My mother has a 1994 lincoln town car signature series with 102,000 miles on it. She has owned the car for almost a year and put approx.10k of the miles on it. We have serviced it well and the car is in excellent shape. In the past week she has noticed smoke coming from the exhaust mainly after the car has been driven and has idled for a period such as in a drive through window or at a long light. She does't notice any at start up or just regular driving. Does this sound like the valve spring guide seals leaking oil into the combustion chamber to you? We're hoping it's not the piston rings. If you don't believe this is the problem would you please offer some suggestions. We want to fix the problem but she is on social sec. And I am disabled so we need to get an idea of the kind of money she'll need to come up with. Thanks Sincerely, M. Smith
Bluish - oil being burnt
White - on startup and cold weather this is normal, but if it happens continuously its often an indication that coolant is being sucked into the combustion chamber
Black - overly rich mixture
Assuming your smoke is a bluish color, that would in mean oil is being consumed, especially if you notice a quick usage of oil. Such as a quart every 500 to 1000 miles.
Worn valve guides would show themselves with blue smoke at startup but not during normal run time. Worn rings generally show themselves with blue smoke during normal engine operation, especially during hard acceleration.
This may sound like bad news, but there is an excellent way to test for bad rings. A normal compression test doesn't really give you a good picture, but if you are able to do a cylinder leak down test, that will give a good indication of the health of each cylinder.