Blue smoke at start up
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Cadillac ATS-V Series Forum Discussion, Blue smoke at start up in Cadillac V-Series Forums; I've heard of this before with this car but was curious what everyone else is experiencing. When I start my ...
  1. #1
    Leesrt's Avatar
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    Blue smoke at start up

    I've heard of this before with this car but was curious what everyone else is experiencing. When I start my car each morning, especially if its been more then a day, my car initially blows blue tinted smake for about 15-20 seconds. I know thats oil but curious why so much with this car and is this something I should be concerned about

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it.
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    What is your measured oil consumption = weekly dipstick checks ?

    Oil
    smoke for a few seconds after cold start is usually valve stem seals or, in your case, a possible PCV oil vapor overload. Do you regularly "exercise' the engine ? - If so the smoke should not be stuck rings.

    Get the car up to 75 - 80 in D or high gear. Downshift one gear and let the engine slow the car down to <20 mph. Step on it again. Smoke? Rings.

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    Leesrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    What is your measured oil consumption = weekly dipstick checks ?

    Oil
    smoke for a few seconds after cold start is usually valve stem seals or, in your case, a possible PCV oil vapor overload. Do you regularly "exercise' the engine ? - If so the smoke should not be stuck rings.

    Get the car up to 75 - 80 in D or high gear. Downshift one gear and let the engine slow the car down to <20 mph. Step on it again. Smoke? Rings.
    She gets exercised, mon-fri driven at 80mph for 2hr each day. No loss of oil, at least not noticeable.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it.
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    Don't sweat it. Drive the car.

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    ascastil is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    The title of this thread scared me. I hadn't even read it yet and was thinking that's why we havent tuned it yet, don't wanna lose that warranty.

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    tta1456 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    A bit of blue smoke at startup is often valve seals/guides or dripping turbo shaft seals, especially if it's worse after the car sits a couple of days as that gives more time for more oil to drip. Most likely valve guides though, as dripping valve guides put oil through the combustion chambers and will smoke first and clean up quickly. Dripping turbo seals will drip into the exhaust where it may take a little longer to get hot enough to make it smoke, and then it will persist a little longer before it clears up.

    Ring issues usually show blue smoke along with excess oil consumption. Valve guides and turbo seals are usually very small drips and you won't notice excess oil consumption. The test mentioned above for rings is good; wind the engine up in RPM, and then let off and coast as long as possible in gear... if it puffs blue smoke as soon as you get back in the throttle that could indicate rings or possibly excessively worn intake valve seals/guides.

    IIRC Hib has had the turbos and heads replaced on his cars for the same reason. I vaguely remember reading somewhere there was a revision to the valve guides for the 2017+ cars compared to the 2016s-- but I can't find that info at the moment.

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    slicky is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    I second the turbo seals leaking. The car typically starts smoking a few seconds after startup, not immediately.
    This issue is the number one reason I've kept the car stock, to see how it shakes out. I have not yet experienced it, but have seen numerous videos of this "phenomena".

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    Leesrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slicky View Post
    I second the turbo seals leaking. The car typically starts smoking a few seconds after startup, not immediately.
    This issue is the number one reason I've kept the car stock, to see how it shakes out. I have not yet experienced it, but have seen numerous videos of this "phenomena".
    Are turbo seals internal to the unit, otherwise meaning the fix is replacing turbos?

    Would there be any other symptom because I hold solid boost.

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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    I would do or take the car somewhere and perform a leakdown test to verify if you have a problem and if you do, you'll be able to determine where the problem is coming from.

    Good luck
    Almtyscuzzy
    FL103Dave likes this.

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    slicky is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    Quote Originally Posted by Leesrt View Post
    Are turbo seals internal to the unit, otherwise meaning the fix is replacing turbos?

    Would there be any other symptom because I hold solid boost.
    Yes, internal. Its a turbo replacement or a minor rebuild. But replacing the turbo with an oem unit would produce the same outcome 15k miles later. If found to be the problem on a tuned car, I think I would let it go. A slow leak can persist for the life of a car, without ill effects. I think.

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    CaptHugemeat is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    Mine did this exact thing for a fairly long time. Typically it was small amounts of smoke, but sometimes, after sitting for a few days, she'd really smoke up the garage.

    Also, when getting on it for the first time out of the garage, I could definitely see a small puff of smoke in the mirror. After that though...not a thing.

    This problem has seemed to correct itself for me. I haven't had a big smoke show for many months now. Oil loss was and still is non-existent. I even took it to the dealer and had it sit for a weekend before they started it. Of course, they couldn't replicate the issue.

    At this point, I've done all I can. I still drive her hard and if something happens, it happens. Maybe take it to the dealer to get a record of it in writing, but otherwise, business as usual. That's my recommendation. Also, try not to stress about it as much as i did...

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    LAROKE likes this.

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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptHugemeat View Post
    Mine did this exact thing for a fairly long time. Typically it was small amounts of smoke, but sometimes, after sitting for a few days, she'd really smoke up the garage. ...............
    Thanks for the info

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    LAROKE is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    I get the smoky startups sporadically. I get them on every cold startup for awhile then they disappear completely for a period of time. I've never had to add fluids between dealer maintenance visits. If someone asks me about the smoke (I work in downtown snobbish Boca Raton), I just say it's a smokin' hot race car and there's nothing for it.
    Mikeyboyeee likes this.

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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    I'm just a bit north in Tallahassee.
    LAROKE likes this.

  16. #15
    Hib_Halverson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blue smoke at start up

    Both my ATS-Vs have had that problem. Plus, about 18-months ago I've read of two other ATS-V owners' accounts of having this problem. The first one had its heads, then both turbos and finally, the complete engine replaced to fix the problem. It got so bad with the first ATS-V that one time, oil smoke filled our garage and another time it created a cloud of smoke in our front yard that was higher than the house's roof.

    Our second ATS-V, went a year or so before it started doing the "oil-smoke-after-cold-start" thing, too. I've shot video of the problem and been to the dealer who's done great for me. The problem not my dealer. It is GM's Technical Assistance Center or "TAC". Right now they are telling the dealer to continue an oil use test with our second smoking ATS-V. Problem is, the oil-smoke-after-cold-start problem does not use very much oil, so it will take forever for TAC to admit there is a problem.

    ATS-Vs are great cars to drive but they are quality nightmares. Add to that GM's reluctance to fix obvious warranty problems and you end up with a real fiasco when you need a problem solved. Not only was getting the first ATS-V oil smoke problem fixed, our second ATS-V (which now smokes after starts, too) is a six-speed manual. Right off the lot that car had a fifth-gear noise and vibration problem. GM was hesitant to repair the problem until I started posting about the issue on another site. After that, GM replaced the flywheel, clutch, transmission and driveshaft, but I digress....

    I believe the oil-smoke-after-cold-start problem is caused by faulty turbocharger shaft seals.

    I know I'm going to have to fight GM to get that problem fixed on our second ATS-V, but at this point, after all the battles I've had with GM over warranty repairs on ATS-Vs, its reluctance to repair problems is SOP for me. I can post links here to the articles I've written on that other site about warranty fights with GM our our two ATS-V's but if you google something like "a little v-blog" you'll probably land there.

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