I was driving my car on I - 70 and all of a sudden the oil light was flicking on and off the check engine light had been on already but the car started to lose speed and no rpms showed while I tryed to pull over by speeding up I heard a light noise under the hood before a loud pop then a huge cloud of black and grey smoke came out from under my hood I pulled over and after the smoke cleared I looked under the hood there was oil all over almost everything. I hope it's just a hose but I have not had the chance to look due to the car being towed away for two days.

What could be wrong?


4 Answers 4


It sounds to me like you 'windowed the block'. When you lost oil pressure, you were at highway speed, so your engine was spinning decently fast, and every revolution without oil does more damage. I think the light noise was rod knock and lifter tick, the pop was the rod breaking and making a hole in the block, and the cloud was the oil that was left in the engine, now exiting the engine and burning.

Hopefully, I am wrong and overlooked some possibility that doesn't result in the engine being completely destroyed.


My son had an engine failure on a 2015 WRX, same exact symptoms, connecting rod broke and punched through the engine block on the top side, breaking open an oil galley. 10K mistake after playing with turbo boost, ouch!

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  • It's hauntingly beautiful. Did you debur the conrod or is that how it broke? How much boost? Thanks for the visual! Aug 11, 2016 at 22:39
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    @MooseLucifer - I'm sure it deburred itself going in/out of the block a few hundred times after it killed itself. Like a massive glass beed blaster or something, lol. Aug 11, 2016 at 22:42
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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Haha that's a great point, didn't even think about the fact it was still attached on that end. Cool! Also sorry for your (son's) loss Moab. Aug 11, 2016 at 22:55
  • @MooseLucifer that is how it looked when pulled from the crankshaft, yeah it flopped around for a few revolutions.
    – Moab
    Aug 14, 2016 at 0:19

I had a similar problem on a nissan primera P12 (144hp, diesel, year 2002) , i was going at 130km/h ( 80-82mph) on a highway, "fell" into a concrete hole on the road , and the engine started losing power, then all the engine light went on, black some started coming out of the exhaust, oil temp started goin up so i turned off the engine on the roadside, and some very weird noises were coming from the engine.

Somehow, the big "fall" onto the hole broke the pieces that keep the oil filter bottom cap attached, oil went everywhere and one of the rods got a fissure, but they told me that engine stress can cause it too on very high temperatures.

They didn't found until they cleaned the engine and saw my car's bottom, so that's a place to start.

Hope it's not the same, because it was expensive as hell and i decided to change my car for good.

  • That radiator was empty and all the oil was gone too not a drop left here I just found sparkly residue in the cap for the radiator so thinking it was a sealant, put oil and coolant in and heard the coolant was poolling into the bottom but not leaking, so have it a test turn and yep oil and coolant spitting out the top not trying that again thanks everyone this has been most helpfull Aug 12, 2016 at 13:01

Because you mentioned both black and grey smoke (the latter probably steam), my guess is that the gasket between de block and the cylinder head has been blown out. The black smoke is oil burning, the grey is cooling fluids evaporating.

Could be real cheap getting this fixed, or rather expensive. Nothing in between, unfortunately. The reason is that it depends if any damage has been done (the cylinder head can bend due to sudden cooling off caused by the evaporating cooling fluids).

Let's hope this isn't the case!

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