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Why is Oil Coming out my Exhaust

February 19, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Oil coming out of the exhaust is a common issue that a variety of reasons can cause. In most cases, it is a sign that there is a problem with the engine or the exhaust system of the vehicle.

In this article, we’ll see possible reasons for oil coming out of your exhaust and possible ways to prevent oil leakage.

What Does Oil Coming Out of the Exhaust Mean?

If you notice oil coming out of your exhaust, it implies an issue lacking somewhere in your vehicle and needs immediate attention.


This could indicate an overheating engine, cracked Cylinder, or worn-out piston rings, which will spread to other engine components if not addressed on time.

In addition to the potential damage to the engine, oil in the exhaust can also harm the environment. When oil is burned along with the fuel, it can release harmful pollutants into the air, contributing to air pollution and harming the health of people and animals.

Why is Oil Coming Out of My Exhaust

Reasons, why oil will leak from your exhaust include; a Cracked cylinder/engine, damaged piston rings, a worn-out oil filter, a blown gasket head, worn valve guides, and an overheating engine.

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Now, let’s look at these reasons one after the other and how they affect oil flow in the car system.

1. Cracked Cylinder/Engine

One of the most common reasons for oil coming out of the exhaust is a leak in the engine. Depending on the model of a cylinder installed on your vehicle, some engines are susceptible to cracks caused mainly by overheating, and this would introduce oil into the system, which then goes out from the exhaust.

2. Blown Head Gasket

Oil leakage can occur when the seals or gaskets that keep the oil inside the engine become damaged or worn out. If the oil can escape from the engine, it can end up in the exhaust system and be expelled through the tailpipe.

3. Damaged Piston Rings

Another possible cause of oil in the exhaust is a problem with the piston rings. The piston rings are responsible for keeping the oil inside the engine and preventing it from entering the combustion chamber. If the piston rings are worn or damaged, oil can leak into the combustion chamber and be burned along with the fuel, resulting in oil being expelled through the exhaust.

4. Worn Out Oil Filter

A faulty or worn-out oil filter can also cause oil to enter the exhaust system. The oil filter removes any impurities or debris from the oil before circulating throughout the engine. If the oil filter is not working correctly, debris and contaminants can enter the engine, leading to oil being expelled through the exhaust.

5. Worn Valve Guide

The function of the valve guide is to prevent oil from going beyond the cylinder valve stems. However, it can wear out over time, causing oil to escape into the exhaust.

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6. Overheating Engine

If the engine is overheating, it can cause the oil to break down and become contaminated, leading to oil being expelled through the exhaust.

7. Damaged Engine

If the engine has suffered significant damage, it may be unable to properly burn the fuel and oil, resulting in excess fat being expelled through the exhaust.


What does it mean if oil is coming out of my exhaust?

If oil is coming out of your exhaust, it means that there is a problem with your vehicle. Various factors, such as a leak in the engine, faulty piston rings, or a worn-out oil filter, can cause this.

This isn’t a DIY service, so I’ll advise that you take your vehicle to a professional mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

Can oil on the exhaust catch fire?

It is possible for oil on the exhaust to catch fire, although it is not shared. Oil on the exhaust can ignite if it is heated to an appropriate temperature. In most cases, the oil on the exhaust will burn off without causing a fire.

However, if the oil is allowed to build up or if there is a significant leak, it could potentially ignite and cause a fire. It is essential to address any issues with oil on the exhaust as soon as possible to prevent fire risk.

Can oil leak out of the exhaust manifold?

Yes, oil can leak out of the exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold is responsible for directing the exhaust gases from the cylinders to the exhaust pipe, and it is sealed with gaskets to prevent leaks. If the gaskets become damaged or worn out, oil can leak from the engine into the exhaust manifold and be expelled through the exhaust pipe.

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Can an oil leak cause a car to explode?

It is unlikely that an oil leak would cause a car to explode. While an oil leak can cause severe damage to the engine and other parts of the vehicle, it does not typically result in an explosion. An explosion would require a large amount of fuel and oxygen.

How do you tell if oil is leaking in the exhaust?

There are several ways to tell if oil leaks in the exhaust. One of the most obvious signs is if you notice blue smoke from the exhaust pipe. You may also see oil leaking from the engine or the exhaust manifold.

Another way to tell if oil leaks in the exhaust is to check the oil level on the dipstick. If the oil level is low after a recent oil change, it could indicate oil leaking from the engine.

Additionally, if your vehicle is losing power or is not running as smoothly as usual, it could indicate oil leaking into the exhaust. It is essential to have any issues with oil leaks diagnosed and repaired by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.


If you have noticed oil coming out of your exhaust, it is essential to have the issue diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. The cause of the problem could be a simple leak or faulty component, but it could also be a sign of more severe issues with the engine. By addressing the issue promptly, you can prevent further damage to your vehicle and protect the environment from harmful pollutants.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.