Question about 1989 Pontiac Bonneville

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White smoke coming out of exhaust even when engine is warmed up.

Engine 3.8L
no coolant leaks, no oil mixed with coolant, no coolant mixed with oil.
car does not overheat and it has never overheated.
I know white smoke is usually a sign of a bad head gasket.
just wanted to get someone else opinion.


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  • 3 more comments 
  • hellbent6620 Dec 08, 2008

    Had the intake gaskets replaced about a month ago anymore ideas?

  • Anonymous Mar 17, 2014

    I noticed the leak it doesn't look like coolant is mixed looks like oil only

  • Anonymous Mar 25, 2014

    car has engine light oi is mixing with coolant

  • Anonymous Mar 26, 2014

    made smoke from exhaust

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2014

    is coolant may be in engine

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  • 341 Answers

On the 3.8 ussaualy not the head gasket but the upper intake gasket . antifreeze leaks inside intake and into the cylinder. very common. the new gaskets are much thicker.or the plastic plenum the black plastic part on top of the engine goes bad around the water inlet and need to be replaced . when i do either job itell the person to replace both at same time saves money and headaches in the near future. hopes this helps .....and cost for a shop to do this $1100 to $1500

Posted on Dec 08, 2008

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Check the spark plugs. If it is coolant getting into the combustion chambers the plugs in the affected cylinder/cylinders will have a gray or clean appearance to them.Normal plug color is tan to brown.

Posted on Dec 08, 2008

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My car has white smoke coming from the exhaust


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One of the main causes of white exhaust smoke and coolant loss is a cracked or warped cylinder head, a cracked engine block, or head gasket failure caused by overheating. A cracked head may allow coolant to leak into one or more cylinders or into the combustion chamber of the engine. Dirty coolant, a poorly maintained cooling system, a low coolant level, or a non-functioning cooling fan can cause engine overheating. In addition, engine wear can eventually cause the gaskets to lose their capacity to seal properly allowing internal coolant loss. Intake manifold gasket and head gasket failures are two of the most common sources of internal coolant loss caused by engine wear.
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