My sister has a 2004 Nissan Sentra with a 1.8L engine, and a day or two ago she started noticing some (not a lot) smoke coming from the engine compartment after driving for a long time (i.e., more than 20-30 minutes). The smoke is coming from a component on the front of the engine, which I am fairly certain is the exhaust manifold. Here is a picture of where it is located in the engine compartment (this is not my car, it is just to show the general location):

Engine Compartment

And here is the best picture I could get of the component itself:

Exhaust Manifold

This started happening right after getting an oil change, so I suspect that the guy who did the oil change spilled some oil, and when the engine gets nice and hot it simply burns off that excess oil.

Can anyone confirm whether or not this is the exhaust manifold, and tell me if I should be more worried than I am? Currently I am planning on just letter her drive it for a few days, to see if the problem goes away by itself.

1 Answer 1


It is possible that oil was spilled and starts to burn away once the car is hot. The other option is an oil leak is occurring on a component of the exhaust. Keep driving for now, but make sure you are checking the oil level frequently in the case that it is an oil leak.

  • You were right - after driving it for a few days, we noticed the oil level dropping. It ended up being that the guy who changed the oil hadn't properly tightened the oil filter (which is surprising, since it's not like they need to be particularly tight). Thanks!
    – CmdrMoozy
    Nov 1, 2013 at 3:00

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