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smoky start-up exhaust


dd7's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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05-10-05, 01:23 PM   #1  
smoky start-up exhaust

I own a 2002 Saturn L300. It is driven primarily to work and back (5 miles total), but it is also the car that goes on road trips. When I start it, a cloud -sometimes small, sometimes large- of white smoke puffs from the exhaust. This happens most notably in the morning, but my wife drove the car on a 230 mile round tripper last Saturday and after sittng for two hours a small cloud spewed upon start-up. It does not smell like oil, but has a chemical odor and can be pretty thick in the morning. I took the car to the dealer last year for this problem (when it was VERY infrequent) and they could find nothing wrong and suggested that it was just moisture that accumulates because the car does not get fully warmed up in my daily driving. Any ideas out there?
Thanks very much!
Dave

 
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Kestas's Avatar
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05-10-05, 01:34 PM   #2  
Like the dealer said, it could be simply condensation from the excess moisture that you get during startup, which would make it a non-issue.

Can you give it another sniff test and see if it smells sweet like coolant?... this would indicate another situation.

 
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05-10-05, 03:08 PM   #3  
DNT1
If you are getting large clouds of white smoke, you most likely have a cracked engine head or a bad head or intake gasket. Watch the coolant level, if its drops you will know what your problem most likely is. GM had a huge problem with their V8 and V6 Vortec engines for several years with leaking intake gaskets I personally have two of the 97 PU vehicles and both had the same problem. I am not sure about the Saturn engines (is that the ecotech 2.2?) you might want to have your dealer pull all Techincal Service Bulletins for this vehicle, you are probably not the only one having this problem.

 
dd7's Avatar
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05-17-05, 07:00 AM   #4  
Follow-up

Well, I took the car to the dealer. They told me that the problem was loose valve stem seals?, and they replaced them all. I sure did not think it was oil burning, but the problem is gone. They also replaced the water pump. My car is out of warranty, but because I had taken it in twice before while under warranty for the same problem, and because it has low miles (34,000) I only had to pay for the pump. Thanks for the assistance!

Dave

 
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