How to read blue smoke signals

Aug. 31, 2016
If an older vehicle is blowing blue smoke, and there’s a smell like burnt toast, chances are good that the engine is burning oil. Learn how to fix it.
If an older vehicle is blowing blue smoke, and there’s a smell like burnt toast, chances are good that the engine is burning oil. If the vehicle owner constantly has to add oil, but never finds any leaking onto the ground, that’s another clue. Two of the most common culprits in oil-burning situations like these are worn/leaky valve seals or sticking piston rings. A smoking tailpipe is sending blue smoke signals to warn the vehicle owner of potentially costly damage down the road if left unchecked.
Leaky valve seals generally produce blue smoke only after start-up or after a period of sitting idle. Worn or sticking piston rings tend to cause smoke on acceleration or continuously. To determine which offender is the cause of your customer’s blue smoke, conduct a wet and dry compression test to verify the condition of the rings. Get a set of readings dry, then put a teaspoon of engine oil in each bore, turn over and re-test. Worn rings will have improved readings when wet. Worn valves will show no difference.

If your customer can’t afford a mechanical fix or doesn’t think the vehicle is worth the investment, consider a chemical solution to address the problem and extend the useful life of the vehicle. Bar’s Leaks professional Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair (P/N VS-1) restores worn seals quickly and easily, and Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate (P/N 4102) gradually dissolves and removes harmful deposits of varnish, sludge and gum from within engines that can stick and wear piston rings.

“Burning oil does more than cause embarrassing blue smoke. Oil burning in the combustion chamber can also damage vehicles’ oxygen sensors and catalytic converters,” says Clay Parks, vice president of development for Bar’s Leaks and Rislone. “Help your customers easily and cost-effectively repair their vehicles and protect them from further damage with Bar’s Leaks Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair or Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate.”

Bar’s Leaks Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair is a professional-grade chemical repair for valve seals that have shrunk, hardened or cracked due to engine heat, age, high mileage or inactivity during storage. It contains a specially engineered valve seal additive that restores valve seal size, flexibility and elasticity. Coupled with this additive is an advanced seal polymer that builds a polymeric film around the valve seal to help prevent excess oil bypassing the seal during normal engine operation.

Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair can be added to the vehicle’s existing engine oil during an oil change or when the oil is low. It starts to work within 15 minutes of driving or idling the vehicle. A synthetic blend, it is effective with gasoline and diesel engines, and all types of conventional and high-mileage motor oils.

Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate combines a high-quality penetrating lubrication oil with protective engine additives and cleaning agents. The unique Rislone formula is designed to penetrate into valve seats, bearing surfaces, piston rings and ring grooves: areas where sludge and varnish are likely to form. These deposits are gradually dissolved and held harmless in suspension until they are trapped in the filter or removed with the next oil change. Regular use of Rislone Engine Treatment as part of oil and filter changes at the proper intervals will keep deposits to a minimum. It works with all petroleum-based motor oils, including conventional, high-mileage and synthetic formulas.
Bar’s Leaks Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair and Rislone Engine Treatment are both made in the U.S.A. Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair is available to distribution in case packs of four bottles. Rislone Engine Treatment is available to distribution in case packs of six bottles.

For more information on Valve Seal Oil Consumption Repair, call (800) 345-6572, email [email protected] or visit

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