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Old 02-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
Shinji Hirako
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Default Help with my Smoking 02 WRX

Good morning nasioc,

As of Saturday 2/2/2013 im a proud owner of a POS 2002 wrx. The car currently has 109,000 miles and all sorts of problems. First and main issue i'm having is on start up the car immediately releases bluish white smoke from the tail pipe. Then shortly after starts smoking from the passenger side engine bay. Specify turbo/ (coolant fill area??)

Some side info. The day i got the car i had to drive it roughly 17 miles home. On the way home my friends decided to make a detour to get some sandwiches. I'm a fat bastard so i wasn't gonna say no to a sandwich . So we pulled into the deli parking lot. I hopped out the car and let the car sit running for about 5 to 10 mins. The car did not smoke at all. As soon as i reversed out of the parking spot, i pulled up to the driveway to make a right out of the deli lot a nimbus cloud of white/bluish smoke filled the engine bay. When i stepped on the throttle there was some hesitation. I'm assuming its from the car trying to suck in the smoke from the tmic.

Do you guys have any thoughts on what this could be. I did Use the search bar and i came across some threads where people had similar issues as the one i'm having but there was no conclusion to there problem.
Possible issues:

1. Blown head gasket
2. Worn Ringlands
3. Blown turbo
4. Worn Valve stem seals
5. All of thee above

I have a video of start up hopefully it is embed so you guys can watch it.

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Last edited by Shinji Hirako; 02-04-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #2
Shinji Hirako
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On another note i let the car sit overnight and did not see any oil stains on the driveway ill check again tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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You've got yourself a good list of things to start off looking at.
Start off with a compression test.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by civhatch92 View Post
You've got yourself a good list of things to start off looking at.
Start off with a compression test.
you're right. I'm picking up a new compression tester Saturday. My old ones broken. i haven't used it since 2005 lmao.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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Had the car been sitting for a while before you purchasing it? I'm just thinking 109k is a little low for an 02 in the mileage department. You could have blown seals in your turbo. Watch your oil level. Don't let it get low, but replacing your turbo is a relatively cheap fix. Check your compression for peace of mind, but it sounds like your turbo to me if the car ran fine before the smokeout.

I can't see the vid here at work so this is just my .02$ from what you wrote.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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Do you know what oil was used in the car? How's the level? I'd either say too low/full oil or the seals are bad in the turbo.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WRXSD View Post
Had the car been sitting for a while before you purchasing it? I'm just thinking 109k is a little low for an 02 in the mileage department. You could have blown seals in your turbo. Watch your oil level. Don't let it get low, but replacing your turbo is a relatively cheap fix. Check your compression for peace of mind, but it sounds like your turbo to me if the car ran fine before the smokeout.

I can't see the vid here at work so this is just my .02$ from what you wrote.
See thats the thing when i bought it from the original owner he said he never drove the car. Except from moving it from parking spot to parking spot. Since he lived in the city. He was the second owner and had it from when it came right of the lease. He was being a little shady and pulling an airhead maneuver with comments like "it's low on oil" , "I just put oil in it i don't know why its", "I just did a major service on it but i don't have the receipts".

I was praying that it was just the turbo but there's too much conflicting info on the subject. I was gonna the exhaust and turbo and run open exhaust to see if bulish colored smoke came out but not sure if that would help.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Do you know what oil was used in the car? How's the level? I'd either say too low/full oil or the seals are bad in the turbo.
When i checked it i was overfilled. I haven't gotten a chance to drain it and when i go back to the car tonight he left a couple of bottles of oil in the car ill check and let you know which one.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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If its the turbo then you will have oil in the downpipe I would check there also.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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If its the turbo then you will have oil in the downpipe I would check there also.
This might be a weird question but would the down pipe be saturated with oil? Or would it be damp and i would notice it? It just the first time i had to deal with on a turbo car.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinji Hirako View Post
When i checked it i was overfilled. I haven't gotten a chance to drain it and when i go back to the car tonight he left a couple of bottles of oil in the car ill check and let you know which one.
This might cause a little bit of blue smoke at start-up. I would drain the oil and throw in some Shell rotella t6 for testing sake. Put in 4.5 quarts and let it run for a bit and see if she still smokes.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #12
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This might cause a little bit of blue smoke at start-up. I would drain the oil and throw in some Shell rotella t6 for testing sake. Put in 4.5 quarts and let it run for a bit and see if she still smokes.
If i can some how get to advance auto parts tonight ill pick up some. If not ill have to wait till this weekend.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Thanks subian.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:20 PM   #14
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i had the same issue when i bought my bugeye with the smoking near the turbo. The turbo was seized and it had no power. felt like a farm tractor. my mechanic had to replace the turbo and the exhaust gaskets. obviously your not having the power issues, but how bad is the hesitation?
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #15
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i had the same issue when i bought my bugeye with the smoking near the turbo. The turbo was seized and it had no power. felt like a farm tractor. my mechanic had to replace the turbo and the exhaust gaskets. obviously your not having the power issues, but how bad is the hesitation?
It was just at the point of pulling out of that lot. It kinda felt like i stalled out but i didn't.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinji Hirako View Post
This might be a weird question but would the down pipe be saturated with oil? Or would it be damp and i would notice it? It just the first time i had to deal with on a turbo car.
I cant speak for this platform as I don't have Subaru specific experience but the same pretty much goes for most turbo cars. It wont be alot of oil unless its a consistent plum of smoke that never stops.

If you keep driving the car this way and it is in fact the turbo that is smoking then it will get worse. It will start out just doing it at idle and when the car is cold and develop into a smoke screen every time its running.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:32 PM   #17
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If you're in the downstate NYC area, check the Tri-State section Vendor Directory for a list of our local vendor shops. You can take it to one of them for a thorough evaluation and get an accurate report on its condition and what repairs are needed. This will be far better than any internet diagnosis.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #18
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have you tried removing the oil filler cap and reving the engine? if you see smoke steaming from the oil cap then your kinda screwed..
smoke on startup is usually valve seals though but can be rings like in my case..

the smoke in the engine bay is a seperate problem. It has to be coming from either one of the oil/coolant lines in the turbo. thats not hard to find just inspect all the lines.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:08 PM   #19
Shinji Hirako
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Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
If you're in the downstate NYC area, check the Tri-State section Vendor Directory for a list of our local vendor shops. You can take it to one of them for a thorough evaluation and get an accurate report on its condition and what repairs are needed. This will be far better than any internet diagnosis.
Thank you for that info but if money wasn't tight i would definitely take you up on that.

Last edited by Shinji Hirako; 02-04-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:15 PM   #20
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have you tried removing the oil filler cap and reving the engine? if you see smoke steaming from the oil cap then your kinda screwed..
smoke on startup is usually valve seals though but can be rings like in my case..

the smoke in the engine bay is a seperate problem. It has to be coming from either one of the oil/coolant lines in the turbo. thats not hard to find just inspect all the lines.
I was having a discussion with one of my coworkers about this. I wasn't sure if coolant ran through the turbo. I did remove the oil filler cap but didn't see any smoke rise from it even though i didn't rev the engine.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:27 PM   #21
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Thank you everyone up until now whose chimed in on my issue.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:58 PM   #22
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Do you know what oil was used in the car? How's the level? I'd either say too low/full oil or the seals are bad in the turbo.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:11 PM   #23
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It sounds like the turbo to me. Why do I think that? Last week I just blew my 3rd turbo and that is what it did. Smoke from the engine bay and tail pipe.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:18 PM   #24
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It sounds like the turbo to me. Why do I think that? Last week I just blew my 3rd turbo and that is what it did. Smoke from the engine bay and tail pipe.
what did you replace it with?
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:24 PM   #25
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what did you replace it with?

I replaced mine with a blouch dom 2.5 xtr but mine is built. If you need a turbo I have a fresh td04hl-19t.
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