Question about 1997 Saturn SL
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
There are several possible explanations for these problems. The white smoke being expelled from the exhaust is most likely caused by coolant entering the combustion chamber and being burnt up. Along with the overheating you may also find a milky white substance on the oil dip stick, loss of power, a sweet smell to the white smoke and possible water and/or oil being expelled from one or more spark plug hole when the car is turned over.
The cause for this can all be traced back to a problem involving the head gasket and/or the head.
The head gasket seals the head to the engine block allowing coolant and oil move between these two parts. When the head gasket blows out or the head warps or cracks it allows the one or both of these fluids to enter the combustion chamber. It can also allow the two to mix together. That is the cause of the milky colored oil.
There are several reasons this could have happened. The most common is that when the car overheated the first time the temperature was high enough to warp the cylinder head and blow out the head gasket. It could also be just worn out.
The easiest way to confirm that this is the problem is a cylinder compression test. You can buy a compression tester at Sears and auto parts retailers like Auto zone for around $30.00.
The test is pretty straight forward.
If the problem is the result of a head or head gasket one or more cylinders will show a dramatic difference form the others.
Although I would not recommended replacing the head gasket to someone who is not comfortable with wrenching on there car, it is something you can do in your garage with the right tools.
Before any work is done I would try something like "Bars Leak Head Gasket Repair" first . If the breach is small this type of product can work.
Although I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear I hope that it helps.
Let me know if you need any other info or even if you just need clarification on anything here.
( that you already have ), a milky white substance on the dip stick
Posted on Oct 05, 2009
Testimonial: "more than helpful I have not seeing the white substance but everything else is there , I will try the leak gasket repair before I start to expend mon"
1342 is the firing order but white smoke signifies water loss like a head gasket or a inlet manifold losing water thats being sucked into the engine
Posted on Oct 30, 2009
You say when starting, I presume you mean when the engine is cold? Black smoke is usually a sign that the engine is burning too much fuel but when it's cold this quite normal as the choke richens the fuel/air mixture to start the cold engine.
If it's still smokey when warm then it could be numerous things from a dirty air filter to a faulty cold air sensor giving the ecu a false reading. I would have the car serviced & if no improvement then leave it into a garage with diagnostics & they should be able to where the fault lies.
Posted on Jan 15, 2010
sounds like a head gasket leak. Check coolant level if low then it probably is a head gasket. Any reputable shop should be able to confirm this problem. Good luck
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
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