Mechanics

SMOKES ON START UP

1990 Toyota Camry

Hi,

I have a 1990 Camry with around 65000 miles. I do not know the engine size or anything about the maintenance history other than the CV joints were recently replaced and the person I bought it from said the oil had been changed regularly. The last oil change was in May, shortly after getting the car. I plan on changing the plugs and wires soon.

I've cleaned the throttle body, although I didn't really do a good job, I didn't have something to really get in there and I don't think I used enough deep creep(first time cleaning a throttle body). The car didn't smoke after cleaning the throttle body, that was in late July. I've also added 1/3 of a bottle of seafoam(small bottle) to my gas tank, but that was about 170 miles ago, also in July.


Three days ago, my car almost didn't start and when it finally did I was surrounded by white/gray looking smoke. The car hadn't been driven in 6 days. The car has been fine since buying it in May (other than a known exhaust leak). The smoke could have been blue, i'm not sure. I have a hole in my exhaust pipe so the smoke just kind of emanated up and around me so it may have been blue but looked gray/white because it was dispersed.

The car does not smoke while driving(that I can see) or for longer than a minute after starting. It starts, smokes, then it's ok. I sometimes go more than a week without driving the car. I rarely drive the car daily. The first time the car smoked upon starting I didn't really notice a smell, it just smelled like exhaust. The next day, the car smoked again upon starting and had a bad odor. I'm not sure I know the smell of burning oil but this was a nasty smell. The best I can describe it is like exhaust only worse. The smoke wasn't as bad and my car wasn't as hard to start the second day either. I checked the oil level today and it was ok.

I've done some research online and my symptoms seem to point to valve stem seals, but i'm no gear head by any means. What do y'all think?
Avatar
X90camry90x
September 19, 2007.



Hello!

You`re right! Valve steam seals bad.

(even a drop of oil makes a lot of smoke)

Tiny
Fisherman
Sep 20, 2007.
Hi Fisherman,

Thanks for the confirmation. Do you or anyone else know of a way to get it to stop without having the seals replaced? Heavier oil or something like that? I'm going to keep an eye on my oil so it doesn't get low.

By the way, I started it up the 3rd day after the initial smoke out and it didn't smoke at all. If it did it was too little to notice. I'm assuming that's because i've driven it everyday since it first smoked upon start up and maybe the seals didn't dry out enough to let the oil through. But again, i'm no gear head and really have no idea what i'm talking about. Lol

Tiny
X90camry90x
Sep 21, 2007.
You can use heavier oil and replace the PVC valve. You can change the seals without removing the head with a special tool.

Rasmataz
Sep 21, 2007.
Yes seal is the only fix, its eather a 4 or 6 cylinder. And the previous owner didnt change oil properly

Tiny
Buzzsaw
Sep 21, 2007.
Yes seal is the only fix, its eather a 4 or 6 cylinder. And the previous owner didnt change oil properly[/quote: ee514003df]

Thanks both of you. : )

I'm not that skilled with car repair so i'm not even going to try to change the seals myself. I can do minor stuff, that's about it. Oh, I do know that the car is a 4 cylinder, I just don't know the horsepower etc.

What could I expect to pay at a shop to have the valves stem seals replaced?

FYI.I didn't drive the car for 4 days and when I went to drive it today it started fine and didn't smoke at all(that I noticed). The exhaust smell is getting worse though. I'm going to get the exhaust leak repaired soon. If the seals were going bad or already gone shouldn't it have smoked after sitting for 4 days? Some oil should have dripped down in that time shouldn't it?

I've changed some habits with the car.I let it warm up longer and let it idle for a minute or so after driving before shutting it off. Could those minor changes in my treatment of the car have made a difference?

Thanks

Tiny
X90camry90x
Sep 24, 2007.
Yes seal is the only fix, its eather a 4 or 6 cylinder. And the previous owner didnt change oil properly[/quote: 51e872bd28]

Thanks both of you. : )

I'm not that skilled with car repair so i'm not even going to try to change the seals myself. I can do minor stuff, that's about it. Oh, I do know that the car is a 4 cylinder, I just don't know the horsepower etc.

What could I expect to pay at a shop to have the valves stem seals replaced?

FYI.I didn't drive the car for 4 days and when I went to drive it today it started fine and didn't smoke at all(that I noticed). The exhaust smell is getting worse though. I'm going to get the exhaust leak repaired soon. If the seals were going bad or already gone shouldn't it have smoked after sitting for 4 days? Some oil should have dripped down in that time shouldn't it?

I've changed some habits with the car.I let it warm up longer and let it idle for a minute or so after driving before shutting it off. Could those minor changes in my treatment of the car have made a difference?

Thanks[/quote: 51e872bd28]
changing habits is a good thing, sometimes it will smoke and some it wont, changing oil more frequently may help also, stp oil treatment

Tiny
Buzzsaw
Sep 25, 2007.