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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 Sable LS platinum edition.I had oil changed yesterday. Big puff of greyish smoke comes out of exhaust when i start car,for around 5 seconds. Mechanic said it could be valve seals,and previous oil changer may have put in wrong oil. Any feedback/suggestions would be appreciated. I have a 250 mile trip to go on next week,and was also thinking about trading it in for a new car. What's my timeline and how safe is it to drive that far. Thanks
 

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Valve seals can leak for years and never cause a problem. If it started with the last oil change, the oil is likely too thin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It sarted yesterday,they put in 5w-20 which is the recommended oil. I think the last place may have put in 5w or 10w/30
 

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I shouldn't cause any problems. You could switch back to 5w-30 next oil change and see if the problem goes away. Check the oil level during this time to make sure it doesn't go low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hope that's the case. My next question would be:does that sound like what the problem is (valve seals) or should it be brought in to the shop to test it? Thanks again
 

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Most likely. Oil runs down the valve stems when the engine is stopped and goes into the cylinders. When the car starts, the oil burns and the cats are cold, so it goes out the tailpipe. You could do a compression test to get an idea of piston ring condition. It's not a direct indication, however.
 

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Just FYI...my PCV valve was the cause of my Duratec having blue/grey smoke coming out of the tail pipe at startup for a few seconds. Yours is right about the time frame I replaced mine (when it was 8 years old). Changed it along with the PCV hose (because the hose was about to collapse) and no more smoke :)
 

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also does it do it every time? it sounds like it does. were your plugs touched at all? mine would smoke every time i took a plug out for a few seconds because my plug well gaskets were leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After sitting for 15 minutes or more it does evevry time. If I stop and then start it within a couple of minutes,it doesn't. It started the morning after getting an oil change,nothing else was touched
 

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95,000. the pcv valve elbow is cracked. going to replace it and see if that works
Take out the PCV valve and clean it out at least while you're in there replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just FYI...my PCV valve was the cause of my Duratec having blue/grey smoke coming out of the tail pipe at startup for a few seconds. Yours is right about the time frame I replaced mine (when it was 8 years old). Changed it along with the PCV hose (because the hose was about to collapse) and no more smoke :)
I replaced the pcv valve and hose ,but it didn't help.Any suggestions on any kind of sealants,like Bards for example ? Or shopuld I just live with it until I decide to trade it in
 

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Really ? I just bought some Stab-il no leak/no smoke but haven't put it in yet. Why not? Thanks.
In the short term it softens the seals, but in the long term it turns them into goo, and the problem is worse than before. Also, it affects all the rubber seals, not just the ones causing the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the responses. I think the shop overfilled my oil during change. I drained a quart out today and no smoke,the next time I started it. The guy screwed up and wouldn't admit it.
 
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