Join Date: May 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Vale of Glamorgan
Re: Engine smoke
If its the valve stem seals. Then you should get a noticable puff of smoke when you start up. Especially if the car has been standing for a few days. So look in the mirror when you start up. As oil consumption increases with piston speed, I would suspect wear in the bores. This would be likely in an engine which was used for short journeys and never had a chance to warm up. Try lifting off the throttle on a clear motorway and let the car slow right down in gear and then put your foot down. If you have wear in the bores, or piston ring trouble, you will see a cloud of smoke in your rear view mirror as low pressure in the combustion chamber and crank case pressure will force oil past the pistons. This will also happen after running down hill off the throttle. A good quality oil may help and may help to free up the piston rings which are probably choked with carbon. I don`t know what is specified for the 16v engine, but I would not go for a full synthetic oil as they are thinner and too thin for old engines which were never designed for such a thin oil in the first place and this would promote oil consumption. I have used Morris`s Multivis for years. This is a semi synthetic high detergent oil which is very good at cleaning up all that black gum that you get inside the engine. It also passes the US army test for engine oil specification, which is one of the toughest. Look for that in the small print on the container when you next buy engine oil.
This must be the longest post I have ever made !!!!