Black Smoke and Oil Coming Out The Tailpipe of My Car

Reader Question I have recently bought an older second hand car (1992 model 2.6L, 4 Cycl Pertol) and I’ve noticed in the mornings or whenever the engine is cold and I first start and warm it up, that small splatters of oil and water comes out of the exhaust pipe. The exahust does not produce any smoke at any time, but I’d like to know whats wrong because its slowly staining my driveway.


Hi Justin,

I am not familiar with your vehicle, they don’t have them here in America, but to me it sounds like your engine might be running “rich” and what you see is soot, or carbon not necessarily oil, mixed with the water. If this is correct, you might want to look at getting a tune up, plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor etc. etc.

Carbon and water will stain the concrete but will not leave a slick oil residue like oil and water will. Take your finger and stick it in the tailpipe, is it a powdery carbon substance, or wet slick oil?

If you are positive that is oil, not black carbon then you might have some worn out seals inside the engine itself. A compression test of the pistons would be the first thing I would do to make sure that is the case. Using thicker engine oil, and some of the over the counter oil additives can help reduce the loss of engine oil.

Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

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