Ruh Roh....puffs of white smoke, and its not the chronic. - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 05-11-2007, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default Ruh Roh....puffs of white smoke, and its not the chronic.

So I was a red light today coming home from work and I was looking in my rear-view mirror, making sure the blond milf on the cell phone didn't ram her Escalade emblem up my ***, I noticed white smoke trickling away from the rear of my car. A little shocked, i revved the engine and nothing happened. Thinking it was the jalopy next to me, I moved on.

At the next red light (and clear of the jalopy and the milf), I looked up and saw puffs of white again! Argh. Once again, I revved the engine and nothing happened. For the next few miles home, I had my eyes glued to the rear-view and still no smoke. Once I got home, I let the car cool down a little and did some revs in the driveway, only once did a little white puff of cloud came out and I couldn't repeat it after trying for almost 10 minutes.

I have no clue what it could be, anyone?

Engine runs excellent, no overheating, normal oil pressure, normal a/f. The only thing I could think of is that my catalytic converter has seen it's last days due to the AWFUL smell it is emmiting and the constant rattling. Could that be the culprit??

Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:45 PM   #2
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White smoke is water/coolant.
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:46 PM   #3
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white smoke = coooooolant burning normally and that normally leads to a head gasket.... *Shrug*

Black = Rich
Blue = Oil
White = Coolant

thats the rule of thumb if i remember right
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:13 PM   #4
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I believe so.
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:47 PM   #5
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I've never seen or experienced a leaky head gasket before, are you guys SURE it couldn't be anything else? Vacuum lines? Little gnomes smoking crack?

I researched it some on m.net and someone mentioned a liquid head gasket/block sealer. So I drove to the Vatozone with my loud pedal to the floor to buy some and still no smoke!!

At least I have the sealer now, so I'll start with that on my next day off.
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:55 PM   #6
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i'm not sure what your exhaust setup looks like, but on mine, after a good rain, if my car is parked in such a way where rain can get into the exhaust, i'll get a bit of white smoke pouring out for a bit until it burns the moisture out.

That could just be a south Louisiana thing.

EDIT: I see you are from SoCal, so let me explain the above. Rain is moisture that falls in in the form of droplets from the sky. Perhaps you've seen the phenomena on TV.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:04 AM   #7
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I wouldn't dump any "sealer" into your cooling system until you're more confident what is going on. A head gasket rupture usually has other symptoms as well, like milky coolant in the rad., watery oil, losing coolant, etc.

It could easily be condensation in the exhaust burning off.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:13 AM   #8
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just watch your water level. Its not like a head gasket is difficult to swap out, it just takes some time.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:17 AM   #9
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It could also be a leaky turbo seal. I know I'm in that boat right now.. My engine leaks down less than 8% on all cylinders and it smokes sometimes.. in my case, it's the turbo on there.. shaft has more play than House Party on DVD.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:32 AM   #10
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diff leaking on exhaust....parking brake left on?
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:30 PM   #11
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OK guys, went out for a closer look today. Here's what I found:

1)Let the car idle for about 5 minutes and white/greyish smoke started blowing out of tailpipe slowly. It comes and go. I went down and smelled it and it smelled like burnt oil mixed in with normal exhaust smell.

2) The Bailey BOV is covered with a thin coat of oil, as well as the stock air pipe right below it.

3) Pulled spark plugs (colder plugs from FAQs) and numbers 4 and 1 were significantly darker then numbers 2 and 3. Not sure if that means anything, just an observation.

4) Coolant looks like coolant.

Ideas?

Thanks guys.

Nester, does the turbo seal leak at boost or at idle also?
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:34 PM   #12
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most times if your engine bay is covered in oil it's leaking from headgasket or the valve cover seals.
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:38 PM   #13
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sounds like a blowed the **** up turbo..
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:51 PM   #14
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Valve cover gasket is new, the oil is just coating a portion of the BOV, and INSIDE the bov and directly underneath it. I'll try to get pics if it happens again. I wiped it off and went for another drive....

Welps, right after that I typed the above update, I capped off the breather vent on valve cover with a little air filter I have laying around and blocked off the nipple on the greddy u-tube with a rubber plug, went for a drive. No smoke. It's idling right now, but so far, no smoke.......

Nester, you meany. :P
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:00 PM   #15
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when you fist turn ze car on is there a white puff? Have someone stand behind ze car when you turn it on. If any white puffs say Headgasket ze bye bye.
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaticDriver View Post
when you fist turn ze car on is there a white puff? Have someone stand behind ze car when you turn it on. If any white puffs say Headgasket ze bye bye.
But only if the white puff of smoke is a German puff.
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supersaiyan93 View Post
i'm not sure what your exhaust setup looks like, but on mine, after a good rain, if my car is parked in such a way where rain can get into the exhaust, i'll get a bit of white smoke pouring out for a bit until it burns the moisture out.

That could just be a south Louisiana thing.

EDIT: I see you are from SoCal, so let me explain the above. Rain is moisture that falls in in the form of droplets from the sky. Perhaps you've seen the phenomena on TV.
LMAO
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:24 PM   #18
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**** man...i'm having the same problem...cept when mine only smokes when I'm at like full boost... turbo seal? headgasket? who knowss
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:03 PM   #19
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when your head gasket is bad,dont you get bubbles in the coolant...?....
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:09 AM   #20
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yes
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