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Smoke Under Acceleration--Any Guesses?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 jj421

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:42 AM

Okay, my '90 Loyale is being weird, haha. So three or four days ago, I was heading to work from school, and as I was getting on the freeway, I noticed white smoke behind my car. Pulled over, and my belt was torn and about to break. Got it towed home and put a new belt on the car, and once again it was driving like normal. The next day, same thing happened at the same place. I didn't pull over though, and the smoke disappeared in ~10 seconds. The next day, the same thing at the same location, again! And like the day before, the smoke disappeared in ~10 seconds.

This is weird. It only happens at the same location, and nowhere else. In the morning there is no smoke; at night there is no smoke; at a different on-ramp there is no smoke. It just seems like this one particular on-ramp that it likes to spew smoke out the back for ~10 seconds. This on-ramp is different than others I normally drive on because it's one of those cloverleaf interchanges, so I take a 270° right turn at 35 MPH before the flat straightaway leading onto the freeway, which might be causing the smoke somehow.

Oh, and this isn't just condensation in the tailpipe kind of smoke. This is like actual engine smoke. I just don't understand what's different about this. I'm accelerating normally, not like the pedal down to the floor, in fourth gear @ ~2500 RPM or so, and smoke starts coming out the back. It doesn't make sense because I could be accelerating elsewhere in fourth gear @ 2500 RPM, and there wouldn't be any smoke. Heck, I could be going up a hill in third @ 3300 RPM and it's perfectly fine.

I've checked my fluids, and my coolant and oil look fine (even though oil burns blue, I believe). The car runs perfectly fine, so I have no idea what it could be. Searching this problem here on the forum leads to what seem like almost identical problems, except for they have a EA82T, whereas I do not have a turbo in my car. The problem I find in those threads is a leaking turbo or something, but since I don't have a turbo, that can't be it.

So yeah, I am stumped. If my car smoked whenever I accelerated, anywhere at anytime, I'd have a better general idea. But since it's just this one location at this one time right after school, I don't even have a clue. I have driven down that same on-ramp at night, and it didn't smoke. One thing I think could be contributing to this might be the fact that the car is still warming up, since it's only about 10 minutes from when I start the car until I get to the on-ramp. Then that 270° turn might also contribute, because it never smokes like that during warm-up, even if it's much colder, like in the mornings.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. It's not really something I'm too concerned about, because like I said, it's not a consistent thing, but I would like to know what it is and how/if I can fix it. Alright then, thanks for any suggestions! :)

#2 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 06:27 AM

Oil getting in the PCV lines? As youre turning, the oil moves to one side of the engine (if going left, the oil goes to the right, if going right, goes to the left)

I bet if you found another "similar" turn (or even an empty parking lot) and mimicked it, it would happen too.

#3 scoobiedubie

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:56 AM

White smoke is coolant, from my experience. The EA82 engines can have cylinder head cracks also. When the engine is cold, there is more back pressure inside the engine since the thermostat has not opened up yet. Increase the rpm, and you get even more back pressure that can more easily force coolant out tiny cracks at either the exhaust port of the cylinders, or between the intake and exhaust valves. Turn right and you get centrifical force that adds even more backpressure to any left side cylinder head cracks. Could be the triple storm of coolant back pressure that is revealing a tiny crack in your left side cylinder head.

You could check your plugs with a magnifying glass, and look for a barely noticeable build up of white residue on one of your left side plugs. You need to pull the right side plugsl in order to compare. You might check the compression for pressures below 125 psi, which may indicate a problem, or at least time to have the valves and valve seats reground. Has the coolant overflow tank required adding coolant lately? If it has then you have a coolant leak inside the engine, since you also have white smoke.

#4 czny

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:37 AM

When I used to have stock sized wheels on my 87 gl I would drive around curves faster - there's a similar one to yours here @ the 605 s to 60 e fwys.
Sweeping rt hand curve filled the left VC with oil then once on the fwy again would show bluish smoke under hard acceleration. Closed throttle - high manifold vacuum pulling oil into chambers through pcv system &/or valve guides(worn guide seals).
Had the heads chk'd for the un-usual chamber cracks - pressure tested by a shop. Negative on coolant leaks. Valve guide seals were worn. Plus PO had submerged the car sucking water into #4 scoring the cyl walls. Compression/leakdown tests found that.

#5 Gloyale

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:53 AM

This is a normal experience for the EA82.

They changed the PCV system slightly to help, but still happens.

It's the nature of the "Flat" engine.

Sweeping right turns, oil slings up into the Valve covers, and into the "bottoms" of the cylinders. This washes the cylinder walls with oil, and the PCV system can suck oil.

If you have loose PCV hoses, a bad PCV, or some amount of blowby from worn rings, then it can be worse.

Make sure your PCV system is good, don't overfill the engine oil..........then don't worry.

#6 jj421

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:08 PM

Thanks for all the replies! I think I will start looking into the PCV valve and line(s), since that seems like the easiest, cheapest option. If that is all that it is, that would be fantastic. However, I do not know where the PCV valve is.... I've never replaced a PCV valve before, so excuse my ignorance, haha. But yeah, I don't know where it is, so if anyone could shed some light on that, that'd be great. :)

The EA82 engines can have cylinder head cracks also.


I've never had this problem before though. It just happened randomly one day. So if it is cylinder head cracks, could they be developing and in a couple months or so, my engine will be toast?

You might check the compression for pressures below 125 psi, which may indicate a problem, or at least time to have the valves and valve seats reground. Has the coolant overflow tank required adding coolant lately? If it has then you have a coolant leak inside the engine, since you also have white smoke.


I have no tools to check the compression levels. But if the PCV valve doesn't fix it, I might consider buying tools to test it. As far as the coolant goes, no, it hasn't required any addition. I've only had to put coolant in once in the past like six months that I've owned the car.

Also, I will note that there isn't oil in my coolant nor any coolant in my oil, as I know those are symptoms that come with bad head gaskets and cracked/warped heads/cylinders.

This is a normal experience for the EA82.

They changed the PCV system slightly to help, but still happens.

It's the nature of the "Flat" engine.


If it is indeed "normal," then I guess I am at the right place and right time for this to be happening. Like I said, I will see about the PCV valve, but I guess I shouldn't worry too much, which I haven't been anyways.

Edited by jj421, 06 October 2012 - 04:59 PM.





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