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Old 09-09-2002, 06:39 AM
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Post smoke and mirrors, with less smoke

I've been working on cars for a living for over 6 years now and finally run into a problem that doesn't seem to have a cause, someone shoot some ideas at me, 126,000 mile Dodge Shadow 3.0 smokes like a chimney when warm, but not nessacerily all the time so my first thought was the guides. Hooked up the vacuum gauge and pulled a DEAD steady 21 inches, My next brian storm was a crack,(head/block/gasket/ but I haven't had to add coolant for over 6 months now, third thingto check was an overly rich mixture of fuel so I probed the back of the O2 senser and read on astounding 350 to 450 millivolts(near perfect ratio for the ideal 14.7:1) So the search must go on. Next test comes the comp test and all six cyl come out with 158 to 162 psi. Vry good for the age. So by the time I had doing all this stuff it had stopped smoking by then and I let it run at Idle for 1/2 hour then as soon as it started smoking agian I asked the niehbor to tell me what she thought it smelled like and she says water just plian boiling water with a hint of somthing unidentifiable. Probably CO2 from the cat converter, This boggles me even more, Leak down test shows less than 10%. So its not oil,coolant,fuel, Any ideas??????

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Old 09-09-2002, 07:26 AM
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Can you tell if it is steam or is it actually smoke. If it is smoke is it more black than white. If it is white does it have a blue tint to it.

White is usually an indication of steam, a blue tint is an indication of oil burning & black is usually fuel.
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Old 09-09-2002, 07:37 AM
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I agree, this is white/Maybe a slight grayish tint. I've thrown out the idea of fuel mixture based on its great milage and very clean plugs. Besides the O2 sensor would have thrown a code long before it became this bad. However coolant can be thrown out as well because of how little it uses coolant.(RAD still full to the brim after six months of this) What about condesation biuld up in the exhaust system?
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Old 09-09-2002, 08:45 AM
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Does it use oil?

If it is steam, the haze will disappear as the steam evaporates. If it is some other smoke, it will linger because the particles are solids, not liquids. What do you observe?
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Old 09-09-2002, 10:58 AM
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You would think that steam would evaporate at a pretty fast rate due to the 90 plus temp lately, However the haze does stick around for a min. or so.
Oil pressure is good and 1 quart every three weeks plus a small oil pan leak registers pretty normal to me. any other ideas? I ask someone else today what it smelled like and (qoute)
"Smells like water vapor but has a strange punget smell" I'm guessing the NOX/Carbon Dioxide accounts for the "Punget smell" Sorry, I can't describe the smell better, The old sniffer does'nt work any more
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:00 AM
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Condensation build up occurs when the car does not run long enough to heat the exhaust. Usually during short trips or if the car is moved a very short distance. But, the condensation should evaporate after driving a few miles.

Is the car driven daily or does it sit for long periods, and when it is driven is it driven long enough for the temp to reach operating temp.
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:18 AM
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Driven every day, from home to classes(10miles) to work(10 miles) to lunch(2-3MILES) to work(same) to home(5 miles) as a general rule. The car always reaches temp under normal(as listed above)driving conditions. The craziest thing is the smoke may occur than dissapear than reoccur in what seems to be a erratic fashion.More so while sitting in long periods of idling(2 min. or more).
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:31 AM
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Just a guess here, could it be a plugged pcv system? Have you checked the pcv valve if it has one?
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:36 AM
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Check MAP sensor - fault code #45
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:41 AM
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Yes sir, I have, 2nd thing I checked, I pulled off the hose and the hose is dry on the inside, Indicating the PVC isn't pulling oil through the valve cover, Replaced the valve anyway just to be sure, you know. Would any one like to play agian! LOL.
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:24 PM
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I'm thinking you may have coolant leaking into the combustion chamber, from the smell you described. Can you see inside the valve cover? Check to see if it is a grayish or milky color. How long has this been going on? If it's only been a short time you may not see anything in the valve cover.

You also stated the smoke lingers awhile which indicates smoke instead of steam.

I'm out of ideas for now, I'll give it some more thought and if I come up with somehting I'll let you know.
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:42 PM
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Check the power brake booster i have seen them fillup with brake fluid to the check valve. it will smell funny and only smoke for a short time, real white smoke.
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:58 PM
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One more guess, Broken diaphram in the trans vacuum modulator.
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Old 09-09-2002, 04:33 PM
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Sorry, Wrong answer, Already checked for computer codes at work with the SUN diagnostics and all sensors are responding as normal as they can get. All are within the computers abililty to compensate. It's got a manual transmission so no shift Mod here. Nor have I added brake fluid since over 6 monthe ago. Great thinking though! I've never seen somthing like this before! Damn mind boggling isn't it? Steam/Smoke and no loss of fluids to speak of. Damn Dodges LOL
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Old 09-09-2002, 04:49 PM
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Uh...Seeing as how you work in well equipped shop, surely they must have ALDATA or Chiltons On Demand. Have you checked for TSB's?
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