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Seeking Help And Advice For A 1992 Celica Gt


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Hi everybody - I just bought a 92 Celica GT about a month and a half ago with around 141,000 miles on it. I know the mileage is high but this has been my dream car since I was 16 and I got a good deal on it I couldn't pass up.

My main problem is I know next to nothing about cars beyond changing the oil or a tire which makes it difficult to provide the proper maintnace I know my car needs as well as being able to recognize small problems and catch them before they become big problems.

Before I bought the car I paid a mechanic to inspect the entire thing and he said it was in great shape besides a few minor things and what he thought looked like mediocre oil chage history. But there are two problems that I've been having.

After reading through these forums I think I've figured out the first problem which was a humming sound and vibrations while turning at low speeds which would seem to be the wheel bearing. The second problem is the one that concerns me and it's that after my car has been parked for a couple hours or so, when I start it a huge cloud of smoke comes out of the exhaust, and I mean a huge cloud of smoke. It doesn't happen everytime I start it, just when it's been sitting overnight or a few hours. I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me any idea about what may be causing it and what I can do about it.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions or tips about the basic things I should be doing to maintain my car I'd really appreciate it. I really want to do whatever I can to keep my car in the best shape possible but I have no idea where to start. And if anyone could suggest a good book or some kind of resource I could pick up to help me pick up the automobile basics that would be rad too. Thanks for your help.

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the smoke, what colour is it??

white = water = head gasket

Blue = oil = piston rings/ valve stem oils seals

as you say 141k.... somethings will be 'well' worn in :blink: . so possible the blue opition. Keep an eye on your water level, check the radatior cold every morning for a week and moniter if you are losing any, that as long as you havent a leak externally will point to a head gasket..... keep us posted


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sounds like valve stem seals if the smoke is a bluey-white colour. take it to a garage you know is fair and ask them to do a compresion test this will rule out things like head gasket and piston rings. stem seals arn't that big a problem get a haynes manual as long as yo know one end of a spanner from the other and follow it carefully there is no reason you shouldnt be able to do it your self

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I'll have to pay closer attention the next time I start my car to be sure of the smokes color. I don't recall the smoke really being particullary blue but I believe that small cracks in an oil seal (possibly the valve stem) was one of the things the mechanic mentioned when he inspected it. He made it sound like it wasen't a big deal though and the kind of thing that would be ok for a while until I had a chance to replace it. I think that may be what it is though because the guy I bought it from had just put in a brand new radiator and head gasket within the last few months so I don't think I have a leak there. I'll check though. If it is the valve stem oil seals would that leak enough to leave puddles under my car? Would just having those seals replaced fix most of the problem? Thanks again for your help.

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Valve stem seals are in the head, its an internal leak so i there will be no puddle, if the head gasket has been replace then the valve stem seals should really have been done as its rude not to whilst its stripped down that far and considering the milage.


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take it to a garage you know is fair and ask them to do a compresion test this will rule out things like head gasket and piston rings.  stem seals arn't that big a problem get a haynes manual as long as yo know one end of a spanner from the other and follow it carefully there is no reason you shouldnt be able to do it your self

The mechanic actually did a compression test when he inspected it like a month and a half ago and he said it was really good. It seems like the head gasket isn't the problem so is there any thing else that you guys think could be causing this smoke besides the stem seals or does it sound that's probably my problem? Yeah, I have no idea what a spanner is but if the haynes manuel provides good enough explanations, I'm pretty bright and I think I could probably figure it out. Should I be able to get the manuel and seals and most auto part stores and do it myself?

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