I own an Audi A4 2008. When I drive the car for more than 15 minutes I get white smoke coming from under the hood and a burning smell getting into my air conditioning system. When I open the hood, I see the white smoke coming from the area which I highlighted with red in the first picture. The second picture is a zoom-in of the first one. You will probably notice there what I suspect as oil being collected in that engine area and when the engine heats up, the oil is burnt. I should also note that in the past few months, because of oil indicator light, I've added oil twice.

  1. Am I right in my diagnosis of the oil leak and the oil being collected?
  2. If I am right in my diagnosis, can you see from the picture where the oil leak is coming from? And what should be done to get it fixed?
  3. What are the dangers if I continue driving in that condition (but still the oil indicator light is not on) ?

Zoom-Out Zoom-In

  • 2
    It looks like oil is being pushed out of the cap and the PCV or breather tube. Try cleaning it up and running the engine. See if you can catch something leaving a trail. You might have excessive crankcase pressure.
    – Ben
    Feb 24, 2017 at 23:23
  • Do you get white smoke coming out the oil cap or the dipstick?
    – jxramos
    Feb 24, 2017 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


This seems to me like an intake manifold gasket or even a valve cover is leaking and when the engine gets hot the oil smokes away.

The dangers of driving like this? From the picture the leak looks significant and it could be very dangerous driving with a smoking hood.

  • Oil can catch on fire.
    – Ben
    Feb 24, 2017 at 23:21
  • Yah, pass a follow up image of the valve cover removed and see what's poking around there. I removed my valvecover and found a bit of oil pooled up there once from a disintegrated plastic PCV breather hose.
    – jxramos
    Feb 24, 2017 at 23:55
  • Another danger is the crankcase pressure that's pushing the oil out here may start popping seals and gaskets out of place resulting in potentially massive oil leaks and much higher repair costs. Or running out of oil...
    – atraudes
    Feb 25, 2017 at 0:48
  • @method - the service center's diagnosis was the need to replace the intake manifold gasket. I've driven the car a little bit since that repair and so far, so good. Thanks
    – giraffe86
    Feb 28, 2017 at 18:43

Just fixed mine had the same problem (not as bad). Valve cover gasket. $30 part and about 1,5 hours of work with cleaning.

  • Thanks for adding more info here (And welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair!). However, most of what you posted here was already covered in the other answer on this post. Could you edit to add more detail?
    – Cullub
    Jun 18, 2018 at 3:32

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