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1998'NSX-T: white exhaust smoke

Joined
4 July 2004
Messages
1,189
Location
Augusta, GA
Hey guys,

Last week I topped my oil off and radiator fluid to the correct measurements and drove 500 miles home.

I just started the car to go for a quick drive, noticed the white smoke from the exhaust and shut the car off after 5 minutes of warming up. The exhaust is still blowing white smoke. Smoke smelled like radiator fluid.

Any ideas why?

After the car cools down, ill check my fluids again and make sure nothing is over filled.



Any help/advice please, thanks!
 
have you ever over heat the car before? sounds to me like you have a blown headgasket.
 
have you ever over heat the car before? sounds to me like you have a blown headgasket.

never,

the car has never exceeded 50% mark on the oem dashboard cluster pannel.

I cannot see how I could have blown a headgasket...how much does that cost to replace?

I just checked the coolant level, Since the tank is white and I cannot see thru it, by looking from inside, down. It looks like the level is 1cm or so from the cap top. If so, the level is exceeding the max line level. maybe it's burning coolant bc too much is in it???

how do you check the coolant level if you cannot see thru the white tank?
 
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More water can mean the car did overheat and pushed the coolant up/out.
Did the gauge go above halfway even just barely?

Depending on how long the car has been stored, especially if in the winter over long periods of time, the car will pick up moisture and you'll get some white smoke. This should go away after a few miles of driving though.

I'd suggest doing a coolant pressure test (you can get a kit at Sears) and/or coolant flush and see if the level changes
 
thanks for input.

I flushed the system, added coolant for now then drove around town for a bit. No more white smoke. praying it stays that way!!

Ill take it to dealer and have them flush the system and refill it also so they can bleed all the lines correctly.

I drove it last week and had no problem.

The car rarely ever sits more than a wk.
 
if your coolant level is rising, you almost for sure have a blown head gasket.

The idea is, combustion chamber pressure backs up into the coolant system and actually pushes fluid back into the overflow tank from a leaking gasket. The leak is inside the chamber so you won't notice any fluid on the outside. I hope I'm wrong about this but if its the case you will be a new head gasket. Big job to replace, but who cares, this car is worth it. I would say about $1000. It will require pretty much an engine tear down.

There are some kits out there that will change color if there is any exhaust leak into the coolant system. Do this. Its an easy diagnostic test.
 
you can also tell the dealer to do a coolant system pressure test if you have a headgasket problem the pressure in the cooling system will leak out.
 
FWIW, in a lot of cases in different cars I've delt with head gasket problems on, When the car sets over night the pressure bleeding down overnight can cause coolant to bleed back into the cylinder causing a very rough idle along with white smoke on the first cold start in the morning. This is a for sure sign of a gasket problem or worse, a cracked head.
 
I don't know that doing a pressure test on the radiator is going to locate a blown headgasket as 14psi probably isn't enough to push past even a blown gasket. The general diagnostics for a headgasket failure is a cylinder leakdown test. That will put sufficient pressure in the cylinder and you can actually hear it leaking from various areas depending upon where the fault is located.

I have no idea how you would blow a headgasket on this engine without overheating it. Don't be insulted by this but is it possible you inadvertently poured coolant into the oil since you were topping them both up? A blown headgasket will usually either put oil into the coolant (readily apparent) or the opposite, coolant into the oil at which point it will become milky in appearance. If it was me, I'd immediately change my oil and send a sample off to Blackstone labs for analysis. Don't continue to operate the car or a blown headgasket will quickly turn into something far more costly.
 
I don't know that doing a pressure test on the radiator is going to locate a blown headgasket as 14psi probably isn't enough to push past even a blown gasket. The general diagnostics for a headgasket failure is a cylinder leakdown test. That will put sufficient pressure in the cylinder and you can actually hear it leaking from various areas depending upon where the fault is located.

I have no idea how you would blow a headgasket on this engine without overheating it. Don't be insulted by this but is it possible you inadvertently poured coolant into the oil since you were topping them both up? A blown headgasket will usually either put oil into the coolant (readily apparent) or the opposite, coolant into the oil at which point it will become milky in appearance. If it was me, I'd immediately change my oil and send a sample off to Blackstone labs for analysis. Don't continue to operate the car or a blown headgasket will quickly turn into something far more costly.

Thanks for the advice.

I did not add coolant into the motor and or vise versa.

Where can I get a kit that will change color if there is any exhaust leak into the coolant system?
 
A dealer can do the test for you. It is at least a $3000 fix from my experience.
 
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