Question about 2002 Mazda Protege

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Blue Smoke on starting, and also straining uphill Mazda Protege

From all indications in reading your articles I need to replace my stem seals, on my 2002 Mazda Protege. I have gotten a huge range in repair costs from $200 to 1000. Can you give me some idea as to how much it should cost.

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The problems with the exhaust valve and the failed piston are probably due to that cylinder running lean. Check the fuel injector for that cylinder and also look for vacuum leaks that would affect that cylinder. We do not think the wrong heat range of spark plugs would cause the problem you describe.

Posted on Jun 29, 2008

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2 Answers

My 2009 Hyundai getz blows cloud of blue smoke when starting but only after car has been facing down a slight hill,no water in oil or exhaust can't see any oil leaks and now starting to miss a little


Maybe valve stem oil seals are getting worn allowing oil to enter the bore over a period of time , hence blue smoke on start up and miss fire on start up

Feb 14, 2016 | Hyundai Cars & Trucks

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Blue smoke coming out of the exhaust


start car when engine cold - place some paper in front of exhaust pipe.
If you see dots of oil you have a major engine failure with the lower block of your engine or the rings. This costs a lot of money to fix !
I sent my car to wreckers to be crushed when I had smoke and burning oil smell plus oil when it was cold.

If it is water when engine when engine cold you may have a cracked engine head , cracked head or blown head gasket.
Less expensive to fix but may require head to be re machined if head is warped. If head is cracked then head will need welding.
A cylinder compression test will confirm this type of head problem.

Jan 24, 2016 | 2000 Mazda MPV

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What could cause blue smoke from exhaust?


blue smoke is burning oil
I gather that you let the engine idle and when you give it rpms that there is a cloud of blue smoke
if that is the case it indicates that the valve stem seals are hard /failed and when the engine is at idle ( 15" mercury vacuum in manifold) the oil around the valves is sucked past the stem seals and into the combustion chamber
AS you have restricted use of the machine (every 3 weeks ) it is not a great problem as when you are on the road it is not happening (Only at idle )
It is repairable without removing the head if you find an accredited service shop that has experience in the procedure.

Jul 06, 2015 | 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300-Class

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

1 Answer

Engines idle goes up and down after warming up and blows blue smoke


If the engine idles for a while then blows blue smoke this is an indication of oil passing the valve stem seals and being burnt in the combustion process. ( When you are at lights and they change and you accelerate away leacing a cloud of blue smoke this is worn valve guides and failed valve stem seals) As for the idle it could be the oxygen sensor is coated with oil and soot and is malfunctioning henace the cpu cannot regulate the fuel setting correctly. Have the valve seals replaced and clean the Oxygen sensor and check for other fault codes

Feb 17, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Blue smoke when starting frist thing in the morning


This usually indicates worn valve guides. When the engine sits for a period of time, the residual oil sitting in the cylinder head will seep down the valve stems past the seals and guide and into the cylinder. When you fire it up the little bit of oil burns off giving you the blue smoke. Usually clears up right away.

When the guides get worn and theres some play in the valve stem, it stretches the seals a little too so they nolonger seal very well and allow the oil to seep past.

You can replace the seals for a temporary fix, but will not last long as the play will stretch them again. Whats needed is a valve job. Not a quick fix. The valve guides need to be reamed and honed to resize them to fit the valve stems correctly to eliminate sideways play, then the valves ground and reseated and fitted with new stem seals.

Having said all that, if the smoke clears in seconds, you can keep going for a while yet. A little oil burn wont hurt much. As the wear gets worse the smoke will persist longer till it never quite goes away and you leave a trail behind you. Depending on your usage, (and how bad now) this could be 6 - 9 months away.
Hope I have helped.

May 23, 2011 | 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

1 Answer

Hi my ford granada 2.8 carb 1984 started idleing rought and kicking blue smoke out just bought new head gasket set but the valve stem seals are tight and is that a problem danny


Blue smoke = oil is burned. You have an oil seal that is worn out so yes, the valve stem seals might be the ones. Replace them and check again.

Aug 04, 2010 | Ford Granada Cars & Trucks

4 Answers

Blue smoke in morning start up


if it constantly is blowing out smoke trhen it sounds like you rhead is cracked. head gaskets or something in that area. it will run but ****. alos try an oil change if u havnt already..

Jun 02, 2009 | 1995 Honda Odyssey

1 Answer

Smoking after start up


If it's the org. engine it will has over 160,000 miles on it.
It's normal to has valve stem seal/oil seal on the head to leak oil into the cyclinder on high mileage engine.

The smoke you see is the motor oil drop from the valve stem seals. The oil drops land on the top of the cyclinders and it create black smoke at start up.

The inexpensive fix is to start using high mileage oil with seal conditioner.
This will help soften the rubber seals and help reduce internal oil leak.


The correct fix is to wait until it's time for a head gasket replacement and let the professional CRC/service the head.

Complete head service is the only method to stop this internal oil drip problem.

Oct 29, 2008 | 1994 Mazda MX-3

1 Answer

My mx3 just had the head done and it is still blowing blue smoke once a day when i first start it... the mech that did the head said the compression was done and good and that when they opened the head...


Sounds like the excuse is a load of BS to me. If that was the case, the oil would of been burnt off during the normal test drive after they completed the head. I'm assuming you had a blown head gasket?

Blue smoke is indeed oil and if it ONLY occurs at start up then clears itself after some driving, it's the valve stem seals or valve guides (but more likely the stem seals).

They were most likely not replaced during the overhaul.

The stem seals stop oil from the upper lubrication in the head travelling down the valves into the combustion chamber and burning with the fuel.

While the engine is running, there is enough movement in the valvetrain (all the bits that move the valves) so that oil cant make it down into the combustion chamber.

However, when the engine is stopped and left for a period (ie: overnight) oil can trickle down into the combustion chamber through the seals which is why when you first start it up the next day it blows blue smoke. All that gathered oil in the combustion chamber is burning off.

The reason why they probably haven't changed the seals is simple: they make more money.

As a mechanic doing a head you have 2 options: You can either get what's called a 'Headset' which is the head gasket with all the other gaskets involved and stem seals OR you can buy the head gasket by itself and reuse the old gaskets and not replace the stem seals.

The head gasket by itself is half the price of the Headset but you can still charge the customer for the full headset....see where im going? Trust me, this kind of practise is unfortunately very common and one of the reasons I got out of the industry.

Once a car overheats due to a head gasket or any other problem, the stem seals nornally always have to be replaced because they harden due to the heat and lose their sealing power.

The solution? The head has to come off again to replace the seals and these guys probably know it so they are going into BS mode to protect themselves.

You have to insist they fix the problem because it wont go away and don't back down!

Oh, and for future reference there are only 3 kinds of smoke you can get:

Blue = Oil burning
White = Water burning (pretty normal in the morning)
Black = Fuel burning (Mixture running too rich)

Hope this helps :)

Jul 14, 2008 | 1994 Mazda MX-3

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