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Why is my car smoking

Engine Smoking After an Oil Change — All the Reasons and Fixes

Have you just changed your engine oil, and your engine is smoking? Well, you’re not the only one. 

There could be multiple reasons, from the wrong type of engine oil to blown head gaskets. This guide covers all the potential causes and highlights fixes for stopping smoke.

Read on to learn more about engine smoke to prevent it from happening again. 

Why Is My Car Smoking

Types of Exhaust Smoke 

There are different types of exhaust smoke.

Blue Smoke

Blue smoke is an indication of burning engine oil. It is due to worn-out piston rings. It is also an indication of leakage of oil in the combustion chamber burning along with the fuel. 

If your vehicle has a turbocharged engine, malfunctioning blowers can cause blue smoke, too, which needs replacement. Burning engine oil will lead to rough ignition of the car, ruining the spark plugs.

Black Smoke

Black smoke shows excess fuel burning in your vehicle. It occurs due to clogging up air filters with dirt and debris. Thus, the engine receives an inadequate amount of air for smooth functioning. 

Black smoke is due to unlimited reasons, from malfunctioning fuel injectors to damaged sensors.

A defective pressure regulator, incapable of correctly regulating the correct fuel’s pressure, also contributes to black smoke. 

Lastly, clogged fuel passages can also contribute to the emergence of engine smoke after an oil change. 

White Smoke

Burning coolant is the biggest reason for the white smoke. The coolant leak is inevitable if it’s a cracked engine block or a damaged cylinder. 

The leaking of coolant can be due to cracks in the head gasket producing white smoke. 

You should immediately take your vehicle to the mechanic if this situation arises. 

As it causes the engine to overheat, causing serious damage. Furthermore, it might cause coolant and engine oil to mix up. 

Gray Smoke

A defective turbocharger can cause gray smoke to spew from a car’s exhaust. It’s due to improper air compression in your engine’s turbocharger. 

Incomplete combustion of the air-fuel mixture also causes the expulsion of unburned fuel through the exhaust. Burning oil and transmission is another reason for gray smoke from your car’s exhaust.

Reasons for Engine Smoking After Oil Change 

Here are four possible reasons why your vehicle might produce smoke after an oil change

1. Using the Wrong Type of Engine Oil

Your car’s engine will smoke if you use the wrong type of oil. Some vehicles require synthetic oil, while others require conventional oil. So make sure to check your owner’s manual before making a purchase. 

2. Overfilled Engine Oil

When you change the oil, the technicians servicing your vehicle can overfill the engine with oil. Pouring in excess oil leads to smoke from the engine.

The excessive oil can seep past the seals and gaskets of the engine, causing damage and costly repair bills along with smoke from the engine. 

3. Spilled Engine Oil

Oil can cause smoke if it gets onto hot surfaces like the exhaust manifold or catalytic converter. 

To avoid this, clean up any oil spills during oil change immediately.

4. Blown Head Gasket

A blown head gasket is one of the most severe engine problems. It causes your engine to smoke, overheat, and lose oil pressure.

The head gasket seals the engine block to the cylinder head, preventing oil and coolant from leaking. 

If the head gasket blows, oil leaks into the combustion chamber, causing the engine to smoke.

How to Fix Engine Smoking After Oil Change? 

Here’s how you can fix an engine producing smoke after an oil change. 

Tighten the Engine Oil Filter

Smoke coming from your car’s engine is problematic. A loose oil filter can be a culprit. 

Check the oil filter if you notice the engine smoking after an oil change. Tighten the filter if it’s loose.

Clean Engine Bay

A dirty engine bay of your car can often cause engine smoke. Building up grease and grime over time can cause smoke.

Remove loose dirt and grime with a damp cloth to clean your engine bay. Then, use a degreaser to remove stubborn grease or grime. 

Be sure to rinse the area well afterward. Finally, use a high-pressure hose to remove any remaining dirt or debris.

Check for Leaks

If you notice any oil leaks, tighten the oil drain plug and any other connections leaking. Finally, run the engine for a few minutes and check again for leaks. If the problem persists, take your car to a mechanic for further diagnosis.

Drain Excess Engine Oil

Often, overfilled engine oil becomes a reason for engine smoke, which requires drainage of excess oil. Check the oil level. In case of an extra level, drain it by loosening the drain plug. 

Final Thoughts: Engine Smoking After Oil Change

Engine smoke after an oil change can be troublesome. Though it is pretty standard, it requires attention. 

But the next time it happens, you can troubleshoot the issue using the tips in this guide. Let us know how it went in the comments. 

Explore our blog for more information on engine oils. 

Is it normal for a car to smoke after changing the oil?

Yes, it is normal for a car to smoke after changing the oil because the flow of new oil through the engine picks up any debris and particles that are left behind from the old oil.
These particles will then be burned off as the engine runs, causing a small amount of smoke to be emitted from the exhaust. Further, the oil change can result in oil spills or overfilling, resulting in smoke. 

Is it safe to drive if the car engine is smoking after an oil change?
How long should you wait for the oil to settle after a service?

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