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06-30-03, 08:56 AM   #1  
SKIP123
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Hey guys, I have a 1993 Oldsmobile Bravada with the Vortec V6 in it. The vehicle looks and runs great besides needing a new cat probably, stinks when it gets warmed up. Anyway, my only concern with it is when I first start it up, it blows out smoke from the exhaust pipe. Not blue, but white. Is it anything I need to be concerned with, ive been told that these motors are notorious for this.

 
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06-30-03, 09:22 AM   #2  
White and stinky is usually water. How's the engine temp?? Probably is condensation in the muffler being heated and evaporating. Check your oil fill cap to make sure you don't see any white or gray oil on it. Also, check your engine coolant to make sure you're, not losing coolant.
If your oil is discolored or you're losing coolant, you probably have a blown head gasket or cracked head.
Let us know what you find.

 
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06-30-03, 09:31 AM   #3  
Like he said, monitor your coolant level and check your oil cap and dipstick for any signs of a milky white mix.

 
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06-30-03, 10:25 AM   #4  
SKIP123
vehicle doesnt burn any oil hardly, and its not milky, coolant is nice and green like its suppose to be, any other suggestions? I fisrt thought the same thing as you two guys did.

 
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06-30-03, 10:26 AM   #5  
SKIP123
oh by the way, engine runs pretty cool, about 160-180

 
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06-30-03, 11:31 AM   #6  
Joe_F
Have a shop check the coolant with a gas or coolant analyzer. That will show if there's any HC in it---that would indicate a blown gasket/cracked head.

 
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06-30-03, 12:27 PM   #7  
SKIP123
So much for do it yourself!

 
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06-30-03, 12:46 PM   #8  
Joe_F
Well, you could rip the heads off to find out the problem is elsewhere, or get to the root of it quickly.

Autozone MAY have a coolant analyzer in their tool rental program, you could follow up with them on that. I can't see a shop charging you much for a coolant analysis.

The repair WOULD be DIY if you have the tools, patience, know-how and aptituide to do it. .

 
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06-30-03, 04:47 PM   #9  
Is your car using coolant?I work on these every day and I don't see the notorious white smoke problem you speak of.

 
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06-30-03, 04:53 PM   #10  
These are also real buggers about seeping intake manifold gaskets...Usually the driver's side front corner, or passanger side rear corner...
BTW, how long after starting the car does it take for it to quit blowing smoke?

 
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06-30-03, 05:08 PM   #11  
SKIP123
To answer a few people, yes i have the aptitude and so on, I have a good general knowledge of vehicles and I make a living as a aircraft mechanic, so nothing is impossible for me to do. No it does not use any coolant nor does it leak, just when it starts up, it fillls my garage with smoke and no the door isnt closed, it basically happens each day on the initial start up.

 
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06-30-03, 05:24 PM   #12  
Joe_F
What does it smell like? If it ONLY puffs on start up, you could have wiped out valve stem seals. Common on this and most "Chevrolet" designed motors.

Coolant burning smells sweet like syrup.

 
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06-30-03, 07:23 PM   #13  
SKIP123
Im gonna take that last post as the cause, its the most logical to me. Thanks for your help

 
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07-01-03, 10:39 AM   #14  
SKIP123
Im back for a new day, I just got back from having tires rotated and the state inspection renewed, pulled it in garage to cool off a little bit so I could change the oil, went back out and had antifreeze on the floor, probably a half of cup worth. I checked the radiator and added about 2 quarts of water. Now im back to thinking a possible head gasket or something, but there is no water in the oil! Now what?

 
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07-01-03, 10:46 AM   #15  
Joe_F
Can you see where the leak is originating from?

 
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07-01-03, 07:30 PM   #16  
SKIP123
Well....now Im not sure, drove it all day and no leak, kinda makes me wonder what the kids at the quicky lube did with it while they were inspecting it. We will see what happens!

 
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07-01-03, 11:58 PM   #17  
Lots of times, the water pump will leak only when the engine is not running. It seeps out of the weep hole. When the engine is running, the water pump shaft doesn't stay in the same spot long enough for the water to leak past. I've seen it a few times, and it will get worse and eventually leak even when running if that is the cause of the leak. Just something to check.


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07-02-03, 06:32 AM   #18  
Is your home air conditioned?

 
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07-02-03, 06:32 AM   #19  
Sorry, but I just couldn't resist the theatrics of posting that question alone in the post

If you park a hot engine in an air conditioned home, you may experience more 'morning condensation' than usual. Is there any reason to suspect this is not morning condensation in the exhaust system?

Regarding your antifreeze on the floor. Sounds like the jiffy guys topped off your overflow a bit much during there routine 10 point service (whatever). The extra is now overflowed and there is no problem.

 
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07-02-03, 01:09 PM   #20  
skim35
White smoke at starting is classic sign of head gasket going bad. It gets worse with time. You will need to open the head to see if it is gasket problem or cracked head.

Replacing head gasket takes about 3+ hours: take out intake manifold, valve cover, loosen all head bolts, disconnect exhuast header & lift the head away from the engine.

The head bolts are usually stretch bolts, you might need special angle torque tools to put them back at proper torque. Some cars require new valve cover gaskets.

 
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07-02-03, 04:46 PM   #21  
Are your shure that it is pure white? If it only puffs smoke on start up it is most likely valve seals like mentioned before. The smoke usually is a grayish blue and is sometimes confused by costomers as white. Engine restorer ( a additive for oil) sometimes helps but takes 2 oil changes to notice a differance. Cheap patch not a repair or a fix.

 
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07-02-03, 07:38 PM   #22  
SKIP123
Im still thinking that its the valve seals. Thanks for everyones help. I like the air conditioning one the best. Never heard that before. Thanks again

 
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07-03-03, 03:43 AM   #23  
Joe_F
Have someone fire up the truck stone cold while you're at the rear. Note the smell and real color of the smoke.

If it smells oily, it's valve stem seals. If it's gassy in nature, could be the CPI injector---known to stuff up on Vortec 4.3s like this.

 
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07-05-03, 05:21 PM   #24  
SKIP123
well, I pulled the intake manifold off and found that there was a coolant leak, should be finished tomorrow and we shall see if i fixed anything, next step will be the valve stem seals

 
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