5 Steps To Clean Oil Off Your Exhaust Pipe: Will It Burn Off?

By November 6, 2022Common Questions, Exhaust

Best way to clean the exhaust pipe is using regular car soap and water solution. Using a degreaser is also very important when it comes to exhaust pipe cleaning. Although most of the oil in exhaust burns by itself but oil in exhaust could stay for long. Place like the back of the exhaust is mostly affected due to not enough heat which is required to burn off oil.

I’m going to share my personal experience with oil in exhaust and how you can easily clean it. In this blog we will discuss more about oil in exhaust and what exactly causes this problem.

Also Read: Why Do Exhaust Tips Turn Black: Prevention & Cleaning Tips


5 Steps To Clean Oil off Your Exhaust Pipe

If you have not cleaned your exhaust pipe for a long time or your car just might have run into an oil leakage problem recently, then there is a possibility that your exhaust pipe is dirty and oily. In order to clean your exhaust pipe and remove oil, here are the 5 easy steps you should follow:

1: Get the right equipment

For this job you will need a piece of cloth, a pair of gloves to protect your hands from the dirt and oil, metal brush, a bucket with soap and water solution, degreaser, and metal polish.

2: Clean exhaust with soap and water

Use the soap and water solution to clean off oil from the exhaust. You can use any old piece of cloth, once you’re done cleaning the outer side use a metal brush to clean the inside of the exhaust. Reach as far as you can to remove all the dirty layers. You can also directly apply some soap to make this process a little fast.

3: Degrease the exhaust

Once you are done removing the dirt from the exhaust, you will need to apply degreaser to remove the oil from the exhaust. Leave the exhaust for a couple of minutes and let the degreaser do its job.

4: Rub off degreaser

Next step is to remove the degreaser with a metal brush. gently rub it off and make sure you do this all over the exhaust. If there’s still any oil remaining you can reapply the degreasing and again follow these steps.

5: Polish the exhaust

Last step is to apply the polish inside and outside the exhaust. Leave the polish for a few minutes and then use a microfiber cloth to buff the exhaust.


What Can I Use to Clean My Exhaust System?

To clean exhaust system, you can use the exhaust system cleaner available in the market. These exhaust system cleaners mix with your fuel and burn during the combustion, cleans the exhaust system including the catalytic converter.

There are a bunch of different options available in the market. The product which I recommend using is the Cataclean exhaust system cleaner. It works very well and offers great performance and saves a lot of maintenance time. 4 times a year is enough to keep your exhaust system clean and healthy.

Will Oil in Exhaust Burn Off By Itself?

Oil in exhaust does burn off by itself but in some cases it will take a lot of time. Since the oil is mixed with the moisture coming out of the exhaust, the combination of oil and moisture stays a lot longer than you’d expect.

However in most cases the oil burns off quicker due to the exhaust pipe temperature. Exhaust pipe temperature could reach up to 600-700 degrees F which is more than enough to burn the oil in exhaust. Continuous oil in exhaust will take a little bit longer to burn off unless you fix what causing this problem.

Also Read: Oil On Spark Plugs: 7 Common Causes & Fixes (Is It Normal?)


Q: How Do I Know If I Have Oil in My Exhaust?

When oil gets in the exhaust it can result in different odd occurrences such as black, blue or gray smoke coming out of the tailpipe, burning odor, black oil dripping from the tailpipe, etc.

Due to the heat, oil in the exhaust turns into smoke, and the remaining oil mixed with moisture drips down from the tailpipe. Smoke coming out of the tailpipe can indicate oil in the exhaust. Blue or grey smoke indicates that your car is burning oil during the combustion and there is some kind of seal leakage inside the engine. Black smoke indicates that your engine is not burning enough fuel inside the combustion chamber.

Q: How Long Will It Take for Oil to Burn Off?

Oil usually start to burn off at 250-350 degrees F. So, the duration to burn off really depends on how often and how hard you drive. EGT (exhaust gas temperature) gets hot up to 1112 degrees F. while the typical exhaust pipe temperature range is between 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature the oil in exhaust will burn off within a few hours.

Q: What Happens if Oil Gets in Exhaust?

There are plenty of things that can happen when the oil gets in the exhaust including bad fuel economy, more emissions, and damaging sensors. Oil in the exhaust usually comes from unburnt fuel during the combustion or leaking from the engine. If you see blue or gray smoke coming out of your exhaust then there is a possibility of oil inside the exhaust.

There are different reasons for oil getting inside the exhaust. Some basic reasons are: 

  1. Congested PVC valve: if the PCV valve is congested it can cause pressure inside the engine which leads to oil leakage inside the exhaust.
  2. When Seal Wears Off: When the engine gets pressurized or seals wear off, oil finds its way to the exhaust. This includes piston rings and head gaskets as well.
  3. Worn Off Valve: Bad shaped valves can also cause the oil to the exhaust.
  4. Damaged Piston/Rings: The damaged piston is also one of the most common reasons which cause oil to exhaust.
  5. Cracked Cylinders: the oil can also found its way through the cracked cylinders to the exhaust system.
Ifandi L.

Ifandi L.

Passionate about everything mechanical. Ifandi has been involved with motorcycles and cars since the old days - in his family's auto parts shop. Want to keep in touch? Scream "STRAIGHT PIPEEEEE" at the top of your lungs and Ifandi will show up.

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