My Kid's Toy Produced Carbon Monoxide!

Oh Joy! Not only does my 5 year old’s shiney, new choo-choo train makes enough noise that rivals a real steam engine. This thing spews smoke from burning… motor oil! It looks cool, but smells like a dying combustion engine, and I’m sure it’s filling the house with CO as we speak.

Is this a good idea?

:::slightly disconcerted:::

Burning motor oil!? In a children’s toy!? “Slightly disconcerted”!?

Okay, that’s just weird. When I was a kid back in the 70s I got a toy train engine and it blew smoke, too – but I’m pretty sure that stuff was generated piezoelectrically. (I seem recall the smell of ozone. It was a long time ago though.) I don’t know if water was involved (like foggers) and I don’t recall having to put any water in it, but I do remember wondering how it produced smoke like that. Definitely wasn’t from burning oil, though!

The amount of CO released is negligible. Much less than what you get from burning a single candle. I wouldn’t worry about it.

However - I don’t think you’re supposed to use motor oil. I remember that the model trains I had when I was a kid used a special “Smoke Oil” to generate the smoke effects.

Find a well-stocked hobby shop, and get some smoking oil made by Seuthe. It’s light oil, a little heavier than (barber’s) clipper oil, and made expressly for producing smoke in this manner. The CO produced is negligible.

Contact me off-line if you need help finding a hobby shop.

Yeh, okay, it’s probably the light oil as stated above. But still… the smell! If it’s less CO than a candle, then I’ll be damned. I wasn’t really all that concerned (but it still makes you wonder). I’ve never seen a toy that did that before. My wife got it from CVS.


If you don’t hear from me in a few days, call 911!

As an aside, CO is odorless and colorless. It’s the other combustion byproducts you smell.