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fauer 08-21-2008 08:24 PM

Blue smoke at start up, and shudder at idle
I got a 2000 Ford Windstar 3.8 I built a building up north and in my obsession with that I hauled an incredibly large load of lumber with the van low on oil.
When I finaly found out.....weeks later?, I was 3 - 4 quarts down! I always figured I broke a piston ring....
The van uses a LOT of oil in city driving now, and less on the road. It was developing very rough "fluttering" shaking at start up of acceleration. I got 120,000 on it now and the shaking was getting bad... I had plugs and wires put in new by at home mechanic.
Runs better .....start up shudder is gone pretty much, but now at idle coming to a stop it studders and gets worse as we sit. I sat for a while the other day....and it shuddered and the oil indicator light even came on. A quick rev eliminated that. For a stop light we might put it in neutral.
There is some clickking noise in the engine at time early in start up, but no big knocking. NOW TODAY, starting this morning....when we start it, many of the starts include a big blue cloud on start up.
I got to get some more miles out of this.... $$ real bad for us right now. Been limping along with the problem from the original miss use last year. Few quarts every week or so in the city, and not that much over the road.
Now it is getting worse of course.... I'm guessing I should use the motor honey thickener to buy me more time... Any certain brand? Any other ideas?

DSallee 08-21-2008 08:55 PM

Sounds like the engine is on it's last leg... so... what I would use is either of these... (for smoking)

Rislone Ring Seal


Restore for the 6 cyl

Either of these can be found at Autozone or your local parts store.

I have used the Restore before and it seemed to help.

Now, on you shuddering at idle or coming to stop sign and it shudders to almost die.. this sounds like the IAC valve not working properly. (Idle Air Control Valve controls the idle speed),1966109/ve...ductDetail.htm
These have a tendancy to get clogged up and not work very well.

Also what might be the culprit is the EGR valve.,189875/veh...ductDetail.htm It may be stuck open a hair with some carbon build up around the valve which will cause a miss/hesitation/rough idle/dieing at stop signs.

These can be removed and cleaned with "some" success just replace the gaskets with new ones.

There are more things that might cause your problem but these would be my first "look at's"

Hope this helps ya some..

fauer 08-21-2008 09:02 PM

awsome response, thanks. Son is going up north for the weekend tomorrow am. I'll have him stop for the additive on the way up.

next week will get codes read and see about replacing one of those devices. ODDLY we did not have the shudder at idel problem till the neighbors brother in law replaced out plugs and wires Monday.

47_47 08-22-2008 09:24 AM

Your oil control rings are probably galled (overheated) and stuck to the piston. As DSallee said, there are a number of air passages and small orifices that may be restricted with carbon. A bad PCV valve or restricted line will also cause idling problems.
I've never had any luck with engine miracle additives, but I'd try it anyway.

47_47 08-22-2008 09:33 AM

I just reread your last post, and the idling problem started when your neighbor changed the plugs and wires. He may have bent a ground electrode, cracked a spark plug or not fully connected a wire. I do not believe he crossed a wire, but it is possible.

I'd check it out.

fauer 08-22-2008 10:22 AM

How Will It Die?
OK, I know the engine is on it's last legs (but I got 20 K miles out of it since I screwed it up).


I ask cause we use it to go up to our get-away, and we use it for fishing and hunting trips.

Will knocking suddenly become apparant and we limp home and shoot it to put it out of it's misery? (after ordering used engine at junk yard to be put in)

Or will it happen SUDDENLY ANYWHERE ANY TIME AND THERE WE SIT, 20 miles from closest small town?

Charles 08-22-2008 11:39 AM

I think if you check the oil frequently and address the idling issue, you probably can get a good amount of life out of the car. Usually blue smoke is an indication of a problem with your valve seals.

If the smoke is white then it is an indication of a faulty head seal. I would recommend checking your fluids frequently, which will probably greatly expand your engines life. Also keep track of the engine temperature and if it ever starts to overheat, stop driving it immediately, let it cool down, then check your coolant levels.

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