exhaust smoke, and drop in gas mileage


Asked by Sep 09, 2010 at 02:03 PM about the 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I recently inherited a 1991 vanagon from a friend. The problem is, he said it ran great for a while, then he noticed the gas mileage droped by a bit and it the exhaust smokes alot. Apparently this happened all of the sudden and it wasn't something that slowly got worse. The first thing I did was check the oil level, and it was a bit over the max and very black. He said he had added oil because the oil pressure warning light is on. Where should I start? I am not a mechanic myself, but I was told by  friend that a compression check would be where to start,but it might not be accurate until I put good oil in it.

4 Answers


oil level has nothing to do with anything. Oil cleanliness has even less to do with anything. It could be anything from needing a tune-up to needing rebuilt. The oil light tells you that it has low oil pressure. Most Vanagons do. The engine has excess clearance in the bearings causing it to have low oil pressure. Compression test would help. You should also look to see it there is oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. These are notorious for head gasket failure. Start there.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Oh and the oil smells like gasoline:(

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

now that is important... Those fuel injectors are known to leak after awhile. If ya got one stuck on it would wash past the rings and get into the crankcase. I test them by pulling them out of the head, but not loose from any of the lines, then jumper the fuel pump relay (turn on the fuel pump without turning over the engine) and with your injectors in a baggie see which one(s) leak. Good Luck!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

catalytic converter possibly failing try disconnecting wires coming from exhaust pipe chances are 20 year old veh do not need emissions chk sometimes you also have to drill a small hole in sensor as well

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