Question about 1998 Pontiac Bonneville

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Intermittent white smoke out exhaust and engine misfire

Car has always run great but lately the problem above. A mechanic checked it out and changed coil packs, spark plugs and wires. Ran good for several days then same problem.

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  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    u are burning oil

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The piston rings in your engine might be needed to be replaced already... go to a local shop with a compression tester.. have your engine tested for compression leaks.. if it does have compression leaks.. then you need to change piston rings. Note** white smokes = engine is burning oil..

Posted on Jun 25, 2009

  • Jac Lawrence Pimentel
    Jac Lawrence Pimentel Jun 25, 2009

    another possible source of white smoke is cold weather.. but, to be sure, have your engine tested for compression leaks

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Check the plenum (upper manifold) I had the same problem and coolant was entering the manifold through a pin hole in the plenum (front near the vertical tube) I was losing coolant slowly. Fixed the pin hole with high temp epoxy and been running great for a long time

Posted on Sep 05, 2009

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2 Answers

My car has white smoke coming from the exhaust


he causes of white exhaust smoke can vary; however, it is common to see white exhaust smoke when first starting a car, especially on cooler days. This is generally steam caused by condensation. As the engine warms up and the condensation dissipates the white exhaust smoke (steam) is no longer seen. If excessive white exhaust smoke is present well after the engine warms up, it is necessary to have the car inspected for possible internal coolant leaks. Indicators of an internal coolant leak include billowing white exhaust smoke accompanied by a sweet odor or a low coolant reservoir level. An internal coolant leak can also contaminate the engine oil giving it a frothy, milky appearance. Even small amounts of coolant entering the combustion chamber will produce white exhaust smoke.
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.
Never remove the radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap while the engine is hot or running as it can cause serious injury; always allow the car to cool down completely first. Checking for a low coolant level in the reservoir is the first step in determining if coolant loss is causing the white exhaust smoke. If the coolant reservoir is at the proper level but excessive white exhaust smoke is present, a cooling system pressure check is required to determine where, if any, coolant leaks are located.

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It is common to see white exhaust smoke when first starting a car, especially on cooler days. This is generally steam caused by condensation. As the engine warms up and the condensation dissipates the white exhaust smoke (steam) is no longer seen. If excessive white exhaust smoke is present well after the engine warms up, it is necessary to have the car inspected for possible internal coolant leaks. Indicators of an internal coolant leak include billowing white exhaust smoke accompanied by a sweet odor or a low coolant reservoir level. An internal coolant leak can also contaminate the engine oil giving it a frothy, milky appearance. Even small amounts of coolant entering the combustion chamber will produce white exhaust smoke. 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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