good.

I also did a cylinder leak down test today. Here are the results for the test.
Cylinder 1 = 2% loss
Cylinder 2 = 2% loss
Cylinder 3 = 1% loss
Cylinder 4 = 4% loss

All of the cylinders I tested I could hear a slight hiss thru the oil cap.

Finally something else I noticed was every plugs isolator was red. Only thing I have ever heard about the red plug issue is it was caused by fuel additives or octane boosters. I plan on adding pics of the plugs once i upload them. So now I'm kinda stumped on why my car is smoking on start up. Maybe valve guide seals? The smoke is grayish white and kind of hard to smell past the fuel smell, but does have a hint of oil to it.

I don't think the turbo seals are bad as the car doesn't smoke when driving or under boost at all. It's just the initial puff when first started up. I also don't have any smoke coming out of the oil filler cap either. I do know I have some blow by, but I'm not sure if that's the problem either. I didn't find any abnormal amount of oil in the intercooler or pipes when I had them off.

Last edited by guygettnby; 04-09-2012 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:16 AM   #19
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what oil...exactly...are you running in it???
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:30 AM   #20
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what oil...exactly...are you running in it???
i have been running what came in it from the dealer up until recently. the care barely has 4k miles on it. but i just did my first oil change at around 3500 miles and put rotella t6 10-40w in it with a K&N filter.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:28 AM   #21
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I have always heard that a small bit of smoke is normal with the flat type engines. Oil just slidin under the piston when everything cools off.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:13 AM   #22
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A puff of smoke on startup is indicative of over filling the oil. Make sure the car is not over filled. There is a fine line between FULL and overfull. If the car has too much oil it will let a big puff of white smoke out on startup after the car sits for a few hours or more.

There should not be any puff of smoke on startup on these motors. If the oil is not overfilled and it continues, then you may have a problem with a cracked ring land.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:23 AM   #23
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here are a few pictures of what the plugs looked like when they were pulled out. they are all the same looking. possible high speed glazing or some sort of additive dying the plug. wich of them it is im not sure yet. going to change the plugs and not add any octane booster to see if that was the issue here.




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Old 04-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
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A puff of smoke on startup is indicative of over filling the oil. Make sure the car is not over filled. There is a fine line between FULL and overfull. If the car has too much oil it will let a big puff of white smoke out on startup after the car sits for a few hours or more.

There should not be any puff of smoke on startup on these motors. If the oil is not overfilled and it continues, then you may have a problem with a cracked ring land.
the oil is right at the full mark. might possibly be alittle over but seriously not by alot if any.

i am not seeing any loss of power, smoke any other time but start up, didnt see any bad percentage loss during leak down test, no smoke coming from oil fill tube or any other signs of cracked ring land? what other tests could i perform to test this out? also you dont think this could be because i am running a catless DP? i keep questioning that myself, might also just put the stock DP on for awhile and see if things change at all.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by guygettnby View Post
the oil is right at the full mark. might possibly be alittle over but seriously not by alot if any.

i am not seeing any loss of power, smoke any other time but start up, didnt see any bad percentage loss during leak down test, no smoke coming from oil fill tube or any other signs of cracked ring land? what other tests could i perform to test this out? also you dont think this could be because i am running a catless DP? i keep questioning that myself, might also just put the stock DP on for awhile and see if things change at all.

If the oil is at or above the notch in the dipstick when cold its over full and will cause a puff of smoke on start up. There is a very fine line between full and over full. Ask me how I know

Also, if the smoke is immediate when the car starts(after the car is cold) that means whatever is causing the smoke is being burned in the combustion chamber. This would rule out the DP. Besides, the DP itself would not cause any smoking issues. If the turbo was leaking oil into the DP the car would not smoke until the exhaust got hot enough to start burning the oil. This would be impossible on first startup.

So basically, oil is getting into the combustion chamber somehow. If everything checks out with the compression test, I would still say the oil is overfull.

P.S. The red/orange tint on the plugs is from the additive in Octane boosters. It's harmless. But keep in mind, octane boosters are a marketing gimmic and don't work for crap. Each "point" that the bottle says it boosts octane is like .08 of 1 octane. So a bottle of 10 point octane booster will make 93 octane fuel 93.8 octane. There are better ways to get higher octane....and its probably not even needed.


Good Luck, hope you figure it out.
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