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White Smoke


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Hi there,

I'm an unproud owner of a 1994 Corolla. Unproud, because its a '94, 1600cc, 3-gear automatic transmission... No fun to be had with this car. No options what so ever, not even powersteering. I miss manual sporty cars... *cries* This is the first car I bought (tho, driven many before, parent's cars etc.)

Recently, if I haven't started the engine in a day or two, it will burn off some Oil for a few seconds right when the engine starts. It won't do this when the engine has already been turned on in the last few hours/day. Some days it doesn't do it at all, but recently its becoming more frequent.

Any tips on what it could be? Engine has only 74k miles on it, which for the US is quite low for a 11 year old car.

Other little problems with the car I need to fix when I get around to it:

Broken driver-side inside handle

Radio having issues (it's the stock player)

Dented rim (old soft tires + curb...)

One brake light keeps burning out (circuit problem)

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Hi Dirus,

You say in the title of the thread that it is White Smoke - this is normally water in the combustion chamber(head gasket failure).Remove the Oil filler cap and see if there is any white sludge under it. Check for any bubbles rising up through the radiator on tickover.

Blue smoke would be a sign of burning Oil - if it smokes while you are driving,probally piston rings. If it smokes on over-run(downhill,off the throttle) probally the valve stem Oil seals.

Might be worth changing the engine oil and filter (and do not over fill) in case the oil is well past it's service interval.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Got the Oil changed, along with the filter. They spotted out two problems with the engine:

Valve cover exaust nozzle needed replacement, and the seal on the radiator cap was getting crusty. I got the nozzle replaced, but not the radiator cap (they wanted $20 to screw in a new one, I'll go buy my own...).

That seemed to have fixed the problem tho. No more white smoke, and mileage looks like its back to normal too.

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