Smoke from vents


Old 02-18-05, 07:47 PM
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Unhappy 1988 Chevy Cavalier Z24

2.8L V6, about 85k on motor, just over 200k on car (previous owner swaped engines)

Info: Since the fuel injectors, I have replaced the radiator. Was missing a bracket & got a hole from bouncing around against other parts. Seemed to go fine, but then fan stopped working. I dealt with it as it was winter. When I finally took the time to look, I found the fan housing(?) was tight & wouldn't let the fan turn. Loosened that so fan would turn freely, but still doesn't work. Touched a wire directly to the battery & the fan motor did still work, so I am assuming it is a relay or something blown. I got busy again so have just limped it through the summer (not hitting too many drive-up lines). There were a few times when motor got really hot while stuck in traffic before I could get off the road.

Now, I have a bigger problem. It's been cold here in the midwest. The other morning I turned on the heater (after letting car warm up like always) and smelled a faint burning smell. It went away after a minute or so. Next a.m., same thing but smoke started pouring out of vents! I stopped, shut off heater & car and let it air out. When I started car again, no smoke, so I kept heat off & got home with no problems. Got under the hood that weekend & to the blower motor, but could not get it to smoke again in garage. Took my chances Monday morning with no problems. Tuesday 10 minutes with heater on & more smoke. Turned heater off but kept coming this time. Stopped car & let air out, but when I went again smoke started w/i 100yards without the heater on. Did this 3 times b4 I got to work. Smells bad like your hair and clothes after you have been to a campfire. Nothing shorted out, so I am guessing it is not electrical. Is this a heater core issue? I am pretty clueless to the whole system...don't even know for sure where core is. Hate to give up on the Cav b/c of a heater issue. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-19-05, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,531

I split your post and gave it a new title more fitting of your problem hoping you will get better responses. Although history is a good thing I think the previous info has no bearing on you current problem. If you feel it does you can always link to the previous thread.

For your current problem are you using any coolant? I would pull back the carpet by the dash and look for any coolant leaks.
Old 02-20-05, 08:09 AM
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I don't see any leaks on the inside of the car. The resevoir is just slightly under the full mark, so possibly a little lost, but not sure. It is slight, if any.
Old 02-24-05, 03:15 PM
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Any ideas?
Old 02-25-05, 08:05 AM
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look for critters

could be that you have an expired mouse or other rodent in the area of the heater core

happens here in the northeast all the time

you'll have to disassemble the shroud over the heater fan and work backward toward the vents in the car.

based on the reports of smoke, either the animal is directly on the heater core or its in contact with the exhast manifold and the smoke is getting into the heater via the air intake by the firewall

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