Question about 2004 Mazda 6

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White smoke at startup

There is white smoke coming from the car after I start it. Only when the engine has been cooled. They're trying to sell me a new $7000 engine. Is this just a head gasket or leak problem? They have said coolant and oil are leaking on the spark plugs and that's why I haven't heard any unusual noises. Any help greatly appreciated before I have to spend this much money on a car with only 60k miles.

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  • michelle3244 Sep 08, 2008

    Now they've replaced a pcv valve and say they hope this fixes the problem, but even if it does, it may be a temporary fix. The replacement has apparently worked for now as there is no longer any white smoke when I start the car. I meet with them on Wednesday to try and get a clearer answer, but am not holding out much hope for that. Any thoughts on why this would be a temporary fix? Or how I could tell if it is or isn't? Should I still consider having a second opinion even though the problem seems to have gone away with the valve replacement?



    Thanks!!

  • Gideon74 Dec 27, 2008

    I am looking into this Mazda 6 that has only 120.000 kms on the counter, and it produced white smoke as well upon starting the cold engine. The dealer explained that it has something to do with a secondary engine running on diesel as well, to heat up the main engine. The exhaust of this secondary engine doesn't lead to the back of the car. This explanation sounds very fishy to me, but it is a recommended mazda dealer and they will give the car full service (including distri-belt replacement) before delivery and 6 months warranty. What to do? Force them to fix it before delivery sounds the best thing to me. If they cant, don't buy?

  • wfox71 Apr 09, 2009

    Hello-
    I am having some problems with my 2004 mazda 6. It is smoking (white) at the start and when I stop a a stop sign or light. No knocking or sounds from the engine. It is not running hot nor running different. It has 99,000.00 miles on it and the dealer is now telling me I need a new engine due to the rings and pistons being "FRIED". Any help or suggestions? Does this engine have a PCV valve?




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Hi michelle,

Smoke signals:

  • White smoke = water vapor
  • Blue smoke = Oil
  • Black smoke = unburnt fuel
If it's only white smoke and it's only on start up (when its cool) its most likely condensation burning off from inside the exhaust pipes, manifold, muffler, etc. If water was in the cylinder(s), on the spark plugs there would be no smoke, exhaust or a running engine.

If oil was leaking into one or more cylinders the smoke would be blue.


There are things you can check for:
  • Is there any loss of power? Does it start and drive normally with no odd sounds or symptoms?
  • Check your coolant level daily (do it safely, never when hot, OK?). Is it dropping?
  • When you check the coolant, do you see any oil mixed in (floating on top)
  • Check your oil level. Is it dropping?
If you answered no to all of these, whats the problem?

As far as your friendly mechanic is concerned:
  • Has a compression test been performed? on each cylinder? What were the results? Get it in writing.
  • Better yet, take it to someone, anyone else for a second opinion. If you have a friend that tinkers with cars, have them perform the same test. see if they match.
  • If you need to bring it to another shop, don't tell them something is wrong. (I'm sure you understand why)
  • A good story is: you can no longer afford it, you are putting it up for sale and to avoid any complications you want to document the engine was recently checked out (specify you want a compression test to be performed as part of this). Since you are trying to get rid of the car, it's less likely a different 'Problem' will appear ;-), Get it? We want straight answers. See what they come up with.
I don't like to speak ill of someone I've never met, but from what you've posted, something smells fishy. You don't replace an engine because of a known blown head gasket. I'm not convinced yet that this is your problem. If it was, I'd be replacing the head gasket, not the engine.

It's unlikely anyone trying to sell you a $7,000.00 engine based on what you've described is looking out for interests other than their own.

Ask around, friends of friends, find someone trustyworthy. Get a second opinion, a third. It's a LOT cheaper than a new (yeah right) engine. Sorry about the sarcasm, but how would you know that it was new?

Please reply to me with a full list of symptoms, the results of your tests and any other details on whatever you may consider pertinent. This will help me help you.

But my most immediate advice is:
  1. Don't buy this engine
  2. If your car is in their shop, get it out, ASAP.
  3. Get a second impartial opinion.
These may be reputable mechanics, but every warning light in my head is screaming RIP OFF!! Don't let it happen!

I sincerely hope this helps you out.

Mike

Remember: Good things come to those who Rate!!

Posted on Sep 05, 2008

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Sep 08, 2008

    Hey there michelle,
    Following up to see how things are with you and your Mazda.
    I want to be sure you don't get taken for a ride (so to speak)

    I'm here if you need me
    Mike


  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Sep 08, 2008

    Thanks for the rating michelle.

    If you need any further info, just ask. If I don't know, I'll bet I know someone who does.

    Have a great day,
    Mike


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