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Old 05-29-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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White smoke

Has anyone experienced a cloud of white smoke from the tail pipe upon start up. This happened to my 05 this week but has not occured since. The smoke dissipated quickly and the car ran fine.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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Very normal. And very cool.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
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Yep, think of it as your occasional James Bond smokescreen.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:59 PM   #4
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very common occurrence, part of the character of our boxster engine... poke around (search) this and other Porsche forums and you'll find many previous discussions about it.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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Yea it's common. It has to do with the engine configuration, flat 6. Other engines piston and cylinder formation are ether in a "V" or straight up. This allows the oil, upon shut down, to drain off the cylinder walls. All flat "horizontally opposed" engines will have a little oil basically sit in the cylinders. Not all cylinders will have this oil because each piston is in a different state of stroke, you know the old "suck, squeeze, bang, blow".
Well this oil will seep past the piston rings in time and when you go to fire up the car this little bit of oil will burn and blow out the tail pipe. I also own a '66 Volkswagen bug and thatís how I check my oil, no smoke means it's time to add a quart or two.
There's nothing wrong with your car.

P.S. White smoke-synthetic, blue smoke-conventional. It smells different too.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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scary, right?

Unfortunately, I did not know about this when I got my car. The first time it happened to me (within a week or so) my heart sank - this is a very bad sign in most vehicles, but then I thought I recalled having seen or heard something about this being common in boxer motors, then quickly confirmed it with a search here. There's no rhyme or reason to when it happens, and its pretty rare, but once in a while ......
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #7
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Okay, Dumb question... How come I don't have any of this smoke upon start up? In the past on my 911 I justified it the same way as ya'll, but seriously, doesn't this mean oil is getting past the rings? I suspect that even though the visible smoke goes away there must be some higher amount of oil being consumed. All this being said, I know that some oil consumption is completely normal, again the question in my mind is why some and not others? When did the smoke start for you guys?
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:43 PM   #8
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I have a friend named Kurt Weber that I haven't seen in years, he's from northern Wisconsin. Your not from that neck of the woods are you?

Your question, my car doesn't let out the white fart all the time. As a matter of fact I think I've only noticed it a couple of times. My car has 30K on it and I know the history of the maintenance and any abuse yet it still blows a little, no big deal. As you said "I know that some oil consumption is completely normal" and I go with the rule of thumb, 1 quart per thousand miles. Anything above that and it's time to get it to a mechanic for a check up.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for the information. Scared hell out of me as I have only owned the car for 6 months. Got to love the car though!
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:49 AM   #10
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I have only seen the white smoke on start-up once or twice with my car. It does not even do it after sitting for 5+ months of winter storage.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:45 AM   #11
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Piston rings rotate during piston stroke, this is intentional and is caused by the honing on the walls. The ring gap will sometimes happen to be on the bottom of the piston when you shut it down, and more than usual oil will seep into the combustion chamber where it'll burn when you light the fire. Perfectly normal.

I don't have the site anymore but you can search and find a video made by an oil company where they do an infrared scan of a running engine to show the ring rotation - pretty cool.

My airplane engine (most airplane engines) are flat. We check compression in a different fashion than how it is done in a car, we have the piston fixed at TDC and run compressed air in through one of the two spark plug holes. Occasionally all three sets of rings will be aligned and a horrible compression reading comes up. Rotate the prop a few turns and try again - all is well!

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