2002 WRX smoke

Discussion in 'Subaru Impreza' started by IDG, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. IDG

    IDG Guest

    When I park overnight on a steep hill with the car angled so that the drivers side is lower than the passengers side I see no smoke when starting in the morning. However, if I park the opposite way, with the passenger side lower than the drivers side I see a significant amount on white smoke when starting the first time. There is a good amount of smoke, which then dissapates and does not reappear until the following morning. Headgasket, tubo seals, something else? Any help appreciated.

    Thanks.


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    IDG, Aug 15, 2010
    #1
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  2. IDG

    mulder Guest

    Sounds like some oil in the driver side valve cover is getting past the
    valve seals as the car sits, and into the combustion chamber. When the
    engine is first started that oil burns off, producing the white smoke.
    Depending on how many miles are on the car, and whether it consumes any
    oil otherwise, it may not be worth doing anything about. Even if the
    valve seals are leaking a bit, replacing them is a labor-intensive job
    that makes no sense to do by itself, but rather as part of either a
    cylinder head or total engine overhaul.
     
    mulder, Aug 15, 2010
    #2
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  3. IDG

    johninky Guest

    Could be the turbo oil return thingee.
     
    johninky, Aug 16, 2010
    #3
  4. IDG

    mulder Guest

    Don't think so, even if oil somehow backed up in the oil return it
    wouldn't get into the intake or cylinders. Plus the turbo is on the
    passenger side of the engine, so with the driver side being lower the
    oil would be draining away from the turbo anyway.
     
    mulder, Aug 16, 2010
    #4
  5. IDG

    VanguardLH Guest

    Note (to the OP): The ridiculous lack of proper *physical* line wrapping
    by IDG's extremely poor choice of newsreader for posting was corrected
    in my reply.

    An extremely poor choice of newsreader by the OP when posting questions
    or for any discussion. Plus it makes spam all your posts with its
    non-signature spam garbage at the end of your posts. Your post *is*
    spam because you are a spam affiliate for GrabIt in all your posts when
    using it.
    Oil? Since when does engine oil burn white (at temperatures produced in
    automobiles)? Isn't white smoke the sign of a coolant leak? If
    antifreeze is getting into the cylinder then you see white smoke from
    the exhaust.

    Black smoke = burning oil
    Blue smoke = burning transmission fluid
    White smoke = water vapor burnoff if short-lived and immediate), or a
    coolant leak from gasket leak, cracked block, or cracked
    head (if not immediate and starts after engine gets hot)

    To the OP:

    If the white smoke has no or little smell and only lasts a minute after
    you start the car when cold then it's accumulated water. Coolant has a
    sweet smell.

    When you burn gasoline you generate water vapor and why those promoting
    water-fueled cars are idiots because they don't want you to know that
    your engine already produces water and doesn't need it again. What
    those "water-burning" kits actually do is further lean out the mixture
    which is very bad to do in the already highly regulated combustion
    engines in commuter cars. See:

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.subaru/msg/b53e58f1b34a01ea.

    Since you car is at a steep tilt, you might have trapped water sitting
    in your muffler (the catalytic converter remains way too hot for awhile
    after you turn off your car for any water vapor to coalesce into liquid
    there). Burning gasoline always produces water vapor. You can't see it
    on a warm/hot day because the steam is hot. Just sit on a stalled
    freeway during rush hour and notice all the steam coming up from the
    tailpipes of all the stuck motorists. You've never seen water dripping
    out of exhaust pipes from a running car? What do you think happens to
    all the water vapor still sitting in your exhaust system when you turn
    off your car? No, scrubbing bubbles don't rush through your exhaust
    pipes to clean out the water that liquifies as the steam cools.

    Also, as I recall, your year model is the one where Subaru screwed up
    the head gaskets which caused coolant leaks into the combustion chamber.
    There were previous posts about the problem in this newsgroup but might
    not be on your NNTP server anymore so search Google Groups in this
    newsgroup about Subaru's screwed up head gaskets. Also, as I recall,
    Subaru's "fix" was the old leak goop fix. You add the goop through the
    radiator cap and the goop seals any small crevices where its velocity
    slows to allow accumulation (which means the goop also deposits
    elsewhere, like in nearly plugged radiators to then fully plug them).
    The correct fix to replace the defective gaskets with new ones and is a
    pricey repair.

    If the white smoke is constant past the warm up of the engine, you could
    ask the shop to do a compression test. As the engine gets hot, a crack
    in the block or head gets bigger so coolant can seep through. However,
    you said the white smoke appears immediately when you start the car
    "cold" and then dissipates (which could mean after the engine got hot).
    So my guess is you have accumulated water in your exhaust system that
    gets steamed out when you start your car. Or its just the normal water
    vapor that is produced by the combustion of gasoline and you didn't
    mention that you notice the steam because it was cold outside.
     
    VanguardLH, Aug 16, 2010
    #5
  6. IDG

    mulder Guest

    Oil smoke is generally blue but can appear bluish-white or
    grayish-white. Black usually indicates unburned fuel from a rich mixture
    or fuel system problem.
    Pure white smoke would likely be coolant but the orientation of the car
    shouldn't have any effect on whether coolant gets burned or not.
    The description of when this happens makes sense for oil getting past
    the valve seals on the driver side, given the layout of the boxer engine.
    One test to determine if it's coolant or oil is to hold a tissue up to
    the exhaust when the smoke is being produced. If it's coolant, the
    tissue will disintegrate from the moisture.
     
    mulder, Aug 16, 2010
    #6

  7. Damn, I hate when you get all technical....
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Aug 16, 2010
    #7
  8. Wrapped for readability
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Aug 16, 2010
    #8
  9. Another possibility is that you're burning brake fluid
    that has sucked through the vacuum line from a booster
    with damaged internal seals.
     
    Clifford Heath, Aug 16, 2010
    #9

  10. The other posters have made great suggestions about the smoke. If it
    smells like toasted marshmallows, it's coolant.

    I just want to mention that, if you decide the smoke is bluish and
    from oil, possibly some problem with the PCV valve/system could be at
    play.
    Your O2 sensor and catalytic converter (at minimum) are at risk if you
    do not fix this.
     
    1 Lucky Texan, Aug 16, 2010
    #10
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