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Old 07-01-2013, 09:38 PM   #1
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Excessive white smoke on start up/acceleration

Alright, I'm sorry if this is the wrong place.

I'm having a bit of a problem. I have a 2001 Toyota Tacoma V6, with 184k miles. When I got the vehicle, the cats and 02 sensors were removed so the vehicle has never passed smog. I had a shop refuse to give me a diagnosis because the cats were removed, thought that might be important. The last four years my dad has been here to take care of any maintenance and/or issues.

I took the truck to get the oil changed and they told me I had sludge in the engine and they would charge me 13.99 to clean it out. No problem, what could it hurt? I'm less than 2 miles away when my truck starts to smoke pretty bad. I've NEVER had smoking problems before.

I take it back and they say it could be a head gasket, or it could be just the "sludge" working itself out. I am pretty sure that its not a head gasket. There is no loss of coolant, no change in consistency of the oil, the vehicle does not over heat and the smoke does not smell sweet. I asked a friend of mine who deals mostly with Fbodies if he would come look at it. He says there is no way its a head gasket.

We thought maybe just changing the oil would calm it down. Maybe they put crappy oil in it and its the wrong kind, or just bad. Changed the oil and oil filter. NO change.

So, I talked to my dad who is 5 or 6 states away now and he told me it could possibly be a broken valve seal. I added some leak stopper stuff made by STP that specifically states its to fix small leaks.

I put it in (the stuff is like HONEY!) and ran the truck for 30 miles. It did stop it a tiny bit, but instead of smoking all the time, it now smokes on start up and acceleration. Its pretty bad/embarrassing. I ran it another 30 miles today and same result (bad/embarrassing). Pops says to keep running it the next few days, might take a while.

Any time I need to accelerate, I pretty much smoke out the person behind me and leave a trail of smoke. I'm not talking about a little smoke, I'm talking about extreme amounts of smoke. There is also a small choking feeling. The truck sputters anytime I try to accelerate too quickly.

I tried to take a video of the smoke when I start the truck when its cold, and this is what I was able to get. Took me about 5-6 second to get the damn phone to record. Please note, I just put the key in and walked to the back to video, this is not upon acceleration.

http://youtu.be/WVm0oxHYPQg?t=1s

I am curious to see what other people think about what might be the problem. I grew up with my dad being around and it was easy getting stuff done, but I have no one here that I really trust to give it to me straight on what's wrong. I'm sure you can understand my lack of trust. My next option is to fly my dad out here for a few days to take a look at it, and I really would like to avoid that.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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Is it still doing it?

If it has stopped they may have run seafoam through it.

If it is still an issue, then troubleshooting is in order.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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The consistency of it looks like steam and not smoke. Does it have a smell? Do you smell any gas or oil? It's kind of dark so i can't tell but if it was oil it would be thicker and have a blueish tint to it. If it was fuel ratio problems, it would be black smoke.

Initial guess is coolant is somehow getting in the cylinders (head gasket is usually the culprit).
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogsauce View Post
Is it still doing it?

If it has stopped they may have run seafoam through it.

If it is still an issue, then troubleshooting is in order.
Yes, very much so. I have put 260+ miles on the vehicle. I initially thought seafoarm, but shouldn't it have subsided by now?

Quote:
The consistency of it looks like steam and not smoke. Does it have a smell? Do you smell any gas or oil? It's kind of dark so i can't tell but if it was oil it would be thicker and have a blueish tint to it. If it was fuel ratio problems, it would be black smoke.

Initial guess is coolant is somehow getting in the cylinders (head gasket is usually the culprit).
I would venture to say, its smoke. It does have a smell, but I do not smell oil or gas.. I can't quite explain it. I would feel comfortable saying that its got a blueish tint to it at times.

I've decided to take it to Toyota for a diagnostic, before I run the risk of spending tons of money getting my dad out here.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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ask them what they put in there. it started right after they put some kind of "sludge cleaner" in there id say thats your top suspect
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pretty waste View Post
Yes, very much so. I have put 260+ miles on the vehicle. I initially thought seafoarm, but shouldn't it have subsided by now?
....
Yeah, it would have subsided by now.

Good call on taking it to Toyota for diag.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:30 PM   #7
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Could be anything from piston rings to valve seals. My bet is valve seal. Most likely the sludge cleaner, cleaned up too well. You will most likely have some fouled spark plugs soon as well due to the oil passing through. Buy a new set of fairly cheap copper spark plugs, and in a week or two, depending on how many miles you drive, check your spark plugs, and pat attention to which ones are oil fouled. If you take it to a shop, they will do a compression test to find out the same thing.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:26 PM   #8
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Mine did the same- smoked white to blue smoke on start up and heavy on accel for about ten miles. It had sat for 3 months without starting since I was out of the country. I also thought it may have been a valve seal or just the bad gas in my tank (I used stable and ethanol treatment but maybe too much?).

I changed my oil right after this (due anyway) and found out it was a quart low. I got lucky and my smoking probably seems to have gone away.

You may want to check your oil regularly and see if it's burning oil as a diagnostic. As long as there are no oil leaks (valve covers) you shouldn't be loosing much oil. Mine maybe burns 1/4 quart over 7000 miles. Let us know what it was!
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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If I have read all of this correctly, then I am assuming that it smokes really bad on a hard acceleration? With everything that you have described I would be most inclined to believe that you are having problems with rings on the piston. You can have good compression, but if the oil ring on the piston is worn it will allow oil into the cylinders and burn it off. You won't really notice an odor because the burning is being done in the cylinder. That is my personal observation on this.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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Ya, I'd check the spark plugs, do a compression check. Maybe even a leak down test.
If u feel up for it pull the valve cover off and see if there really is sludge.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #11
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The bad part is if it is the oil cleaning ring on the pistons, it will not show up on a compression test. you can have perfectly good compressions rings, and a bad oil ring, and still cause excessive white smoke when the engine is running.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I eneded up flying my dad out we did a motor swap last week. Truck is back on the road and the only casualty was a broken windshield happened some time during the swap.


I now have a 2001 Toyota Tacoma with 65k on it.... can't complain.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:09 PM   #13
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From 184k to 65K, you did pretty well depending on how much was spent. It should last you a while, just keep up with your oil changes to prevent sludging.

We had a 3.0 that did this. There was no significant coolant loss as the head gasket was leaking slowly internally into the cylinder and mostly on start ups as engine is cold and when it heated up (metal expanded) only smoked during accelaration.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #14
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You should overhaul that old engine. How awesome is that?
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #15
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So let me get this strait, you got oil changed and added a sludge cleaner. Immediately it starts smoking and now you have swapped the motor. So what was wrong with the other that required a complete engine swap?
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACO TX View Post
So let me get this strait, you got oil changed and added a sludge cleaner. Immediately it starts smoking and now you have swapped the motor. So what was wrong with the other that required a complete engine swap?
There has always been an inherent risk in trying to clean out sludge from an older engine that has developed a build up. One of those risks is causing more damage to parts such as rings, bearings, and valves. I think the er on the side of caution, they made a good decision to go ahead and replace the engine.

OP, If your old engine is not being returned as a core, would you consider selling it, if you are not already planning on rebuilding it as a spare?
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverSound View Post
From 184k to 65K, you did pretty well depending on how much was spent. It should last you a while, just keep up with your oil changes to prevent sludging.

We had a 3.0 that did this. There was no significant coolant loss as the head gasket was leaking slowly internally into the cylinder and mostly on start ups as engine is cold and when it heated up (metal expanded) only smoked during accelaration.
This was my first thought too, white smoke = HG
What do the plugs look like?
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:25 AM   #18
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But an engine swap, without doing any other diagnostics?
My horse has a snotty nose. Better shoot it and get another one
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
But an engine swap, without doing any other diagnostics?
My horse has a snotty nose. Better shoot it and get another one
Now you are just trolling. It is their truck and their right to do as they pleased. Whatever was causing the smoke, be it a head gasket, or worn rings, the repair cost and time could have been more than the cost and time of her dad just flying out on a weekend and swapping it out.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaToy1997 View Post
Now you are just trolling. It is their truck and their right to do as they pleased. Whatever was causing the smoke, be it a head gasket, or worn rings, the repair cost and time could have been more than the cost and time of her dad just flying out on a weekend and swapping it out.
Trolling, no. Missing a detail or two to make me seem over-the-top? Yea...
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