The dreaded White Smoke - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default The dreaded White Smoke

So I have had my car(1994 SSei with 130k) in storage for the winter, and decided the other day to start it up and make sure the battery still has a charge. Lo and behold, the battery won't crank it over all the way, so I dig out Ole faithful, my battery charger. After a few minutes of charging, it turns over just fine, and starts just as it always has. BUT, when I went around to the front of the car to remove the cables from the battery, I saw white smoke coming from the engine. So I opened the door to the car to shut it off (and i'm not sure if this is related, because my climate control has the 3 lines of death, and is always on) but the inside of the car had some of the white smoke in it too. So i shut it off because i had to go to work, and that is where I left it. I know I havent given enough info, like oil conditon, coolant level, etc, but i had to leave in a hurry. What i DO know is that the check engine light never turned on, nor did the car overheat. Is this the classic white smoke of a blown head gasket?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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What did the oil smell like? Was it oil, sweet, electrical? If I had to guess I would say you had oil leak either in to the cylinder, bad valve seal, or on the manifolds.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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it definetly wasnt electrical. I wish i knew whether it was a coolant smell or oil smell, but I cant tell the difference. Does oil give off a white smoke?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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Oil will be a bit more blue. Coolant will have a some what sweet smell. Was it coming out of the tail pipe or all from under the hood? It'* sounding like you had some coolant pool up on the top of the engine.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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The exhaust was fine, just as normal. All of the smoke was coming from under the hood, and it wasn't to my knowledge blue tinted. Something i forgot to mention earlier: before i got out the battery charger, i tried starting it and pumping the gas, because it would almost turn over, but not have enough juice to fire up. Now i know that because it'* fuel injected, chances are that when i pumped the gas, it did nothing at all. right?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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I would check for polling coolant around the area that the LIM contacts the heads. Also inspect the area of the heads where the exhaust manifolds are.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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What would cause coolant to pool in the upper end of the engine?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downeasta View Post
What would cause coolant to pool in the upper end of the engine?
LIM gasket failure. Check your oil for coolant/foam also.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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How hard of a job is it to replace the LIM gasket?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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It will take several hours, or a good part of the day. But very doable. here is a write up about it.

https://www.gmforum.com/t278911/
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