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Mike Petonic

New to me 2004 911 TT X50 Smoking on cold mornings

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Hi All -- I've had my 911 for about a week. It's an '04 with about 33K miles on it. I had a thorough PPI done, so I'm not terribly concerned, but when I start the car on cold mornings (about 35-50 degrees here in West Marin County, CA), there's a lot of smoke. It stays that way for about 4 mins or so.

Should I be concerned? It eats a little bit of oil. I couldn't find Mobil1 out here, so for a couple of days, I'm going to top it off with a synthetic blend and get an oil change fairly soon.

I have had three BMW motorcycles that were all boxers, and especially the 83, it would smoke on cold mornings.

Thoughts?

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I usually burn 1 quart every 1500 miles. When my car was stored (two weeks between starts), I would let out a puff of smoke every time i started it. Now I am driving it daily and I never have any smoke at startup. I don't know if it's normal, but my car likes to be driven and runs better when it is.

Congratulations on your new car, Post some pics.

Joel

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Thanks for the info. Good to know. I'll just relax on it and mention it to the mechanic next time. No fault codes or idiot lights, so I'm assuming that I'm OK here.

As soon as I figure out how to post a picture, I'll put one up. This is an awesome and advanced site, but I just haven't figured out how to post a picture? Clues? And I was a programmer for many years :-).

I'll have to drag my real camera out soon once I get it detailed...

Cheers!

-Mike

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Thanks for the info. Good to know. I'll just relax on it and mention it to the mechanic next time. No fault codes or idiot lights, so I'm assuming that I'm OK here.

As soon as I figure out how to post a picture, I'll put one up. This is an awesome and advanced site, but I just haven't figured out how to post a picture? Clues? And I was a programmer for many years :-).

I'll have to drag my real camera out soon once I get it detailed...

Cheers!

-Mike

Yes...There are lots of posts about this on the site. Totally normal. If you look in your owner's manual you will also see that the oil consumprion is normal. The smoke happens occasionally on my 997 TT and is normal also. One way to minimize this is to drive the last few miles or minutes easy before parking.....Or when you pull in to the garage, let it run (idle) for a minute or two to run cool oil through the turbos and clean out any lying in the cyclinders...This will not totally prevent it from ever happening, but makes it happen less. Also....When you park them and do not drive them daily since these are boxer engines....gravity works against you!

Congrats and enjoy!

DC

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Thanks for the info. Good to know. I'll just relax on it and mention it to the mechanic next time. No fault codes or idiot lights, so I'm assuming that I'm OK here.

As soon as I figure out how to post a picture, I'll put one up. This is an awesome and advanced site, but I just haven't figured out how to post a picture? Clues? And I was a programmer for many years :-).

I'll have to drag my real camera out soon once I get it detailed...

Cheers!

-Mike

Yes...There are lots of posts about this on the site. Totally normal. If you look in your owner's manual you will also see that the oil consumprion is normal. The smoke happens occasionally on my 997 TT and is normal also. One way to minimize this is to drive the last few miles or minutes easy before parking.....Or when you pull in to the garage, let it run (idle) for a minute or two to run cool oil through the turbos and clean out any lying in the cyclinders...This will not totally prevent it from ever happening, but makes it happen less. Also....When you park them and do not drive them daily since these are boxer engines....gravity works against you!

Congrats and enjoy!

DC

Thanks, DC, for the comfort.

I'm guessing the old adage is still true for these: "The wrong oil (for top off) is better than no oil." Right? Or did I just get myself into a whole mess of problems?

Cheers!

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Beautiful car by the way!! Congrats!

I wouldn't be concerned with mixing different brands of synthetics just for a top off. Just get and oil change soon and then keep your oil consistent.. I like the Castrol full synthetic 5-40w in my Turbo. It's a Porsche approved oil and your engine will run a bit quieter. There is a lot of debate on oil so I'm not going to dis the Mobil one. Castrol is a great oil and is recommended by Tuners that I respect..

Enjoy that beauty and drive the he$$ out of it!

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Fyi...the only true full synthetic Mobil 1 is the European type. Mobil 1 lost a law suit awhile back against Castrol that claimed their oil was full synthetic when it was actually a blend. So Mobil jumped on the bandwagon... Figured why spend the big bucks on producing a true full synthetic if they can claim full synthetic with a blend. But due to the OEM Euro oil requirements, they still have to produce a true real full synthetic oil so thats the European that you see sold (walmart) has it.

But if you want to run the best full on latest tech full synth oil...buy Royal Purple XPR. do some research and you'll find oil tests out there and that was the best of the best.

Also...if you drive your TT often, it wont smoke. And cool it off before shutting it down.

Mine burns very little, maybe half quart every 1500 miles or so..and its mod'd.

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When you start the car on cold mornings, the "smoke" is mostly steam and is normal, the phenomenon should disappear once the outside temperature is rising. Just keep an eye on it.

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Topping off the oil you said?? I hope you read the manual and understand how to check your oil level. Over filling can cost you your engine.... and, it still does happen to either owners or to mechanics that are not familiar with the dry sump engine that we have in the 996 Turbo ( and others).

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Thanks, gang, for the advice, compliments and warnings. I'll be getting an oil change, soon, just so that I can keep a baseline on it and start from scratch.

Re: overfilling. Indeed, I did read the manual. Pretty much cover to cover when I first got the car. The lack of a dipstick is a little unsettling, but I'll just have to remember to check it at every fill up.

Thanks again, folks!

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You shouldn't be too concerned. You will get a warning on your dash when your oil level falls below specified levels. In my car about one quarter to one third of a quart brings it back to acceptable levels. I drive the crap out of my car and it likes oil about every one thousand miles..

As Hroussard says NEVER over fill...

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You haven't been very descriptive about the smoke you are seeing. Is it indeed from oil consumption or water vapour? Best to post a pic if possible.

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Make sure you know what color the smoke is:

White smoke: White smoke is caused by water and or antifreeze entering the cylinder, and the engine trying to burn it with the fuel. The white smoke is steam.

Blue Smoke: Blue smoke is caused by engine oil entering the cylinder area and being burned along with the fuel air mixture.

Black Smoke: Black smoke is caused by excess fuel that has entered the cylinder area and cannot be burned completely.

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As i already mentioned in my previous post, it's most likely vapour, produced by a cold engine and cold outside temperatures.It would not be normal for a turbo engine, smoke during four minutes without a noticeable change in oil and coolant level, and besides run properly seen no complaint about that is mentioned in Mike's previous posts.

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As i already mentioned in my previous post, it's most likely vapour, produced by a cold engine and cold outside temperatures.It would not be normal for a turbo engine, smoke during four minutes without a noticeable change in oil and coolant level, and besides run properly seen no complaint about that is mentioned in Mike's previous posts.

I need help with your explanation...First the engine is cold, what vapor is produced? AFAIK water vapor is the diffusion of water molecules into surrounding gas(air). If it is due to evaporation, then there needs to be a temperature differential. Assuming the car has been sitting and reached equilibrium with the environmental conditions, I do not see this happening. Outside air temp between 35-50º F is not that cold? It seems much more likely there is some remnant oil left in the cylinders?

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A liter of petrol gives approx. a liter of water when ignited in the combustion chamber, a part of it disappears into the engine block by blow-by, the greater part in the exhaust. Drops of water will evaporate into the warming exhaust and becomes visible as vapour until the complete exhaust system is heated. The colder and or the higher outside air humidity is, the longer the phenomenon occurs. The length of the exhaust system is also important, thus for a Cayenne the vapour is longer visible and even not disappear under the same conditions, and yes 35° F is cold enough.

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Thanks for the detailed explanation. Strange how this has never happened to mine in 8 years with temps <30º.

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Perhaps it's too dry in Boulder, or you've just never looked at your pipes on a cold humid morning?

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It is dry here most of the time and I don't look at my pipes either, but that is not what the OP indicated. He said "there's a lot of smoke. It stays that way for about 4 mins or so"...That even I would have noticed...LOL

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I've gotten into the habit of letting the car/turbo "cool down" a bit before shutting her down. That *seems* to alleviate the initial smoke the next morning. I've been trained not to let the engine run w/o moving because I primarily ride a BMW motorcycle and didn't want to get into a engine heating problem. I only let it run for about 3-5 mins and it seems to be good enough.

The other "fix" for this is to go easy on the engine before tucking her away, but, I don't know.... How do you go easy when you're driving a TT? Is this even possible? :rolleyes:

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I've gotten into the habit of letting the car/turbo "cool down" a bit before shutting her down. That *seems* to alleviate the initial smoke the next morning. I've been trained not to let the engine run w/o moving because I primarily ride a BMW motorcycle and didn't want to get into a engine heating problem. I only let it run for about 3-5 mins and it seems to be good enough.

The other "fix" for this is to go easy on the engine before tucking her away, but, I don't know.... How do you go easy when you're driving a TT? Is this even possible? :rolleyes:

You should let the turbos cool 1-2 minutes before shutting down (not 3-5)...this is just good practice as when you shut down the oil stops flowing (and this is the primary coolant for the turbos). This can not be replaced with "mellow" driving near the end of your ride.

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You bet....been on my turbos for many years now...no problemo...and apparently your smoke was due to oil (as I suspected).

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