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Smoke from under the Hood

 
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kpraytor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject:  Smoke from under the Hood Reply with quote

Good Morning!

I arrived to work this morning to realize my car was smoking under the hood on the driver's side of the engine compartment.

My car has constantly been leaking coolant and I frequently receive the "Low Coolant Level" Warning Light in my dash. I have a bottle of 50/50 that I refill it with ANYTIME it says it is low.

I drive to work at night so unfortunately I was unable to pinpoint the location of the smoke. Any ideas or advice as to what might be the problem or how to minimize any damage to my car until I get it to the shop would be greatly appreciated.

The smoke bewing expelled from under the hood was white if that helps at all.

FYI: Outside Temp 38* F so heater was on but not full blast and my car never overheated while I was driving either.

Thanks again!
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

White smoke is generally a coolant leak of some sort. Given that you are topping off the coolant it sounds like you have a bad gasket somewhere. Have you had the UIM/LIM gaskets replaced on this car? If not that's a possibility. It's also possible that you are leaking coolant around the throttle body or you have a hose that is leaking.

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kpraytor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Ok, thanks for the suggestions!

A few follow up questions:

1) Do you think it would be safe to drive my car home? I am currently at work and the car did NOT overheat when I drove here this morning.

2) How would I go about checking the UIM/LIM gaskets? (And no, they have not been changed, to my knowledge)

3) Would checking the throttle body or hoses be as simple as waiting for my car to smoke again and just looking around with a flashlight under my hood?

Sorry for all the questions; I am just looking for the most cost efficient way to diagnose and repair my car.

Thanks again for all the info!
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00impala123
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

kpraytor wrote:
Ok, thanks for the suggestions!

A few follow up questions:

1) Do you think it would be safe to drive my car home? I am currently at work and the car did NOT overheat when I drove here this morning.

2) How would I go about checking the UIM/LIM gaskets? (And no, they have not been changed, to my knowledge)

3) Would checking the throttle body or hoses be as simple as waiting for my car to smoke again and just looking around with a flashlight under my hood?

Sorry for all the questions; I am just looking for the most cost efficient way to diagnose and repair my car.

Thanks again for all the info!


1) You can probably drive it home. Keep an eye on the temp gauge and if it starts getting hotter than normal, pull over and let it cool off.

2) You'll know it it is a LIM leak or UIM leak because there will be no external leakage.

3) You should look at it in the daytime. Check around the throttle body for signs, along with the upper coolant hose on that side, check for signs that the upper intake is leaking onto the lower intake, and don't forget to check the belt side for the coolant elbow leak (basically underneath the alternator)

Check and see if there is any signs that it was leaking. If you don't see any, start the car with fluid in it, and check to see if you can actually see it leak. Also check your oil dipstick and see what color it is.

If its normal consitency, you're okay. if its a milky color you have coolant in your oil and you need to change the LIM gaskets

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kpraytor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Awesome! Thank you so much for the information. Very useful posts Iffyg and impala123. I will get it home and see what's going on and report back accordingly.
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Lingenfelter
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

He said the smoke is coming from the passenger side, where the coolant elbows are. He may have a broken or cracked coolant elbow.

Not to say that the smoke originated from the passenger side just because that's where it's exiting, but it is something to look at.

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IffyG
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I though he said drivers side which is why I didn't mention coolant elbows, but your caveat about the exit not being the origin is definitely something to consider.

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kpraytor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I did say driver's side Smile

Again, not to imply that it is the origin of the problem, but the smoke appeared to be coming from the area between my air intake box and the firewall.

*Slightly off topic*

Also, I was looking into replacing the UIM/LIM gaskets according to the article posted in the Articles section. I was wondering which gasket sets by Fel Pro should I use? I was trying to figure it out but the amount of kits is daunting!

A link or two would be VERY helpful!
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VictoryRed09
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

kpraytor wrote:
I did say driver's side Smile

Again, not to imply that it is the origin of the problem, but the smoke appeared to be coming from the area between my air intake box and the firewall.

*Slightly off topic*

Also, I was looking into replacing the UIM/LIM gaskets according to the article posted in the Articles section. I was wondering which gasket sets by Fel Pro should I use? I was trying to figure it out but the amount of kits is daunting!

A link or two would be VERY helpful!


Don't over look the obvious. Upper Radiator hose . or Side tank on Radiator.

For Gaskets. LIM I used the GM new design .. Upper I just got Fel Pro.
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kpraytor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Good suggestions as well! By side tank, do you mean the overflow tank or something else?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sorry... I missed reading comprehension day when I was in school Laughing

Definitely run the car in the driveway until you spot a fluid leak or see the origin of the smoke. I would expect the coolant is escaping the engine or cooling system and burning on the engine block or exhaust components before turning to white smoke.

If you don't see any smoke by the time the engine reaches operating temp, you might need to rev the engine up to 2 or 3000 rpm.

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00impala123
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

This is what I used (well I installed HV3 so my upper intake gasket was different) but this is correct for 3.8

Upper set:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c.....SKAMS_____

lower set:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c.....SKAMS_____

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IffyG
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

00impala123 wrote:
This is what I used (well I installed HV3 so my upper intake gasket was different) but this is correct for 3.8

Upper set:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c.....SKAMS_____

lower set:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c.....SKAMS_____


Same here. If you don't need them immediately, order them from Amazon, they end up being considerably cheaper.

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kpraytor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Man, you guys are the best! Thanks again for all the information and I will report back what I find out about the coolant leak ASAP

Very Happy
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