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Black Soot Under Hood - Toyota Corolla 2002

By peetul83, June 17, 2015

Hello all, I've never really noticed this until now, but the underside of my car hood is completely black with soot. I'm not sure if this is normal, but could there be some type of leak causing this?

Need a bit more information on this:

What sort of mileage is on this 2002 Corolla, is this one of the heavy oil consuming variants?

Where on the underside of the hood is this soot covering, ie. Is it directly over engine, towards the front of the car, towards the windshield, off to the side?

How large is this soot stain on the hood?

Composition of the soot - is it hard and flakes of easily, dry and powdery, wet and sticky, etc.?

Soot can come from a lot of different sources - sometimes it is from the normal accumulation of road debris that gets thrown up from under the car or slung underhood from the fans / air movement. Especially in the summertime when the asphalt is more likely to be softened from the heat. Some cars that consume an excessive amount of motor oil or have oil leaking from the valvecover/timing chain tensioner can get that oil to "stick" to the underside of the hood. Oil could also be slung under the hood by pulleys, serpentine belt, etc. Sometimes it is actually the undercoating that the dealership sprayed under the hood (region specific).

Excessive oil consumption

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