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Q: After driving from traffic light, engine starts smoking

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When I am beginning to drive after sitting at a traffic light, my car’s engine started smoking. I learned later that one of the spark plugs had oil on it after I had them changed. I used an oil stop leak product (Sta-bil), but it only made a small minor difference. I had been using a quart of oil every week. Now it is down to 20 ounces. It is past due for an inspection. I doubt that I can afford to replace or rebuild the engine in my car. Can you give me any alternatives or solutions for this smoking-engine problem?

A: Hello. Thanks for writing in about your 199...

Hello. Thanks for writing in about your 1999 Saturn SW2. If the only issue with the car is that there is oil getting into the spark plug holes, then most of the time this is a leaking valve cover gasket issue. This is a common problem on a lot of cars and causes the engine to run rough.

This will cause a short in the ignition system which causes it to run like this. I usually check the valve cover gasket to see if that is where the oil is coming from. If it is, then it simply needs to be replaced, and the spark plugs and wires should be replaced also. If you plan on having this repaired, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose and repair the engine smoke problem.

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