2001 Toyota Camry Car Blowing White smoke

Tiny
2001CAMRY
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • V6
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 72,000 MILES
I have a 2001 camry with 72000 miles on it and it has been blowing white smoke on startup for a while. Not just a little smoke, this is a huge amount of smoke. I have to add oil about a qt a week. The engine seemed to be running fine until recently when it started having trouble when it would shift gears. The rpms would go high and it wouldn't shift until I took my foot off the gas and back on again. I took it to Toyota and they said the whole exhaust needs to be replaced from the manifold down because it was all clogged and it needs the valve cover gaskets replaced for a cost of $3400.
My question is, could the smoking and the leaking gaskets be the cause of the exhaust problem and if I fix all this how do I know if there isn't any other problem with the engine?
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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 AT 6:23 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:

Wow! That is the first time in 30+ years that I ever heard of that. If the exhaust isn't rusted with holes in it and leaking, I see no reason to replace the entire thing. The ONLY thing I have ever seen clog was the catalytic converter. I have also seen mufflers come apart inside, but never did they plug.

The white smoke has me concerned. Usually white smoke indicates coolant it getting into the engine's combustion chamber. Have you had to add coolant?
Take a look at this and let me know if it is what you see,

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/white-smoke-or-steam-coming-from-the-exhaust-pipe
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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 AT 6:43 PM
Tiny
2001CAMRY
  • MEMBER
Yup, that's what I see. No, haven't had to add coolant, just oil.
On the exhaust I got the same answer from 2 different places. They said I think converter had broken down. Something about all the cats were gone and clogging up everything. Needed to be changed from the manifold down.
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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 AT 5:43 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If two shops said the same thing, then I can't argue with it. However, I don't understand why the cats can't be replaced and the rest of the system cleaned out.
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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
2001CAMRY
  • MEMBER
I don't know either. I've never had a check engine light come on which I think is strange. Could the smoke and the leaking gaskets cause all that and how do I know nothing else is wrong in the engine? I'm thinking of getting rid of the car even though I don't want to.
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Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 AT 6:26 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
DId you look at the link I sent? Is there that much smoke? If there is, I feel it has something to do with the head gasket. Not saying that the converters aren't bad, but I don't understand why you would get a ton of white smoke from a plugged exhaust.
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Sunday, August 24th, 2014 AT 8:34 PM

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