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Old 07-22-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
USAF_TRobertson
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Angry White Smoke on Start - Overfilled Oil

Just bought a 2013 WRX with 21K miles on it. Purchased car in Florida and drove it home to Ohio the following day. Didn't notice anything until I got home - but when the car is started cold or after sitting for a while it emits a decent sized puff of white smoke. No smoke any other time while driving though. So decided to do some research on the forum today and the most obvious cause tends to be overfilled oil. So I go check the oil and find this:

http://i.imgur.com/nuOW3W8.jpg?1

Someone WAY overfilled this thing. There is a Valvoline sticker in the windshield from where the previous owner had the oil changed last. Aside from draining some oil out or getting an oil change - anything else that should be done?
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:18 PM   #2
Big-E
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Drain it to level. Make sure you have a new crush-washer on-hand.

<or>

Drain it to level. Install a Fumoto oil drain-valve, with supplied washer.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Meh, I wouldn't worry about the overfill, that's only about half a quart over. Many other reasons for white smoke.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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Don't be surprised if that's not the cause of the smoke either.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toph View Post
Meh, I wouldn't worry about the overfill, that's only about half a quart over. Many other reasons for white smoke.
Looks to me like almost a full quart over as the notch isn't the full mark, the circle below it is.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:27 PM   #6
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meh....
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:23 AM   #7
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^^^^ listen to this guy.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
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^^^^ listen to this guy.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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So as I am driving to Valvoline this morning to have them drain some oil out I realize that the Valvoline sticker is actually from Subaru of Jacksonville. They must use Valvoline oil or stickers there - so the oil was overfilled by the dealer and not Valvoline.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF_TRobertson View Post
So as I am driving to Valvoline this morning to have them drain some oil out I realize that the Valvoline sticker is actually from Subaru of Jacksonville. They must use Valvoline oil or stickers there - so the oil was overfilled by the dealer and not Valvoline.
Why don't you just do it? At this point I'd feel better spending 20 minutes to do it myself just for the satisfaction of knowing it's been done right.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:43 PM   #11
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I am tonight - was trying to avoid dealing with hot oil. Hopefully that fixes the white smoke issue... we'll see.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:54 PM   #12
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Just got confirmation from dealership I bought it at in Florida (Key GMC-Hyundai-Buick in Jacksonville) that they changed the oil when it was traded in. At least it's only been driven a short time like that.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF_TRobertson View Post
I am tonight - was trying to avoid dealing with hot oil. Hopefully that fixes the white smoke issue... we'll see.
ummm do it when the car is cold...
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:52 PM   #14
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If the dealer overfilled it, could it be that the engine was burning oil? Would be orthwhile to keep an eye on the oil level - which you probably would do anyways.

Just a thought, don't mean to alarm you.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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The range from the Lower Hole to the Upper Hole represents 1.1 qt. US. The Upper Hole represents Full when the the engine oil is cold. I believe the notch represents Full when the engine oil is hot. If you take into account the fact that the oil pan is not uniform in width (i.e. it gets wider with height), then this oil level is most likely more than 1 qt. overfilled.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF_TRobertson View Post
So as I am driving to Valvoline this morning to have them drain some oil out I realize that the Valvoline sticker is actually from Subaru of Jacksonville. They must use Valvoline oil or stickers there - so the oil was overfilled by the dealer and not Valvoline.

maybe you just THINK its overfilled
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:10 PM   #17
USAF_TRobertson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelbearing View Post
If the dealer overfilled it, could it be that the engine was burning oil? Would be orthwhile to keep an eye on the oil level - which you probably would do anyways.

Just a thought, don't mean to alarm you.
I will keep an eye on it. The dealer only had it a few weeks - doubt that it was driven very much at all. Probably not enough for them to notice it consuming oil.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermo View Post
The range from the Lower Hole to the Upper Hole represents 1.1 qt. US. The Upper Hole represents Full when the the engine oil is cold. I believe the notch represents Full when the engine oil is hot. If you take into account the fact that the oil pan is not uniform in width (i.e. it gets wider with height), then this oil level is most likely more than 1 qt. overfilled.
Just got done with it - had to pump out 2 quarts. I bought a fluid pump from Harbor Freight for $6 that worked great. Going to drive the car now and get any residual oil burnt/blown out the exhaust and let it sit overnight. Fingers crossed tomorrow morning it doesn't blow more white smoke out.

http://www.harborfreight.com/multi-u...ump-66418.html
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:14 PM   #19
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BTW - can someone explain to me why having the oil overfilled would cause a big cloud of white smoke to come out just when the engine is started, and while the car has been sitting for a decent period of time?
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:13 AM   #20
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Well that fixed the issue - started the car cold this morning and not a hint of smoke!
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF_TRobertson View Post
Well that fixed the issue - started the car cold this morning and not a hint of smoke!
You should be okay as you caught it early. Manufacturers allow for some overfill but a quart or more overfilled long term could be harmful to the engine. Even though logic would point to overfilling oil causing higher oil pressure it actually causes the opposite due to oil foaming.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:17 PM   #22
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FYI

Blueish smoke = oil
Black smoke = fuel
White Smoke = coolant
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:20 AM   #23
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It is perfectly fine to overfill a bit, especially if you have an older car the burns oil when you drive it hard (or easy). Because the Subaru engine is a boxer, the crankshaft sits very high in the block, unlike most other engines where the crank is at the very bottom of the block. Because of this, the oil doesn't get frothed up from the crankshaft dipping into it. Many Subaru owners that road race run 1/2 to 1 full quart extra to prevent running low on oil before the end of the race. Here's a link to Outfront Motorsports shortened oil pan. They lop off 1 and a 1/2 inches for more clearance and still run 5 quarts.

http://www.outfrontmotorsports.com/oil_pan.htm

Last edited by 2003wrx64; 02-22-2019 at 03:22 AM. Reason: mistake
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:35 PM   #24
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If you thought it was overfilled why didn't you just get another oil change.,?
Often they put in 5qts instead of 4.2. never had a problem.
Some oil change people have 5qts burned into their brains.

Never had white smoke.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:38 PM   #25
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Why are we replying to a 5 year old thread?

The FA/FB engines all take over 5 quarts.
Rarely do shops put in a full 5 quarts - you may well get billed for 5 quarts, but typically they won't dump it all in there.
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