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Neon, smoking.
09-03-2011, 06:15 PM
Post: #1
Neon, smoking.
1999 Neon, 2.0L, 16 valve, Automatic, 100,000+ miles.

This vehicle has been well cared for. Everything was great until the owner tried using a “High Mileage” blend of motor oil. It started smoking like a crop duster. He drained out that oil, new filter, and went back to his regular; Pennzoil, motor oil. Now the car will start and run with NO smoke until the temperature reaches the “Normal” operating range. As soon as it’s warm the smoke starts rolling again. Checked the oil level & it’s Good. PCV valve doesn’t seem plugged. Breather line open.

Any ideas of why this is happening?

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Garner

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09-03-2011, 06:51 PM
Post: #2
RE: Neon, smoking.
Have you tried holding a piece of stiff paper over the oil fill to see if the crankcase has vac or pressure while running? The idea is to figure out if the PCV system is keeping up with the blow by. The other thing is maybe the oil drains in the head are clogged with whatever got "cleaned away" with that special oil and the real problem is not blow by but worn valve seals / guides that are now knee deep in oil that is not draining down.
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09-03-2011, 10:04 PM
Post: #3
RE: Neon, smoking.
I haven’t really tried a whole lot of anything yet. I told him to “Replace” the PCV valve. He “Cleaned” the old one. I also mentioned to him that the drain holes might be partially blocked. He thinks that it is the head gasket since it doesn’t even make a hint of smoke until it’s warmed up. I told him that it could just take that long for the oil to build up in the valve cover.

I’m going to try to talk him into pulling the valve cover if the paper over the oil fill hole checks out OK.

Thanks for the advice!

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Garner

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09-04-2011, 12:41 AM
Post: #4
RE: Neon, smoking.
At least look in through the oil fill cap with a flash light both before and after to see if there's a clue.
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09-04-2011, 06:24 PM
Post: #5
RE: Neon, smoking.
That was the very first thing that I tried. However, the clever designers placed a splash shield over the hole that effectively blocks your view of anything inside.

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Garner

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09-05-2011, 10:13 PM
Post: #6
RE: Neon, smoking.
Well, when I got to look at the Neon today the valve cover was already off. You could look right down through all of the drain holes. We put it all back together and I talked him into getting a NEW PCV valve We installed it, started it, and as soon as it warmed up it started pouring out the smoke. We went for a ride and after a couple of miles it quit smoking. So...either the PCV valve fixed it and it just took a couple of miles for the oil to burn out of the exhaust or......... the can of "Restore" that he dumped in on Saturday finally plugged up the rings????

I hate it when I don't have a positive answer. I could probably put the old PCV valve back in and see what happens???

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Garner

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09-06-2011, 10:27 AM
Post: #7
RE: Neon, smoking.
What's the chances of oil going into the manifold or exhaust via another route, like pouring it into the VC so quickly it backed up just that one time?

I'd say that if it quit smoking then it's a matter of tracking consumption over the next few thousand miles and taking your best guess at that point. Sometimes you get lucky.
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09-06-2011, 08:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: Neon, smoking.
No chance at all. It started smoking after he changed oil using the “High Mileage” oil. After several days he thought that it was just the oil so he got a new filter, his normal oil, and changed it again. It kept smoking for many miles and was using more oil than normal. That’s when I first tried to get him to replace the PCV valve.

Since then he put a can of “Engine Restore” in it but only ran it for about 15 minutes idling in the driveway. It smoked the whole time. Then we checked the return passages & installed the new PCV valve. When we took it for a several mile drive, that’s when it cleared up. It’s possible that the “Restore” was the fix but it took the drive to “cook” the exhaust clean?

We already filled the oil right on the “high” line, parked level, in the garage so we can see what happens to the oil consumption now. If it doesn’t smoke and consumption returns to normal I’ll convince him to stick that old PCV valve back in to see what happens. I’ll update this in a couple of months to let you know the results.

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Garner

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09-06-2011, 09:54 PM
Post: #9
RE: Neon, smoking.
Yeah, cooking the oil out of the exhaust is likely what happened on that drive but I'd be curious as to the condition of that PCV valve and if that was the problem.

BTW, back in the old days when I worked at a dealer (about 1980) we played all kinds of tricks on each other just for laughs. Sometimes it was a shot of oil into an air pump and other times it was a squirt into an open exhaust header while the tech was at the parts counter getting a head gasket and left the hood open. Either way it was raw oil into the exhaust on the next engine start up.... and smoke everywhere! Usually these hi-jinks happened on the late shift when there was no management around. One night we hooked up an exhaust hose to the pneumatic tube system used to shuttle work orders around the building and completely filled the front office with smoke!Big Grin
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10-10-2011, 05:21 AM
Post: #10
RE: Neon, smoking.
Well, good & bad news for the update on this car. The good news is that it still isn't smoking. The bad news is that I can't put the old PCV valve in it to try it. The owner wanted to see what was in there and cut it in half with a hack saw.

I'm not one of those guys that is content with something just being fixed. I want to know what actually fixed it. This will bug me for a long time. Oh well. Nothing I can do now.

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Garner

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