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Old 01-31-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
gritzandgravy
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Default Subaru Sti - Cold Start Smoke

I have a 2013 sti and as far as i know i saw no posts out there for this concern. So on really cold mornings (-4℉ to 15℉) i will warm my car up for 5 min or so. In doing so i noticed that my exhaust is a bit thicker / whiter than normal. I understand that its cold out and heat will condense etc, but it seems to be more so than it should be. In addition too, when i smell it, it seems to have a slight oil smell to it (almost sweet in a way). THEN after warming up ( choke is off) i dont have those symptoms anymore. Is this something to be worried about or does this typically happen when choke r on? Fyi i know little to nothing about engines..
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
missmysubie
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I'm pretty sure you're okay. In single digit temps I've been in, start up exhaust is thick and just hangs in the air....both my wrx and STi do/did this.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:01 AM   #3
milab21
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I'm sure your okay...its gonna happen when its freezing cold... I get paranoid about that kind of stuff, but then I look at brand new cars that are driving around and little bits of smoke is coming out of their car...natural for this cold... good luck!
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:16 AM   #4
Brent22
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I wouldn't worry about it, my car does it too.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:37 AM   #5
HinshawWRX
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You have a 2013, if you think you have a problem then use your WARRANTY.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:43 AM   #6
Jack
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Is this a 2013 Subaru or a 1973 Subaru? The 73 would have a choke. A 2013 would not.

If you were burning oil, your oil level would drop between oil changes. Measure the oil that comes out when you do changes and check it every fuel fill up, if you're concerned.

There's a difference between burning oil at startup and burning off condensation and it can be fairly easily seen by someone watching your car driving away. Condensation will be totally white. Oil will be clearly more blue. You won't miss it if you see it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gritzandgravy View Post
I understand that its cold out and heat will condense etc, ...
I'm pretty sure you don't understand how things work.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
HinshawWRX
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OP, the dealer is going to want an exhaust sample to analyze. To do this you need a mason jar.

Steps:
Open mason jar.
Ensure vehicle has cooled off completely or the first start of the day.
Start the car, put the mason jar at the muffler exit, and collect the sample for approx. 4 minutes.
**Note. Exhaust can/will spill out of the jar, but this is completely fine.**
Seal jar completely.
Document name, time, and of course make, model, year of vehicle in permanent marker on the lid and jar.
Take it to your dealer promptly for analysis.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HinshawWRX View Post
OP, the dealer is going to want an exhaust sample to analyze. To do this you need a mason jar.

Steps:
Open mason jar.
Ensure vehicle has cooled off completely or the first start of the day.
Start the car, put the mason jar at the muffler exit, and collect the sample for approx. 4 minutes.
**Note. Exhaust can/will spill out of the jar, but this is completely fine.**
Seal jar completely.
Document name, time, and of course make, model, year of vehicle in permanent marker on the lid and jar.
Take it to your dealer promptly for analysis.
I can see the look on the service writers face now as he's handed a jar of "exhaust sample" to analyze.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:38 PM   #10
Horuku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamBot View Post
I can see the look on the service writers face now as he's handed a jar of "exhaust sample" to analyze.
Or the followup thread of "Help I just put a hole in my neighbors house from a mason jar that launched off my exhaust!"
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:03 PM   #11
Kid_with_the_face
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Hopefully he doesn't take the mason jar comment seriously
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
Kuros
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is it white smoke, or blueish smoke?

IF it is actual smoke, and not just water vapor, coolant will be sweet smelling and white, while oil will smell like... oil, my ex girlfriend's vagina, kinda old/nasty organic smelling and be blue in appearance.

Blue smoke-oil
white smoke-coolant


Keep an eye on oil and coolant levels, make sure neither is draining quickly. But, most likely it is just water vapor.



PS. If your 2013 has a choke, you may want to take it back and demand a 40 year newer car.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:20 PM   #13
Scorpius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HinshawWRX View Post
OP, the dealer is going to want an exhaust sample to analyze. To do this you need a mason jar.

Steps:
Open mason jar.
Ensure vehicle has cooled off completely or the first start of the day.
Start the car, put the mason jar at the muffler exit, and collect the sample for approx. 4 minutes.
**Note. Exhaust can/will spill out of the jar, but this is completely fine.**
Seal jar completely.
Document name, time, and of course make, model, year of vehicle in permanent marker on the lid and jar.
Take it to your dealer promptly for analysis.
I read this seriously for 0.03 seconds.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuros View Post
... coolant will be sweet smelling and white, while oil will smell like... oil, my ex girlfriend's vagina, kinda old/nasty organic smelling and be blue in appearance.
You dated a skanky Smurfette?
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:51 PM   #15
gritzandgravy
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The smoke is definately white. I just checked the oil like five times when it was cold, and that checked out. Its 36℉ out now and theres barely any smoke from a cold start. As far as the "sweet" smell, i just realized i use 93 octane, would that cause that sort of smell? I also did notice that when it was cold out, more exhaust was coming out of the passenger side muffler, is this common?

Btw thanks for the speedy responses!
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:59 PM   #16
HinshawWRX
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Octane has nothing to do with how the exhaust smells.

Exhaust coming out one side more then the other is common in any single exhaust that splits into 2 at the end of the system.

Make an appointment and take it to the dealer.
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:32 PM   #17
5ubZeR0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gritzandgravy View Post
The smoke is definately white. I just checked the oil like five times when it was cold, and that checked out. Its 36℉ out now and theres barely any smoke from a cold start. As far as the "sweet" smell, i just realized i use 93 octane, would that cause that sort of smell? I also did notice that when it was cold out, more exhaust was coming out of the passenger side muffler, is this common?

Btw thanks for the speedy responses!
You "JUST" realized you are using 93 octane? What octane were you using previously? Always use 93 octane in your STI.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:28 AM   #18
gritzandgravy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5ubZeR0 View Post

You "JUST" realized you are using 93 octane? What octane were you using previously? Always use 93 octane in your STI.
Always have used 93.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:53 AM   #19
yo vanilla
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extra, un-burnt fuel will produce white smoke especially when cold. my car has done the same since installing my AP. at first i too was worried something was wrong but in the end the car is running a little too rich when cold.

i dont know this is your problem but it's a possibility. if the symptoms disappear entirely when the temperature rises above freezing, it's my suspicion. but being a newer car and under warranty, it's a safe bet to call the dealer just in case.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:05 AM   #20
YourFearlessLeader
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your main cat is inefficient at those temperatures and the car is running rich to quickly warn up to operating temperature. this explains the smoke and smell. its normal. just check the coolant and oil level every other to fill up and stop worrying.
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