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Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 33407
Experience:  35 years as a automotive tech
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My name is ***** ***** and I have a 1995 Miata with 210,000

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** ***** and I have a 1995 Miata with 210,000 miles on it.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: When the engine is cold (sitting overnight) it smokes very, very much until the engine warms up. I spent $1900. to have the valve seals replaced but it still smokes just as much. The cylinder compression is O.K.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Mazda Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a professional here at Just Answer. I have noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.I apologize for the delay and I hope I can still assist you with this here.

In most cases if the smoke clears up after running the engine then that usually means the valve stem seals are still leaking or you have bad rings on the pistons. If you pull the spark plugs are you finding them to be oil fouled? Post back and we can work from there.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
no-the plugs are not fouled
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

Okay then I would have them recheck the valve stem seals.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
how do you recheck the valve stem seals?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

I would start first with pulling the spark plug after it has sat over night before you run the engine and see if you have any signs of oil on them. It the seals are leaking there should be signs of oil on at least one side of them.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
if there are no signs of oil-then what----also, are the valve seals the same for both the intake and exhaust valves?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

The seals are the same on both valves and if there is no sign of oil on the spark plugs then your likely looking at worn piston rings which is highly likely with the amount of miles you have on the engine.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
a compression check was made and did not indicate low compression
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

Worn oil rings will not affect compression . There are 2 set of rings on each piston that control compression and one set of oil rings. It has to be either the valve stem seals or the piston rings. From your description it sure sounds like valve stem seals.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If the valve stem seals are new, how can they be leaking?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

They can still leak if you have excessive play with the valve guides.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is there any way to test if the valve guides have excessive play---also, when the engine warms up, it stops emitting smoke.
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

The only way to test the valve stems and guides would be to pull the head and have a machine shop check them. The type of smoking you getting sure dose sound like the valves. In most cases if the rings where bad it would smoke all the time.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is it possible that the technician who installed the new valve stem seals did not install them correctly?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

It would be pretty hard to do but yes, its always a possibility.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Do you have any advice as to what I should say to the shop that replaced the seals?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

Yea, I would be asking them why its still smoking just as bad as it was when they told you the seals where the cause . If they actually replaced them it should have stopped smoking it the valve guides are okay.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Could the PCV or EGR valves be implicated in this problem?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

The PCV may bit its not likely, if it was stuck you would see smoke all the time. The EGR would have no role in it at all.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If there is excessive play in the valve guides, would this problem be eliminated when the engine warmed up?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

No, not in most cases. Bad guides will actually cause the engine to run poorly as well.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Actually, the engine runs great---If the problem is with the oil rings, would adding a product like "Sea Foam" to the oil be of any benefit?
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

I do not think its a problem with the oil rings and sea foam would not work if it was. Are you 100% sure they replaced the valve steams?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They seem like honest people--but I have no way of knowing for sure---Grasping at straws, could the head bolts possibly have lost their tension and need to be re-torqued?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Note: They did not remove the head when they replaced the valve stem seals
Expert:  Ron replied 10 months ago.

If the head was loose you would loose compression. The head dose not need to be removed to replace the seals.

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