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1G White Smoke

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Dipwhittle

Probationary Member
24
2
Jan 16, 2022
Jacksonville, North_Carolina
So I finally have my 1990 Eclipse GS up and running, but it has white smoke and a bad smell. All signs indicate a blown head gasket, but my head compression is good. I don’t want to dismantle the engine if I don’t have to. What are some other causes? Nothing online is very helpful. It all just says it’s a blown head gasket or cracked block. Take it to a mechanic.

Also, I just changed the oil when I did, there was nothing crazy about it. Just old. I also know over/underfilling can cause issues, but I added the right amount.
 
How long has it been running? Are you actually driving it or are we talking just the first few minutes?
How much smoke? Like pouring out or just a little bit.
 
How long has it been running? Are you actually driving it or are we talking just the first few minutes?
How much smoke? Like pouring out or just a little bit.
I just started it after several years of neglect. It’s a constant stream. I’ve only left it running for like 10 minutes at a time, but it’s a lot. I can’t drive it anywhere yet. I still have a lot of things to fix before I can, but I rev it and stuff.
 
White smoke is nearly always burning coolant. Coming out exhaust?
Do a cooling system pressure test and look for leaks. Can also remove spark plugs and look into cylinder thru spark plug hole. Cylinder with burning coolant will have a steam cleaned piston spotlessly clean and bright.
 
Last edited:
my car would burn grey smoke, it looks white but it was actually oil

burning coolant would smell like burnt candy. its really strong odor. if there is no odor it is most likely oil

the valve stem seals are a likely failure point. basically they will leak oil from the cylinder head into the cylinder. you can verify this with pulling the spark plugs and they will have a coating of oil on them
 
White smoke is nearly always burning coolant. Coming out exhaust?
Do a cooling system pressure test and look for leaks. Can also remove spark plugs and look into cylinder thru spark plug hole. Cylinder with burning coolant will have a steam cleaned piston spotlessly clean and bright.
Yes, from the exhaust. I took the spark plugs out a little while ago and just saw what looked like carbon on the pistons. I’ll take them out again and look for oil as well. There is definitely a smell, but I wouldn’t describe it as sweet. It smells acrid. I thought it might be burning through all of the excess bs from just sitting there forever… but I’m not sure and don’t want to run it so long I kill it again.

I’ll check the cooling system
 
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