Question about 1990 Lexus LS 400

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I have lots of white smoke coming from tail pipe when starting

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  • Lexus Master
  • 17,970 Answers

White smoke is either steam or coolant. Oil smoke is blue, fuel is black. The smoke is water or coolant boiling and then coming out the exhaust as vapor.

If the weather is cold, water will condense in the exhaust system after shutdown, then come out as steam on startup. This is OK. If you see the smoke after driving on the highway for an hour or it is an all-the-time event, you have a problem.

If you have a problem, most likely, at this age, it is a leaking head gasket. Possibly the cylinder head is cracked. Valve problems are possible but less likely. Keep track of how much coolant you add to keep it at the full mark. Obviously, this is expensive to fix.

The problem was bad/worn valve stem seals which allowed oil to seep into the cylinder heads when the engine wasn't running and burn off when the engine was started creating the white smoke. If it is valve stem seals, they are not too expensive to replace however I would suspect your mechanic will want to do a complete valve job which is a little more costly.

Hope thos help (remember comment and rated this).

Posted on May 10, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Smoke

  1. Sometimes the steam from under the hood, because it is over heat.

  1. Check the water hose include the heater hose, it is a smaller hose behind the engine on the top near the back of the hood, find out which hopes is leaking.

  1. If the hose is OK, check the freeze plug on the engine, because if the engine is too old, maybe the plug was rust and leaking, when it’s leaking, the engine is hot, you will see the steam under the hood.

  1. When engine is hot, you have to be very carefully, do not open the water cap, if you want to open, you have to either wait a while or use a heavy towel to cover the radiator cap, then open it.

  1. Maybe the radiator is leaking.
I hope this can help you a little bit. good luck.

Posted on Jun 27, 2008

rylee_smith
  • 8619 Answers

SOURCE: white smoke from tail pipe

It often means that you are burning antifreeze. You asked if it needs antifreeze, have you noticed any leaking out of the reservoir tank while you are running it? Sometimes when the head gasket goes it will produce a passage for the antifreeze to pass from the capillaries into the combustion chamber. It is easy to check if you have an air compressor. Remove one of the rear sparkplugs and the radiator cap. Fill the radiator and then push some air into the sparkplug hole (get a good seal in case a valve is open). Repeat with all the cylinders and watch for air bubbles coming up into the radiator. If bubbles come up or fluid is pumped out, the head gasket is blown and must be replaced. It is more likely to happen at the back of the engine because it is farthest away from the fan and therefore gets less cooling. Also check your oil for discoloration. If it is a brownish color it could mean your oil and antifreeze are mixing and has the potential to damage your bearings.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

stormbrewin
  • 426 Answers

SOURCE: white smoke comes out tail pipe

Its perfectly normal.Hot exhaust gases mixing with cold air and by products of the combustion process create the watery substance that you see spit out .Dual fuel (LPG,Hydrogen etc) vehicles do this a lot more noticably.By products of the combustion process are various but water vapour is one of them.Alot of heat is generated by the exhaust so watching a car driving in very cold conditions you can see this effect more clearly

Posted on Oct 18, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: car is hard to start, keeps stalling, white smoke coming out of tail pipe

It sounds to me like you have a head gasket leaking. See if you can get a gauge and check each cylinder. Are you using alot of anti freeze?

Posted on May 28, 2009

Mr BrokRench
  • 1623 Answers

SOURCE: White smoke coming out of the tail pipe .

White smoke is caused by water and or antifreeze entering the cylinder...If white smoke is present, check to see if the proper amount of antifreeze is inside the radiator and the overflow bottle. Also check to see if antifreeze has contaminated the engine oil. You can look at the engine oil dipstick, or look at the under side of the engine oil filler cap. If the oil is contaminated with antifreeze, it will have the appearance of a chocolate milkshake. Do not start the engine if the oil is contaminated with antifreeze, as serious internal engine damage can result.
Good luck..i hope this helps.... please rate me a fixya

Posted on Jul 23, 2009

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