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Old 03-03-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
SpicyPeaNut
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Default 2013 Stock STI smoke on cold startup

So yesterday I started my car after it had been sitting in the garage overnight and I was surprised to see quite a bit of smoke coming from the exhaust. It almost smelled like unburnt fuel had loaded up in the exhaust and when started it got pushed out turning to smoke. Sort of hard to explain. My car is 100% stock, in fact Wednesday I had an oil change done at the dealer. Tomorrow morning I am going to try to take video to see if it happens again.

Would an engine oil overfill cause some smoking on a cold start? Assuming this happens again I am going to the dealer.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SpicyPeaNut View Post
So yesterday I started my car after it had been sitting in the garage overnight and I was surprised to see quite a bit of smoke coming from the exhaust. It almost smelled like unburnt fuel had loaded up in the exhaust and when started it got pushed out turning to smoke. Sort of hard to explain. My car is 100% stock, in fact Wednesday I had an oil change done at the dealer. Tomorrow morning I am going to try to take video to see if it happens again.

Would an engine oil overfill cause some smoking on a cold start? Assuming this happens again I am going to the dealer.
Yes an overfill could cause that.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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mmmmm could be you know cold start lol man Subaru owners over the last few years have started going crazy.....
As soon as they see smoke the run to the forums thinking the motor is toast PS here is a hint let your car cool down IDK maybe a couple hours till the motor is cold then fire it up see what happens....

Also you have a 2013 if the motor is toast make SOA fix it lol if it is stock you have nothing to worry about
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Happens to me too. Meh. Havent really worried about it... What are exhaust fumes supposed to smell like anyways
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #5
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What color is the smoke? If it started right after an oil change the dealership probably overfilled it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
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Take a deep breath. Relax. Crack your knuckles and roll your head in slow circles. I am not a member of the melodramatic squad here to tell you your engine will explode and cause death for miles. Generally speaking "smoke" is present at start up due to condensation in the piping due to rich starting conditions and will go away. It can smell like fuel depending on your nose. It is also 100% normal. Is the smoke coming out of the tailpipe look like
starting at the 40 second mark? If yes, you should be concerned and call the dealer. Anything less, then you should have some General Foods International Coffee and think about something important as some smoke is normal.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Take a deep breath. Relax. Crack your knuckles and roll your head in slow circles. I am not a member of the melodramatic squad here to tell you your engine will explode and cause death for miles. Generally speaking "smoke" is present at start up due to condensation in the piping due to rich starting conditions and will go away. It can smell like fuel depending on your nose. It is also 100% normal. Is the smoke coming out of the tailpipe look like How to Seafoam Sc400 - YouTube starting at the 40 second mark? If yes, you should be concerned and call the dealer. Anything less, then you should have some General Foods International Coffee and think about something important as some smoke is normal.
The only reason why I was concerned was because it seemed abnormally excessive but it did go away fairly quickly. Thanks for your input as I generally do enjoy your posts

I did a little more digging, popped the hood and noticed the breather hoses that run across the front of the inter-cooler were all disconnected. (Why do I bother going to the dealer if they can't connect my inter-cooler correctly? ) . Another thing is the little red elbow pipe that connects directly to the turbo, I noticed had either some type of grease on it. Almost as if the tech couldn't slip the elbow pipe back onto the turbo without greasing it up to help it slide on easier. If the tech had put some grease on it, would that maybe cause some smoke on start-up? Trust me the dealer will be getting a call from me in the morning. Who knows what else they didn't put back correctly.

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Originally Posted by Jkmaynard View Post
mmmmm could be you know cold start lol man Subaru owners over the last few years have started going crazy.....
As soon as they see smoke the run to the forums thinking the motor is toast PS here is a hint let your car cool down IDK maybe a couple hours till the motor is cold then fire it up see what happens....

Also you have a 2013 if the motor is toast make SOA fix it lol if it is stock you have nothing to worry about
I have no idea what you are talking about. My 2003 wrx never smoked on start up, nor has the 2013 (until just after my newest dealer oil change). So can you blame me for thinking something isn't right?

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Originally Posted by swpshgnwgn View Post
What color is the smoke? If it started right after an oil change the dealership probably overfilled it.
I am going to have my dad video my startup tomorrow morning so I can get a good look myself. I will post a followup tomorrow.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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What's the temp in the morning when starting? What color of smoke? Water vapor from the exhaust is totally normal if the temp is below 50* or so, especially if it's a little humid out.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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The real question is why the dealer needed to remove the intercooler for an oil change. It seems odd even for inspection purposes on a new car.

Running the car with those head/case breather hoses disconnected won't hurt the motor, but it will cause a breather pressure differential between the heads and case that may push oil into abnormal places.

The breather hoses also tie into the turbo inlet. If they were disconnected, there would be a post MAF intake leak that would cause problems; perhaps the source of your rich start up fumes.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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The real question is why the dealer needed to remove the intercooler for an oil change. It seems odd even for inspection purposes on a new car.

Running the car with those head/case breather hoses disconnected won't hurt the motor, but it will cause a breather pressure differential between the heads and case that may push oil into abnormal places.

The breather hoses also tie into the turbo inlet. If they were disconnected, there would be a post MAF intake leak that would cause problems; perhaps the source of your rich start up fumes.
I was having the dealer install the oil pressure sensor in the block, and they did not re-install the inter-cooler correctly. I am guessing that you are correct with oil getting pushed into abnormal places. I have watched it each time I've started since then and it seems to be normal now (after reattaching the hoses). Thank you for the post.

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Originally Posted by Hivoltj View Post
What's the temp in the morning when starting? What color of smoke? Water vapor from the exhaust is totally normal if the temp is below 50* or so, especially if it's a little humid out.
The temp is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the garage in the morning. It was defiantly not water vapor.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #11
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Did you try unscrewing oil cap while engine is running? Make sure no puffs of smoke are coming out.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:05 AM   #12
SpicyPeaNut
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Did you try unscrewing oil cap while engine is running? Make sure no puffs of smoke are coming out.
Yes, I did do this. No smoke was coming out but it seemed like air was. Which was odd. Everything has been fine since I hooked all the lines back up.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:25 PM   #13
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Perfectly normal. It's the impulses of air being pulled/pushed caused by the pistons moving in the crank case.
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