Question about 1994 Mercury Cougar

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My 4.6L cougar engine smokes, I did a compression test and everything looks good. I am pretty sure it is the valve guide seals but I wanted to know if there were any other emissions equipment that could cause the engine to use too much oil?

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Yes there are other things, like piston rings. I suggest a leak down test to determine where the issue actually lies. If the stem seals are toast, usually the valve guides also are too loose. Stem seal change is short term repair.

Posted on Sep 05, 2010


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Blue smoking

Blue skying...

Without a make, year (engine) or model...

Generally on gets blue smoke from the oil being introduced into the combustion... A simple wet / dry compression test should tell you everything you need to know about your ring (cylinder) wear.

IF EVERYTHING IS WORN EVENLY... Consider increasing the viscosity of your oil... Discuss with a MECHANIC.

Worn piston rings are the biggest concern... BUT I had a big beautiful FORD 400 V8... (1975) that had dried ... cracked and gone VALVE GUIDE OIL SEALS...

SIXTEEN simple little seals to change.

The real way to do it is remove the heads... the RISKY WAY
IS TO shoot COMPRESSED AIR into EACH cylinder ... You MUST find the TDC of each cylinder you are going to change.

HOLDS THE VALVES SHUT... (MAYBE or maybe not)... With the piston in the HIGHEST position.. you stand a REAL-GOOD-CHANCE of coaxing that valve back up ...

SO JUST DON'T DROP IT...!! do one at a time! Be careful.

Release the valve springs (if any) and place the new seals...
advance to the next cylinder's TDC... (etc.).

Put it all together again....

I'm just saying... If I could do it ... anybody can.

More Information for FEL PRO SS13364

Oct 06, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Smoking no power ?

Black smoke will be an indicator that fuel is leaking into the manifold. Blue smoke means the rings are cracked or worn or there is a hole in the piston.

Oct 06, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer


There is always a better alternative than the dealership as far as costs. They want to put a new motor in a 2003 model? That is ridiculous to me- cost-prohibitive. Find a reputable independent shop. Look for references and customer satisfaction. A used, low mileage replacement engine is a better alternative, probably less than half the cost of a new engine.
There may be an even better alternative, where you refurbish the top end of the engine-the cylinder head and valve train. This is dependent on that a wet-dry compression test supports rebuilding the top end. What I mean by this is a compression test of the cylinders reveals low compression in one or more cylinders, okay. Next, they would squirt some oil (about a tablespoon) in the low cylinders and check compression again. If compression doesn't change, it points to the valves and valve train (the valve guides which wear and could let oil into the cylinder). But if compression is higher in the wet test, then the piston rings are worn and losing compression, and oil gets past them-this would indicate the engine needs a complete rebuild or a replacement is called for. The reason for the wet test is that the oil will temporarily seal around the piston rings and improve compression if the rings are the problem.
If the test shows the valves are the problem (and it is very possible on an engine with only 120K-your bottom end could be fine), then a top end rebuild of the engine is a much cheaper route than any other choices. You may not know this, but often a little oil burning in the cylinders at start-up is nothing more than the valve stem rubber seals are deteriorated-a real cheap fix. The dealership probably won't tell you this. However, with the loss of power, well, that points to something more severe than valve stem seals. So I would recommend the wet compression test, just to check if it is the top end or the bottom end. If it's the top end, you could have the cylinder head reconditioned and motor along for a few more years, trouble free.
Similar to a compression test, a "leak down" test of the cylinders is actually a more accurate method of finding where compression is lost, and it's only a one step test. They hold compressed air in the cylinder and analyze where it escapes to pinpoint compression loss. Loss of compression translates into loss of power. Have either test done before you decide. Find a good mechanic and trust his advice. (Stay far away from dealers. Greed is their motivating factor.)

Apr 12, 2014 | 2003 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

Hello, I have a 2003 Volkswagon Beetle (gas) and it burns a lot of oil; however there are no leaks and no white smoke.. It runs well..... Can you tell me why? Sincerely, Conrad Smith

Do a compression test to find the reason. Worn rings, worn valve guides, or bad valve stem seals are most likely cause.
A compression test tells you a lot about the internal condition. Cylinders should be closely balanced. Low compression in one or any cylinders should be tested further to indicate where power is lost. Then you do a wet compression test: put about a tablespoon of oil in the cylinder and check compression again. The oil will temporarily seal the rings from losing compression. If the low compression improves noticeably, it tells you the piston rings are worn too bad. If compression doesn't improve, it is a valve problem-worn valve guides, or valve stem seals.
One remedy you could try, since it runs well and doesn't smoke, is to change brands to a better quality oil, and a higher viscosity, like if you are using 5W30, move up to 10W40, or 15W40. The oil sold as for higher mileage engines will have additives to try and help with oil consumption. It often helps, not always.
You probably won't see the tell-tale bluish smoke from the exhaust indicating oil burning, until oil consumption is very high-like about 1 quart every 300 -500 miles. A quart every 1,000 miles is a concern, but many manufacturers will call that "normal", especially if still under warranty, pretty shady, but that's the facts.

Aug 19, 2013 | 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

1 Answer

Blue smoke at low rpms on a 22re toyota

Blue smoke indicates burning oil in the cylinders. Could be worn piston rings, worn valve guides, or bad valve stem seals. An engine compression test may help find it, but a cylinder leak-down test is a more precise way to find where compression is being lost. If compression is good, you just may need to replace the old rubber valve stem seals. A shop could do it without having to remove the cylinder head, using an air compressor hooked up into each cylinder while the valve train is being worked on. The air is used to keep the valves from falling into the cylinder while the seals are replaced. About a 4 hour labor cost, so expensive, but a lot less than a cylinder head removal.

Jul 18, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Motor has 200000 miles and smokes pretty bad ive tried all kinds of no smoke products but nothing helps what do you think it is blue smoke

Doesn't really matter with 200,000 miles and blue oil smoke.
Pull the motor out,then decide what to do.
You can break it down, if you really want to find the cause.
It still has to be rebuilt or replaced

You wasted your money on any auto part store product,
for any application.
You only go to the parts store for parts,no chemicals,no injector cleaner,
all unnecessary and nearly useless and sometime harmfull products.

Nov 25, 2010 | 2002 Nissan Altima

2 Answers


Oil consumption.

Bad rings,valve guides

May 15, 2010 | 2004 Nissan Altima

1 Answer

Engine has no compression, 02 Cav

if this engine is an interference fit engine, there is a good chance that the valves are bent, if you are sure that timing is correct, this is the most likely cause for no compression in this case, did you run a compression test? if you think the valve are bent you can check by removing the rockers and look at the valves. they should all look the same, I have been able to see a bent valve due to the height of the stem compared to others in the head.

Mar 30, 2009 | 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

2 Answers

Low compression in a 1999 sunfire. will not start, does fire

There can be several causes for low compression.
Chck the obvious first. the spark plugs must be checked that they are all in good condition. not burnt, the gap must be good( for your engine).Check the wires and coil so that good spark is obtained. Blue spark , not weak yellow spark. After everything is good. Check the cylinders to see if they have compression. To test the cylinders do the procedures shown below.

If the cylinder shows little leakdown or holds good compression when a little oil is squirted into the cylinder (wet compression test), it would tell you that the engine needs new valve guide seals and/or guide work. Most late model import engines have positive valve guide seals. Often, the guides are fine, but the seals are worn or cracked. The seals can be replaced on some engines without too much effort and without having to remove the head.

compression test will help you determine if the oil is getting past the valve guides or the rings. If the cylinder shows little leakdown or holds good compression when a little oil is squirted into the cylinder (wet compression test), it would tell you that the engine needs new valve guide seals and/or guide work. Most late model import engines have positive valve guide seals. Often, the guides are fine, but the seals are worn or cracked. The seals can be replaced on some engines without too much effort and without having to remove the head.

finally if the rings on one or more of the pistons can caus compression leak. It must be located and fixed.

Mar 03, 2009 | 1999 Pontiac Sunfire

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