1fz 96 with 171,000. A bit of odd smelling slightly white smoke out the exhaust. Help

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keatoFZJ80

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Noticed today that my cruiser was producing a slightly off smell and was able to see a bit of shots in the exhaust smoke. Wasn't that cold today either. Had only been driven out of the garage to the front of the house this morning and back to the garage tonight. Started as I slowly drove the less than 50 feet back. Any thoughts?
 
flintknapper

flintknapper

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Of no real concern unless it continues to 'smoke' after a 10-15 minute drive where the engine/exhaust system has had time to warm up and burn off any condensation. Also, if the weather conditions are just right (cold/damp) you can expect to see the fog/smoke from the tail pipe....as you are aware.

Any 'smell' unless very strong and sweet smelling is not particularly alarming. Take it for a drive, see if the tail pipe smoke disappears or greatly lessens. Check your coolant level...and if OK then give it no further thought.
 
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keatoFZJ80

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Of no real concern unless it continues to 'smoke' after a 10-15 minute drive where the engine/exhaust system has had time to warm up and burn off any condensation. Also, if the weather conditions are just right (cold/damp) you can expect to see the fog/smoke from the tail pipe....as you are aware.

Any 'smell' unless very strong and sweet smelling is not particularly alarming. Take it for a drive, see if the tail pipe smoke disappears or greatly lessens. Check your coolant level...and if OK then give it no further thought.
👍 I'll take it for a spin after I get back from school and report back in. Thanks!
 
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keatoFZJ80

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What’s it smell like? How much white smoke?

It could just be condensation and if it smells like maple syrup maybe you have to worry. But I bet it’s all in your head. Not your gasket.
Not much smoke. It would be what I would expect out of a cold start in the morning with the temp under freezing, but it wasn't even under 50 degrees out. It also picked up a bit when I turned the A/C on. I haven't run it for me than two minutes because it being my first car, I still don't have my license, so I'm hoping that it's just a build of condensation mixed with the fluctuating temperatures here in Denver.
Regarding the smell, it smelt a bit off but I wouldn't describe it as sweet or like maple syrup, but I was able to smell it on myself after going back inside. I'll run it a bit and see what happens.
 
FMC80

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I’m betting there are zero issues. Listen to flintknapper because he is very knowledgeable. The advice I passed on was from another cruiser guru when I experienced the same panic.

I saw white smoke/fog from my tailpipe. I live in Hawaii and I guess I wasn’t used to seeing anything from my exhaust. I freaked a little but I was given sage advice and turned out nothing was wrong.

If you want to take it up a notch for peace of mind, send an oil sample to blackstone labs.
 
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keatoFZJ80

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I’m betting there are zero issues. Listen to flintknapper because he is very knowledgeable. The advice I passed on was from another cruiser guru when I experienced the same panic.

I saw white smoke/fog from my tailpipe. I live in Hawaii and I guess I wasn’t used to seeing anything from my exhaust. I freaked a little but I was given sage advice and turned out nothing was wrong.

If you want to take it up a notch for peace of mind, send an oil sample to blackstone labs.
I appreciate it, thanks.
 
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Desertmoonshine

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I had the same problem with white smoke. Most it was one of the fuel injectors stuck open, usually when they fail they close. If they stick open it results in white smoke on startup. Pull the plugs, disconnect the fuel injectors relays, then turn the key. If its correct, one cylinder should fill up with fuel. Be careful don't put it all back together and start it, you will hydrolock the engine and bend the rod. All bad.
 
Dirt Ferguson

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If it was 50 degrees and damp out, that’s a good combo for experiencing some white smoke upon starting. We just had those conditions here in N California and my rig would spit out a decent amount of white smoke in the mornings.

However, I second the Blackstone Labs sample. It will give you a good snapshot of your oil purity (nothing else mixing in, such as coolant.)
 
TYM4FUN

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Smoke dissipates and is likely oil burning. You will see the plume linger in the air and thin out as it disperses.

Water vapor/steam evaporates. This will disappear as it turns into a gas and usually looks light gray.

Water vapor is not smoke and smoke is not water vapor. Water vapor is healthy/normal and visible when cold.

An open injector will not cause white smoke. Excessive fuel will be black.

White sweet smelling exhaust that is there no matter the temperature and you are losing coolant, well that's a HG.
 
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LINUS

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As a new owner, do you have any maint history for the 80?

Usually a fully blown/blowing gasket will kick the #2 knock sensor or jump the ‘check engine’ light for what it sees.

If you look in your coolant overflow tank, put your nose over it immediately after popping the cap open & see if you smell hydrocarbons / gas.

Also look for grey sediment in the bottom of that tank, sometimes darker specks too.

If the coolant overflow is clean & holds fluid to the 1/2 mark (use a marker, track it) - then either drive it around / laps close to home or let it idle / hand throttle it to self cleaning temp.

If you lose fluid after turning off on a routine basis, then we can talk about going to NAPA & getting a hydrocarbon tester for $40 & verify if symptoms above persist.

—————————

Crankcase & crappy design of oil filler cap:

When you 1st undo the oil fill cap expect to see tan oil/condensate mix. Don’t freak - it’s normal this time of year.

Take the cap to a sink and clean it spotless w/ soap & water.

Once you re-install, pop it regularly to see if you get that ‘tan shaving cream’ returning real fast.

In-town / short trips make that a very normal thing in our climate the next 6-8mo. It takes a long freeway or wherever —drive to hit ‘self cleaning’ & burn off ALL crankcase condensate. At that point, the tan sludge under the oil fill cap will either ‘magically disappear‘ or you’ll have far, far less left there.

OR- If you have $$ to do an oil change now, warm the snot out of the motor, drain/fill oil & still clean that oil fill cap.

Then keep watching the underside the oilcap to see ‘normal’ so :::if::: -there is a day a HG swap needs doing, you‘ll know what “Oh $hit - that ain’t normal!” -is.




If you know motors more than how I spoke, sorry - you say it’s your 1st car & esp the shape of the 1FZ oilcap make it a condensate trap that freaks out alot of people who don’t yet know certain quirks of the motor.

HTH
 
flintknapper

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Smoke dissipates and is likely oil burning. You will see the plume linger in the air and thin out as it disperses.
Yes, also sometimes appears light blue...but can be hard to distinguish from white.
Water vapor/steam evaporates. This will disappear as it turns into a gas and usually looks light gray.
Correct, water 'vapor'. Normal condensation on a cool day.
Water vapor is not smoke and smoke is not water vapor. Water vapor is healthy/normal and visible when cold.
Correct. The terms are sometimes used synonymously to describe 'any' visible discharge from the tailpipe regardless it's true make-up which is generally unknown.
An open injector will not cause white smoke. Excessive fuel will be black.
NO! Un-burned or excessive fuel in a gasoline fueled vehicle is almost always white when exiting the tailpipe. 'Diesel' fuel when partially burned will exit black. IF you have an injector that is stuck open OR a cylinder that is not firing...then un-burned fuel is expelled into the exhaust system. At some point it hits the Catalytic Converter(s) where it can ignite or otherwise try to burn off, BUT without benefit of proper air/fuel ratio, atomization of the fuel and compression, the fuel does not burn rapidly or completely...so it exits as a white-ish smoke.
White sweet smelling white exhaust that is there no matter the temperature and you are losing coolant, well that's a HG.
Head Gasket....or cracked head, cracked block.
 
TYM4FUN

TYM4FUN

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Yes, also sometimes appears light blue...but can be hard to distinguish from white.

Correct, water 'vapor'. Normal condensation on a cool day.

Correct. The terms are sometimes used synonymously to describe 'any' visible discharge from the tailpipe regardless it's true make-up which is generally unknown.

NO! Un-burned or excessive fuel in a gasoline fueled vehicle is almost always white when exiting the tailpipe. 'Diesel' fuel when partially burned will exit black. IF you have an injector that is stuck open OR a cylinder that is not firing...then un-burned fuel is expelled into the exhaust system. At some point it hits the Catalytic Converter(s) where it can ignite or otherwise try to burn off, BUT without benefit of proper air/fuel ratio, atomization of the fuel and compression, the fuel does not burn rapidly or completely...so it exits as a white-ish smoke.

Head Gasket....or cracked head, cracked block.
Thank you for your additional contributions and support of my help.

Gasoline starved of oxygen does not burn white. If it is white, blue, whatever, those are other chemical compounds that are burning. The catalyst will not change the color, only possibly reduce the PPM.
 
flintknapper

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Thank you for your additional contributions and support of my help.

Gasoline starved of oxygen does not burn white. If it is white, blue, whatever, those are other chemical compounds that are burning. The catalyst will not change the color, only possibly reduce the PPM.

Typical pump gas is oxygenated and further receives oxygen from the cylinder it just left, it just didn't burn at all (no spark) or did not burn fully (too much fuel, injector stuck open). A white/gray/blueish discharge from the tailpipe will be:

  • Normal condensation
  • Coolant/water
  • Oil
  • Excess fuel
  • Some combination of all of the above
 

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