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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy all. Lurker becoming a first time poster, though I wish it was under better circumstances. As a note, I do have the owner's and shop manuals.

Due to tangentially related issues I decided to do a cylinder compression test today. (Slow coolant leak, rough idle on startup, P0303 thrown)
I did the dry test with no issues and it read steady across the board (135, 131, 131, 131). Pretty darn good.
Due to a misunderstanding on my part I somehow got it into my head that a wet test was necessary, even though my compression was totally fine. I've never done a wet test before and strongly believe I used too much oil. Aside from being unnecessary, my readings were erratic and fluid. (218, 230 with a moderate drop to 170, 195, 195 with a moderate drop to 135). I did notice that cylinder 1 looked like a toddler attempting to blow their first "raspberry" as I was testing the other cylinders.

I reassembled the head and fired up my E, slightly confused by my results. The vehicle started fine despite the new and unusual quirk of belching smoke from the tailpipe and a thin cloud of smoke coming from the engine bay. I shut down the engine and took the plugs back out again, making sure to clean and degrease the plugs and plug packs. After mopping up what I could with a rag in the spark plug wells I pointed a light down into the cylinder. I could make out the piston head and didn't see any evidence of excess oil pooling around it.

Once again, I reassembled the head and started her back up. She started fine but the smoke, once again, spewed from the exhaust. The smoke from the engine bay had largely ceased. I let it run for ~10 minutes but the smoke only slightly let up. Frustrated, I shut it down and am now here, tired and writing this post at nearly midnight.

I know I did something wrong, but I'm at a loss as to what I caused.
My question is: Could there just be oil stuck in the combustion chamber? Did I end up busting a ring? Is this a new serious symptom or just a case of letting my Element smoke out the lot for a bit?

Additional info:
  • Smoke was greyish and hung in the air for a long while.
  • There was a distinct smell of burning rubber/plastic from the smoke.
  • Main relay 2 (fuel pump)(behind glove box) was removed during compression tests.
  • Injector connectors were disconnected during compression tests.
  • Cranked the engine before reconnecting and sealing everything back up to "push" any oil I could out of the spark plug wells.
  • Coolant was full.
  • Valve adjustment had been done a few weeks ago. Set dead-nuts to 0.009 intake and 0.012 exhaust.
  • Oil changed at same time as valve adjustment.
  • Drive belt replaced at same time as valve adjustment.
  • Spark plugs replaced at same time as valve adjustment.
  • 142,000 miles currently.
I'll be happy to provide more info if needed.
 

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I’ve never done this but it sounds like you just flooded the cylinders with oil. I’d fully expect to see white/blue smoke as the oil burns off out of the cylinders, then exhaust manifold, then cat, then tailpipe. Wouldn’t be surprised if you threw a bunch of codes, probably relating to the O2 sensors; I hope you don’t need to pull them and clean/replace. I REALLY hope you didn’t damage the cat efficiency.
Anyone else think the head should be removed to clean out all of the oil before starting up again, or is too late at this point?
 

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2007 Element EX AWD AT (two!)
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How much oil did you put in the cylinders? It likely wouldn't remain in the cylinders, but is more likely in the exhaust system and needs to burn off. Pressures are a lot higher during combustion, so just running the compression test shouldn't damage the rings, unless you put enough in to completely fill the space at TDC. Do you have a leak down tester? My daughter's E had consistent compression readings of 180-190 across the board dry, 220+ wet, but she was using a quart almost every tank if gas. Leak down test on one cylinder was 15% and I could hear it leaking past the rings into the crankcase. Replaced the rings and valves seals to cure the oil consumption.

If you have a coolant leak, coolant in the exhaust can be an issue as well. I rescued a 93 Accord that had overheated and cracked the head. When I finally got it running, it created smoke screen. I think the exhaust system was full of coolant; it probably took 20 minutes or more of running at elevated RPM to cook all the coolant out and the smoke to stop.
 
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