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Chevy Guy 08-09-2003 07:55 AM

White smoke
What causes white smoke in your exhaust? My Brother-in-law has an Eclipse turbo that he was this problem with. He has been working on this car extensively-new turbo, alum exhaust, new exhaust manifold- and he is freaked out about this smoke. It only does it when its cold or if it sits and idles for several minutes. Runs great going down the road- more power than I would expect from a 4 cyl! Is this a head gasket problem? Is it just the alum exhaust (cold) and hot exhaust? Any ideas would be helpful!

sc3148 08-09-2003 09:57 AM

On a normal car engine every gallon of gas burned, creates about a gallon of water as a byproduct of normal combustion. This can usually be seen on startup or cold weather driving.
A small amount of steam seen at the exhaust at times is normal especially if the exhaust has not reached operating temp.
On the other hand if you are running antifreeze and the exhaust white smoke smells sweet or if other drivers are pointing at your vehicle because of the smoke or are having to pull over because they can't see, you may have a water leak into the combustion area.

Bumpstick 08-09-2003 11:45 AM

Most likely the problem is with the valve guides... On startup it will bleed down some oil from the loose valve guides and also at an extended idle time (developes higher vac) if its under power when it smokes then it could either be the rings or possibly a turbo seal on the exhaust side...? More likely its the valve guides... ;)

sc3148 08-09-2003 12:12 PM

White smoke is generally from coolant leaking into the combustion chamber, or if it's and automatic trans it could be a bad vacuum modulator pulling trans fluid into the intake.

If its black smoke it's to rich a fuel mixture.
If it's blue or lite blue smoke, I would definitely check for a valve guide or seal problem first like bumpstick suggested, then check the rings by a leak down test.

Chevy Guy 08-09-2003 02:13 PM

Thanks for the help. It only smokes when you first start it (pretty bad) and then if you blip the accelerator after it has been idling. Not much of anything as you are driving or really getting on it after it has warmed up. The engine has been tested for compression and it has had a leak down. Both were good-no problems. I'm leaning towards water in the cylinders, but I would think that it should smoke all the time. Hadn't considered the valves because I figured the smoke would be blue (Oil buring). Any other thoughts?

4 Jaw Chuck 08-09-2003 02:57 PM

Sounds like a cracked head...near the exhaust seat.

jimfulco 08-10-2003 04:17 AM

Could be water (a by-product of combustion, same thing that leaves a trail behind a B-52) that has condensed in the exhaust system. Does it do it when it's hot?

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