Few questions, please help

Tiny
BUBBA2903
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Hi, I have a 1997 Prelude, I just bought it. This car has a header if that is what it's called, and enlarged pistons, supposedly everything was put in new 2 months ago. When I drive I can smell something burning only when I come to a stop, after the car has been parked, there is nothing dripping, but if I let the car idle I get oil on the ground at the exhaust. What can it be?
the other thing is my DRL light is on all the time when i'm driving even though the light switch is off.
can someone send me in the right direction?
thank you so much
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Friday, October 13th, 2006 AT 2:19 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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A little confused. Leaking oil at the exhaust; does that mean out the tailpipe or somewhere else. Are you burning oil with smoke out the exhaust? The plugs must be really fouled.

Dumb question but DRL is? Daytime running lights. They probably come on no matter what. Read the owner manual but the lights often come on without the switch being touched.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 8:22 AM
Tiny
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Sorry, I'm not exactly car inclined. I'm guessing it would be the tail pipe, wherever the smoke comes out of, that is where the oil is coming from, if I let the car idle for a few minutes I will find oil on the ground from the exhaust. Not sure if that makes it clearer.

Ya DRL is for Daytime Running Lights, but that DRL light is always on, is it telling me that maybe they are not on, on the outside? I don't know. This is my first car and I'm so very lost. My car manual is on a cd which is very inconvenient to look at if you ask me :lol:
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 8:31 AM
Tiny
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Agree about the manual on cd but look it up.

Now the oil coming out of the exhaust pipe. There is no way you can have oil coming out of the exhaust pipe. First of all there is not that much oil in the system to flow down the pipe, fill the muffler, resonator and converter, etc. Secondly, the oil would be burning and smoking so bad that the engine would not run. My suspicion is that when the engine gets good and warm, say after a nice drive, it no longer does this. I am suspecting that your exhaust system shows black inside (which indicates that it is burning a little rich) and that the condensation of the engine and exhaust system produce water which is forced to leave the system out of the tailpipe. As is leaves it washes off some of the soot in the system to take on the color.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 8:41 AM
Tiny
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Well I'm liking the response I'm getting from you much better than what I've heard. I know jack about cars, but when people started telling me I was getting oil out of the exhaust I thought it was odd, but since I'm now learning, I just took it for face value. I do however have what appear to be "oil spots" all over my back end, (bumper and even as high as the tail lights) which is why I bought the "oil out of exhaust" story.

I'm not sure that you mean by "exhaust system shows black inside" but I can tell you that if you look at my tailpipe where the eye can see, it is as black as it gets :oops:

Thanks for your help by the way. This is what happens when are you are new to the world of cars, you get taken for a ride.

I believe that I am burning a bit of oil, however nothing is dripping, for example the car is parked for an extended period of time, once I move the car there are no oil puddles on the ground, is it possible to leak internally? I'm wondering if maybe i'm losing oil through the enlarges pistons, is that possible? :Oops:
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 8:57 AM
Tiny
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Yes it is possible to loose oil through the pistons, that oil however will never end up dripping out of the exhaust system. Instead, it will get burned with the injected fuel and since it does not burn as efficiently as the oxidated gas it will smoke, probably blue in color, out of the tailpipe. As I said earlier for the oil to drip out of the exhaust you would have to be loosing a large amount of oil and burning with a smoke screen behind you that James Bond would be using. Another way that oil is used internally is that the head where the valves are could have seals that are failing and causing the oil to drip from the top of the cylinder in to the piston area.

That dark black that you observed is continuos inside the entire exhaust system and the water that is working its way from the engine will wash off some of the black and when it drop on the ground it evaporates the water and leaves the black residue of which can seem oily especially if the car is burning a little oil. Oil burning out of the pistons can leave the exhaust system black and slightly oily feeling. If you are getting to this point, have the compression checked on the engine. Make sure all cylinders have the same or very close to the same compression.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 3:00 PM
Tiny
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Thank you so much for all of your help, I will have to get the car looked at, but atleast now I have a bit of a better idea of how this all works.

Just to give you an idea of how much oil i've lost. Friday I had a friend of mine put in almost 4 litres, the oil levels on the dip stick were just below the higher dot on the dip stick, by monday night I was halfway between the bottom dot and the end of the dip stick. A friend of mine today suggested trying a thicker oil, I think i'm going to give that a try. What do you think?
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 3:10 PM
Tiny
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Thicker oil and some additives are temporary fixes but could give you some more mileage. You really never said how many miles you would have travelled on say a litre of oil. If it is only a few miles and you are adding a litre of oil, then you have serious oil consumption and would be that pulling the plugs would show them oily and wet. I would make the assumption that the car is getting harder to start or else it will as the oil will foul up the plugs.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 3:16 PM
Tiny
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Oh sorry, I drove about 100km total. From the time the oil was poured in friday night to monday nite.

It's funny you mention that it may be harder to start the car, because I have noticed the last few times I go to start it I have to hold the ignition down a tad longer than usual, but then again that's more so in the morning or after the car has been still for hours. Maybe that's normal.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 AT 3:21 PM

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