Engine & Gearbox Puff of Oil Smoke on Startup

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by alloy36, Monday 27th Feb, 2012.

  1. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Hi guys,

    Good to see so many familiar names from TA. I've come in the search of a Honda boffin formerly known as CJ!!

    I've had a problem with my car since I've bought it over a year ago. It hasn't got any worse, but I'm still wondering what it could be. I asked on TA a while ago and didn't have much luck.

    My car 2004 cdti saloon has a puff of oil smoke on startup. On warm or hot start up its not really there but more pronounced when left overnight and started first thing in the morning. It clears up straight away.

    It is definitly oil smoke. The car uses oil about 500ml per 3000 miles which I know is within tolerance.

    I only use 0w30 fully synthetic. Some people have told me to start using thicker oil but I don't want to. I'll happily keep an eye on the oil level and drive. It drives perfectly fine and I've put 10,000 miles on it and had no other issues.

    Initial internet problem solving revealed possibly valve seals but I'm not sure how to confirm this. I don't fancy getting major surgery done for just a puff of oil smoke.

    However, the internet is littered with all sorts of other suggestions like PCV valve and turbo seals etc which all also make sense. Again how do I cofirm?

    If it is the turbo then ultimatley it'll pop its clogs and I'll get another when that happens.

    Has anyone any experience of this?

    Also can someone explain how the crankcase ventilation system works in the CTDI. Seems like could be something blocked there.

    BTW, this problem is more severe or noticable in the summer. probably thinner oil due to higher temperature getting into places it shouldn't.

    Any info much appreciated.
  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Hi and Welcome to AOC, when you say smoke what colour if this smoke?

    White smoke is normally seen in a lot of diesels on cold start up as the temperatures are not high enough for complete combustion, and that is normal and there is nothing to be worried about.

    If you see that on a petrol car then you have concerns ,the newer generation diesel don't even emit any smoke even at cold start up.
  3. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Thanks for your response.

    The smoke is whitish with a tinge of blue, it has a distinct smell which I think is oil burning.

    I know you shouldn't add oil additives, but before the last oil change I addedd some stop smoke additive which basically thickens up the oil. The smoking almost went awat for a couple of days but then I changed the oil.
  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    If you can get a clip of this on cold start up it will make it easier, and which oil product did you use?

    Normally I won't recommend any oil additives for engine there is no need. Have you compared your finding with another accord to see your car does have this issue ?
  5. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    How do I put a clip on? can i email it to you?

    I can't remember the exact oil additive, this was a few months ago, but I diy my oil service with lubetech 0w30. Part of me thinks if i use 5w30, that could solve the problem as it will be slightly thicker, but I would rather sort the problem out than go down that route.

    I've not compared with another accord, but the smell after startup is distinctly oil burning and I have the corresponding oil usage to confirm. When I asked on TA a while ago most peoples stated they had no oil usage at all.

    I'll make a video with my mobile tommorow morning and email you if thats ok.

    Your help is very much appreciated.
  6. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Create a Youtube account and then using the film strip icon embed your vedio.
    hondream likes this.
  7. SayamaAccord Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    Hi and welcome.

    As you say blue smoke suggests burning oil so it might be worn valve stem seals as you've already deduced

    Bad Valve Seals Symptoms | eHow.com

    I assume it's not been diagnosed by a garage yet, but have you looked into what it would cost to repair if it is that?
  8. Dave Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Sometimes I get the odd cloud on startup when cold but its not that often.
  9. wooster Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Same here.
    I doubt there's a diesel on the road that's done a few miles that doesn't smoke a bit when it's fired up.:Grin:
  10. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    here it goes.

    Last edited by a moderator: Saturday 22nd Feb, 2014
  11. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


    I spoke to HH about this and wanted them to do the seals. They then told me that they have never known of a single issuue with valve seals on ICTDI and it could possibly be other things.

    To be honest, I don't know of anyone other than HH that I would trust with a job like this.

    Another point to note is that the previous owner had it for a couple of years before me and even went to spain in it twice. He told me it has always done this. I've had it for over a year and it hasnt got any worse at all. Therefore, like a lot of people I could live with this as the car drives spot on but would rather it didn't do this.

    It gets worse in the summer.
  12. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Sorted the Youtube clip out for you.

    Ok when you started the car was cold?

    What is the level of engine oil in this car?

    Has this car been ever overfilled?

    The reason i am asking if this car has been overfilled and now rectified it may be burn off the oil within the engine.
  13. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    The clip was yesterday morning startup from cold. It was pretty mild about 10-11 degrees.

    The oil level is slightly below max.

    Talking about overfilled oil, I remember after my first service the oil was slightly overfilled, but I and a mate at work used a suction thing to sort that out. I can't say if it has ever been overfilled by the previous owners.

    I only really started to notice when I serviced it a couple of weeks after buying. I think the previous owner may have been using 5w 30 (a top up bottle was found in the boot) which is a touch thicker than what I was using 0w 30.

    I am half tempted to do an oil change at national garage or honda huddersfield as they reccomend 5w 30 and I have a feeling it would probably either stop or reduce start up smoke.

    My theory is the oil I'm using (after reading about it on TA) is thinner than what was used previously and hence seeping through some seal. It could either be a valve seal or some seal that leaks oil into the intake manifold.

    Trouble is not sure how to find out which one.

    Also what sort of crankcase ventilation system does the ctdi have? I understand that this can sometimes cause similar issues.
  14. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    You ideally need get the car inspected at HH or a respected dealer. There are far too many hear says and pre condition mindsets already established and are difficult to let go. Personally I think you are over complicating the symptoms of the oil variation and are now looking at everything to look for the root cause.

    On the other hand you have far too many people suggesting their take on this smoke issue and attempting to diagnose a fault via a forum and that's without looking at the car...which is again hear say.

    Forums are wonderful places to exchange ideas and help out, however in your scenarios you have three conversation three suggesting separate causes you need to get out of this spiral of and get the car fixed.

    What happens after the repairs helps others,I hope you understand it not being personal.
  15. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Don't worry mate, I know its not personal.

    Its weird that I can't find a single person who has had this problem with the ICTDI on any forum. Even HH said they've never known of such an issue. Must just be me!!

    I don't really trust any local mechanic that I know. I'm going to try 5w30 fully synthetic as an experiment, see what happens.

    Thanks anyway
  16. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Get the car looked and let us know what fixes it.I would still suggest to stick with the 0w-30 oil it is the best grade of oil for the diesel I-CTDI.
  17. lerose New Member Getting Started

    Any news on reason for this problem you describe?
  18. wahabishtiaq Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Wahab Ish hemel hempstead
    I am sure you are not alone, i have very similar issue. White smoke with tint of blue at cold start and smell distinctive strong diesel or oil etc. But car drives fine, no issues, regularly served with no additives. I have never used anything more than 0w30 so don't know if thicker oil will make any difference. But i am cool with it don't see it as a issue has owned the car from last 2 years not even a pickup mate.

    So just take it as it is....