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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I'm in a bit of an emergency situation now, trying to figure out if it's safe to drive my car home from work. On the way to work, after about a 10 mile drive, I clutched in before turning and the engine stalled. Started back up no problem until the next turn into the driveway where it stalled again. I coasted into a parking spot and opened the hood - there was white (blue?) smoke coming out of dipstick hole when I removed the dipstick (and of course also coming from the oil fill hole when the cap is removed). Also oil was coating the entire dipstick, all the way to the top. The smoke definitely didn't smell like condensation - it smells like burnt oil.

No check engine lights and the car started up just fine after the first stall. Coolant reservoir level hasn't changed - still full.

I have a dual oil catch can setup installed by the previous owner. I've been chasing an oil leak from the valve cover gasket for a while now, so I've checked the check valves to make sure everything's in the right orientation. All the check valves are properly aligned per this link. It's worth noting however that the vented catch can (attached to the valve cover and Perm PCV plate) has never caught any oil, while the other catch can catches a reasonable amount between oil changes.

If anyone can provide some guidance that would be great. I'm about 2 miles away from a local tuning shop, and if it's safe to drive there I'll probably drop the car off for them to take a look. Thoughts?

EDIT: For anyone coming to this page from Google in the distant future - The dying turned out to be just normal Focus behavior after sitting for a while. It hasn't happened in the past few weeks since I've been driving it more. The vapor coming out of the crankcase has not gone away, but from reading other threads it sounds like a normal occurrence... The dealer ended up replacing my high pressure fuel pump seal instead of the valve cover gasket. This solved the oil leak.
 

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Hey everyone,

I'm in a bit of an emergency situation now, trying to figure out if it's safe to drive my car home from work. On the way to work, after about a 10 mile drive, I clutched in before turning and the engine stalled. Started back up no problem until the next turn into the driveway where it stalled again. I coasted into a parking spot and opened the hood - there was white (blue?) smoke coming out of dipstick hole when I removed the dipstick (and of course also coming from the oil fill hole when the cap is removed). Also oil was coating the entire dipstick, all the way to the top. The smoke definitely didn't smell like condensation - it smells like burnt oil.

No check engine lights and the car started up just fine after the first stall. Coolant reservoir level hasn't changed - still full.

I have a dual oil catch can setup installed by the previous owner. I've been chasing an oil leak from the valve cover gasket for a while now, so I've checked the check valves to make sure everything's in the right orientation. All the check valves are properly aligned per this link. It's worth noting however that the vented catch can (attached to the valve cover and Perm PCV plate) has never caught any oil, while the other catch can catches a reasonable amount between oil changes.

If anyone can provide some guidance that would be great. I'm about 2 miles away from a local tuning shop, and if it's safe to drive there I'll probably drop the car off for them to take a look. Thoughts?
How are the temps, do you have a blockage and no oil flow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't think to look at the temperature before... I didn't consider it could be a serious issue until I walked back outside to check the oil level and discovered the smoke. I'd have to drive it again to check the temperature, which I'm not sure I want to do at this point.

Edit: I did notice when I started the car the oil pressure was about 5% from the 70psi line, but that's apparently normal upon startup. I didn't check any gauges once the car stalled. Because, well, the car was stalled so the gauges weren't reading anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I just went and started the car back up. Started up just fine and idled as usual. The temperatures stayed steady for the 30 seconds I had it on. I imagine they'd rise quickly if there was no oil flow. Checked the dipstick again - more smoke. Oil pressure was in the middle of the gauge. Still no check codes (checked with accessport).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As an update: I took it to a nearby (experienced) mechanic who did some poking around. He suggested I go get the valve cover gasket done then report back. I'll be getting that done tomorrow.

The crankcase vent system is suspect at this point. I'm going to do some more investigation once I get it back with the new valve cover/gasket.
 
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