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White Smoke on ICE Ignition

gas engine ice

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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   cmwv

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 12:32 PM

Occasionally I get a puff of white smoke from the exhaust when the gas engine kicks in. Anyone else experience this? Any idea what the cause could be?









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#2 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:40 PM

Burning oil?

 

-=>Raja.



#3 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:40 PM

Water condensation in cool weather.  If it persists in the warmer months, get it checked out.



#4 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:45 PM

Burning oil?

 

-=>Raja.

 

Oil passing through engine makes blue smoke while excess fuel is more blackish.  White is water or coolant.  An exception for oil is under leakage conditions like when it drips on exhaust; especially if its gunk/grime type buildup, then it's very black smoke (and stinky).  



#5 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:50 PM

That's what they say but I've never seen "blue smoke" always whitish and that's usually oil.  If you have antifreeze mixing with oil you will see it when you pull the dip stick, it will be creamy.

 

Get oil on top of your engine and you will end up with billowing clouds of white smoke behind you.  Ask me how I know...well, let me say it, I changed the oil in my Mercedes 190e one time and forgot to put the cap back on.  Yeah it made a mess by the time I discovered it I was on the highway with clouds of smoke behind me.  I pulled over at the first exit and ended up stuffing paper towels in the oil cap hole tightly wadded and it worked to get me home as long as I kept the ice rpms no more than 2000.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 02 February 2017 - 01:51 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   cmwv

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:17 PM

I noticed the white smoke phenomenon once before, about a year and a half ago, when gunning it down a freeway ramp to beat a semi bearing down on the merge lane. The recent occurrence happened when the car was in having the battery checked as it has degraded significantly over the past 3 years. Technician drained the battery while checking performance, so ICE kicked in with a giant cloud of white smoke. Tech thought this indicated coolant seeping into cylinders. He pulled plugs, dropped a "camera" in and thought he saw coolant in two cylinders--coolant had "washed" these cylinders, he said. Based on this, dealer recommended engine replacement. Then, when I took car in to have engine switched, the Tech slated to make the R & R couldn't find anything wrong. Engine seems to run fine and I can find no reference to any C-Max ICE having failed on any forum or even googling. Dealer still recommends switch, but I'm skeptical. Not sure how to proceed at this point. Out of warranty even though ICE only has 34,000 on it. Most of my 92,000 on EV.



#7 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 04:36 PM

If you're getting coolant in the combustion chamber, then it will also show up in the oil changing it to a milky coffee color. 

 

The Prius has a condensation issue that's rare and several things combined have to occur:  a cold ICE, cool weather, and moving the car a very short distance, like moving from the driveway into the garage, but long enough for the ICE to start and run just for a few seconds before being parked overnight.   Then, the next morning it will blow a little smoke but, more importantly, sound like the engine is about to grenade!  Turn off, restart, and it's fine.   Took the company years to figure out all those variables combined produced a lot of moisture in the upper engine intake that trickled down into the combustion chamber overnight.  I had it happen to me and it was not pleasant to say the least!   :drop:



#8 OFFLINE   cmwv

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 06:11 PM

Thanks fotomoto. I'll check the oil in the morning. Seems like this would have occurred to dealer but maybe not. Now that my battery has degraded I do sometimes have to run the engine for a brief period just to complete my round trip to town. However, on day of diagnosis I had driven 45 miles to the dealer, much of that on ICE.



#9 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:11 PM

Stay on top of it until you figure it out. The coolant may be contaminating the oil which will decrease it's life and require more frequent oil changes. Like you said, you don't see many reports of problems with these atkinson cycle engines so hopefully it's something benign. Ford has been doing these since the 2005 Escape Hybrid. Keep us posted. 

 

What was the engine replacement cost you were quoted?


Edited by bdginmo, 03 February 2017 - 09:15 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   cmwv

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 12:00 PM

I checked oil today per fotomoto suggestion. Inconclusive to my untrained eye. Oil is definitely darker color than new oil so may be contaminated or just dirty. Oil was changed about 3,000 miles ago, but probably half that is ICE miles. Taking it in again Monday for further analysis, so I'll ask techie then about condition of oil.

 

bdginmo: Ford has offered assistance, but I'll still be out of pocket about two grand.



#11 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 12:34 PM

bdginmo: Ford has offered assistance, but I'll still be out of pocket about two grand.

 

$2,000 isn't bad. Don't get me wrong, it sucks all the same. But, as a point of comparison, if the 3.5L EcoBoost engine in our new 2017 Explorer were to catastrophically fail it is reported to be a $7500 hit if out of warranty.


Edited by bdginmo, 04 February 2017 - 12:36 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   cmwv

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 05:58 PM

Made two more trips to dealer to have shop foreman check the engine each time. He could find nothing wrong, could not duplicate the original mechanic's finding of antifreeze in the ICE cylinders. So who knows? I decided to just leave the current engine in the car as it runs beautifully. This based on others' experience with rare occurrences of white smoke not being a problem. Also, I could not find any instance of anyone else having their C-Max ICE fail. It just doesn't seem wise to tear the car apart and perhaps introduce more problems when this one doesn't seem so serious after all.



#13 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:01 PM

 

 

It just doesn't seem wise to tear the car apart and perhaps introduce more problems when this one doesn't seem so serious after all.

 

Absolutely, if the motor is running fine leave it alone.  

 

-=>Raja.











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