Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE. in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; I have 90,000 reasonable miles on a 2010 V. For the last 40,000 or so it will occasionally blow a ...
  1. #1
    eighthtry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    I have 90,000 reasonable miles on a 2010 V. For the last 40,000 or so it will occasionally blow a bunch of blue smoke immediately after cold start. It lasts for about 5 seconds, then the cloud disperses. Temperature doesn't matter. How its driven doesn't matter. In fact it has only occurred during normal driving, not spirited driving. It uses a quart about every 4,000 miles, and the exhaust tips are black. If there is a problem with it running it is not obvious to me. I can punch it and run 150 mph in a heartbeat.

    I had something happen the other day that absolutlely floored me. On a cold start it started rattling and banging like it was dry, and it seemed to be coming from the passenger side of the engine. It did not immediately go away either. It took about 30 seconds or so to quieten down. It did it gradually, as if it was getting oil circulation. My neighbor that was about 100 feet away thought I had blown the engine. I have no clue on this one. I read about supercharger rattle, but this was no rattle. Yes, I had oil in it. It was 1/2 quart low. And it still runs beautifully.

    I'm thinking I need an LS guy to run this by. I know the dealer won't have one. I am open for suggestions and questions. Thank you in advance.

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    Trapspeed's Avatar
    Trapspeed is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    I am not a mechanic but was curious if you have been able to tell what your oil pressure reading has been both at idle and under power? If you are blowing that much smoke, something's up. Ages ago, it was common to see a faulty valve guide seal cause a little leak that after it sat awhile would cause a quick puff of smoke but that was it. This sounds a bit more involved. Had any compression tests done?

  4. #3
    bald2718281828 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    ya, used to be that valve guide seals could cause that smoke-on-startup.
    also with some earlier v8s the symptom could be caused by leaky fuel-injectors (leaking/dripping some fuel into cylinders after shutdown).

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    gohawks63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bald2718281828
    ya, used to be that valve guide seals could cause that smoke-on-startup. also with some earlier v8s the symptom could be caused by leaky fuel-injectors (leaking/dripping some fuel into cylinders after shutdown).
    Blue smoke is oil. Valve guides are leaking oil back into the cylinders when the car is off. My college car ('78 Impala) and a 1990 Chevy S10 (4.3L) used to do the same thing. The Impala had high miles (well over 100K), but I bought the S10 with 10K miles and dumped it at 50K in 1993. It was a real turd and it was the reason why I jumped to the Asian brands (Acura, Nissan and Toyota) until I came back and bought my 2012 CTS coupe before the V in 2012.

    It used to be a common issue with GM pushrod engines and apparently still is. The thing is that there aren't many pushrod engines left.

    It's more of an annoyance if you can live with it.

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    Trapspeed's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was just mentioning that had caused blue smoke puffs but I doubt it is if it's billowing smoke for five seconds. Maybe it just seems that long by the time it clears. Not sure.

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    Your right, it probably seems like five seconds because it takes that long to dissipate.

    ....and to clarify my "it's more of an annoyance" statement.

    You are consuming more oil as a result of this since the seals are allowing more oil into the cylinders. I say more because you always consume some oil. There is residual oil on the cylinder walls from the lubrication process that will get burned on detonation.

    You probably are noticing it more after the car has sat for a long time or overnight as opposed to when you go into the store and come back out within a few minutes. That's because the oil is pooled in the cylinder heads and is seeping through the seals and it has more time to seep the longer the car sits. When you have it off for short periods of time it hasn't had a chance to seep through.

    The issue is with a high mileage car is it worth it to you to incur the expense to have the cylinder heads removed and the valve seals replaced? If you're going to keep the car, maybe so. But if you are going to trade it in in the near future I would just check the oil a little more often.

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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    What brand oil? Maybe try another to see it goes away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baabootoo
    What brand oil? Maybe try another to see it goes away.
    I think the only way that will happen is if you go to a higher viscosity and I wouldn't recommend that. May do more harm than good.

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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    Nope, just a different brand of full-syn 5W-30. I had a Pontiac G8 GT and GM said NOT to use Mobil 1, since it seeped so well and exasperated "non-perfect" surfaces. I now still use Pennzoil for this, and other reasons.

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    bnagel is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    Any update from OP?

  12. #11
    eighthtry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    Been out of town. Thanks for the thoughts. I have run Castrol and Amsoil synthetics using factory weight recommendations, changed every 10,000 miles. I am averaging over 18 mpg, so you can see most of my driving is freeway or highway. In fact I am leaving in a few minutes to put another 600 on it by Tuesday.

    Oil pressure, which I recently turned on to monitor, varies from 50 to 55 cold depending on the temperature to about 40 to 43 warm. It gets a few more pounds if I punch it. Exactly what it needs to do. I thought about valve guide seals but then thought no way. I'm guessing Rolls Royce may have assembled my engine and used their rope seals they had laying around from the 70's.

    I usually keep my cars 200,000 miles. My 90 SHO got 330,000 before I retired it. My '05 V had 170,000 miles before I totaled it and just HAD to buy this '10. So the thought was to keep it around awhile as well. They are not worth much at 100,000 miles anyway.

    I was using a quart about every 4,000 miles in the '05 but no smoke. I want to emphasize there is no smoke under any type of acceleration in my '10. And it does burn off quickly when it does smoke, but takes literally 5 to 10 seconds to dissipate. The embarrassment is killing me.

    It happened again yesterday. Here is how that went. Drove 50 miles at 70+ mph, stopped for gas and a kolache. Drove 150 miles at 80+ mph and stopped at Subway for 20 minutes to wash down my kolache. Climbed back in and drove 5 miles, stopped the car, went in for 9 hours, came out and did my part to accelerate global warming.

    It does need to sit a long time before it smokes. What is killing me is the sheer intermittance of it. If it happened almost every time it had sat for an extended time I would feel better about the seals. Well maybe not feel better but spring to get them fixed.

    I have done no compression tests. That needs to be the next step.

    If I do take the heads off is anything meaningful gained in terms of HP/Torque, assuming I could find someone to work them?

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    Trapspeed's Avatar
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    Brother, there's something going on but the problem is I don't see good things coming. It just bespeaks of something letting go soon. Ugh.

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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    ^^^ This! ^^^

    I agree with your idea to do compression checks as the 1st step. Where are you? Maybe someone knows a good mech. in the neighborhood ...

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    vagondr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Occasional Engine Smoke on Start and loud knocking noise that occurred ONCE.

    Thirty years back I had a Dodge station wagon that began to smoke at start-up after 160K miles but did not consume excessive oil. It passed inspection and I drove it another 50K miles when the timing chain broke (unrelated) and I junked it.

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    gohawks63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eighthtry
    Been out of town. Thanks for the thoughts. I have run Castrol and Amsoil synthetics using factory weight recommendations, changed every 10,000 miles. I am averaging over 18 mpg, so you can see most of my driving is freeway or highway. In fact I am leaving in a few minutes to put another 600 on it by Tuesday. Oil pressure, which I recently turned on to monitor, varies from 50 to 55 cold depending on the temperature to about 40 to 43 warm. It gets a few more pounds if I punch it. Exactly what it needs to do. I thought about valve guide seals but then thought no way. I'm guessing Rolls Royce may have assembled my engine and used their rope seals they had laying around from the 70's. I usually keep my cars 200,000 miles. My 90 SHO got 330,000 before I retired it. My '05 V had 170,000 miles before I totaled it and just HAD to buy this '10. So the thought was to keep it around awhile as well. They are not worth much at 100,000 miles anyway. I was using a quart about every 4,000 miles in the '05 but no smoke. I want to emphasize there is no smoke under any type of acceleration in my '10. And it does burn off quickly when it does smoke, but takes literally 5 to 10 seconds to dissipate. The embarrassment is killing me. It happened again yesterday. Here is how that went. Drove 50 miles at 70+ mph, stopped for gas and a kolache. Drove 150 miles at 80+ mph and stopped at Subway for 20 minutes to wash down my kolache. Climbed back in and drove 5 miles, stopped the car, went in for 9 hours, came out and did my part to accelerate global warming. It does need to sit a long time before it smokes. What is killing me is the sheer intermittance of it. If it happened almost every time it had sat for an extended time I would feel better about the seals. Well maybe not feel better but spring to get them fixed. I have done no compression tests. That needs to be the next step. If I do take the heads off is anything meaningful gained in terms of HP/Torque, assuming I could find someone to work them?
    Is the car on a flat surface or incline (leaning)? Maybe the the drains in one of the heads are clogged causing the oil to pool and seep through the guides. If it's flat or leaning towards the side that's not clogged you won't get it to happen.

    Just a thought.

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