Why is Oil Coming out my Exhaust


Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Victor Lukasso

Oil coming out of the exhaust is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of reasons. 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, I’ll we’re going to see possible reasons why oil is coming out of your exhaust and possible ways to prevent oil leakage.

What Does Oil Coming Out of the Exhaust Mean?

If you noticed oil coming out of your exhaust, it implies that there’s an issue lacking somewhere in your vehicle and needs immediate attention.

This could be an indication of 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 be harmful to 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 take a 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 that there is a leak in the engine. Depending on the model of a cylinder installed on your vehicle, some engines are susceptible to cracks mostly caused 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 is able to 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 is responsible for removing any impurities or debris from the oil before it is circulated throughout the engine. If the oil filter is not working properly, it can allow debris and contaminants to 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’s liable to wear out over time thereby 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 oil 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. This can be caused by various factors, such as a leak in the engine, faulty piston rings, or a worn-out oil filter.

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 common. Oil on the exhaust can ignite if it is heated to an appropriate temperature. In most cases, the oil on the exhaust will simply 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 important 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, it is possible for oil to 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, it can allow oil to leak from the engine into the exhaust manifold and be expelled through the exhaust pipe.

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 serious damage to the engine and other parts of the vehicle, it does not typically result in an explosion. An explosion would require the presence of a large amount of fuel and oxygen.

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

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

Another way to tell if oil is leaking 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 be a sign that oil is leaking from the engine.

Additionally, if you notice that your vehicle is losing power or is not running as smoothly as usual, it could be a sign that oil is leaking into the exhaust. It is important 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 important 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 serious issues with the engine. By addressing the issue promptly, you can prevent further damage to your vehicle and protect the environment from harmful pollutants.