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Old 03-20-2009, 11:17 PM   #1
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Default white smoke on start up

Recently completed a head and head gasket install on a 95 1.8 miata. Ran a compression test and it returned 190 across the board. The block only has 94,000 miles on it and the head was a low mileage head with new valve seals. Yesterday the car ran fine and there was no smoke on startup, but today he went to start it and there was a **** ton of white smoke. His car was doing this before the head swap and we believed the valve seals in his old head were leaking. The head gasket was replaced with an oem one. any insight into why it is smoking will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:22 PM   #2
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Smoking on start up is typically not related to valve stem seals.

Does it go away when the car warms up?
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:30 PM   #3
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it doesnt like that you dr!ft it
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
Smoking on start up is typically not related to valve stem seals.
That information is incorrect.

To the OP...if it is white smoke it's coolant not oil.

Does the smoke dissipate fast or does it hang around?

Coolant smoke typically dissipates fast.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:48 PM   #5
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I intially thought that it was coolant also, but the radiator has never lost any coolant. On the original head, the car smoked even after it was warmed up and when he pulled off from a stop a puff of smoke would come out.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:01 AM   #6
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Like I asked previously, if the smoke is bluish-white it's oil...if it's pure white it's coolant...which is it?


There are no if-ands-or-buts about the color of the smoke telling you the source.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:01 AM   #7
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The smoke lingers in the air and it appears to be a grayish white color but more white than anything. It has no distinct smell

Last edited by driftbandito; 03-21-2009 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:22 AM   #8
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Coolant doesn't make smoke, it makes steam. There is quite obviously a fundamental difference between the two. Be specific when discussing these things because accuracy matters.

Idle the car for 5 minutes and then is rev it up and see if it produces larger quantities of smoke. That is usually a good indicator of a valve stem seal or valve guide problem. It will produce almost no smoke at cruise if it is valve stem seals.

Are you experiencing large amounts of blow-by when you pull the oil filler cap while the car is running? That could point toward ring/cylinder issues.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:28 AM   #9
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its definitely smoke not steam. The smoke lingers in the air for a good amount of time
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post

Idle the car for 5 minutes and then is rev it up and see if it produces larger quantities of smoke. That is usually a good indicator of a valve stem seal or valve guide problem. It will produce almost no smoke at cruise if it is valve stem seals.
This what the car was originally doing before we replaced the head. After we replaced the head, the car didn't produce smoke for the first couple of days, but today my friend went to start it and said there was a lot of white smoke.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:38 AM   #11
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Could you give any more detailed info as to exactly what conditions the smoke shows itself, not just pulling away from a light, but RPM, load, engine temp, any hard runs just prior to the smoke, ect. I'm skilled at being stubborn with smoke issues. I ended up having oil ring failure after a head swap, and couldn't accept it, and went through 4 head gaskets before I gave up and rebuilt the bottom end. If I had used my head instead of blindly sticking to my one way thought process, I would have known it was the rings, since it smoked more revving without load. I also mistook the color for coolant steam, but I again should have noticed it was more oil smoke color and lingered for longer than steam would have. Smell also tricked me, not sure how that happened, maybe it was both oil and coolant.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:47 AM   #12
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Its not my car but from what i gather, the car did not smoke yesterday. He drove it around did a couple of brief pulls nothing insane the car ran perfect, he parked it overnight. Started it this afternoon and said the car was producing a lot of smoke at idle. I don't believe he drove it, he just let it idle and maybe reved it.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:09 AM   #13
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driftbendito or driftbandito...or both?
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:39 AM   #14
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apparently i have 2 user names with the same password. i thought it was weird when i made the post and only had 1 post.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:39 AM   #15
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While rebuilding my crx I had an issue with constant smoke coming out of my exhaust and also continuous water dripping out. Turned out to be a bad cat.

Tell your friend to drive the car around for a while then park and let it idle. If there is still smoke you have an issue. If not then it was just water sitting in the exhaust from condensation forming after the car cooled down which is normal.
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:03 AM   #16
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Just got back from looking at it. As soon as the car turns on white smoke pours out of the exhaust at idle. The smoke filled the whole street and lingered in the air. The smoke smells similar to burning plastic and when i unscrewed the oil filler cap you can feel and hear air blowing out.
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:57 AM   #17
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mine did that until i replaced my sparkplugs......
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:37 AM   #18
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the spark plugs are only a few days old
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:05 PM   #19
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heres aq video of what is happening..

https://webmail.montclair.edu/uwc/we...0321091344.3g2
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:50 PM   #20
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I get a server error with the above link.
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