OUR V 6 AVALON SUDDENLY STARTED TO SMOKE HEAVILY...

2004 Toyota Avalon

Tiny

OldSteve

January, 4, 2013 AT 6:02 PM

Our V 6 Avalon suddenly started to smoke heavily on startup. It is about 50 to 60 degrees here but no freezing. The smoke goes away within 30 seconds and is white in color. It smells heavy saturated not just steam. No system errors on the dash. Does this car have a history of component failure that would cause this. What are the tests I can use to to find the problem. I do have a Cen Tec Scanner if that would be helpful even though no engine light errors show. No miss fire or other running issues.
Thanks Steve

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4 Answers

Tiny

Docfixit

January, 4, 2013 AT 6:42 PM

Suspect headgasket failure check coolant level and look at oil for presence of coolant will appear milkchocolate. If all good a pressure test of coolant system will help determine if headgaskets are at fault

Tiny

KHLow2008

January, 4, 2013 AT 6:55 PM

It could be condensation vapor coming out of exhaust. Normal for engine to behave thus when ambient temperature is low.

Tiny

OldSteve

January, 4, 2013 AT 8:42 PM

Thanks for the answers. I am aware of those possible causes of startup smoke as well as valveguide seals too. I do have 50 years of personal car repair experience just not much on computer electronic controlled systems or Toyota V6 2004 vintage tendencies. You guys helped me on checking smog system sensors recently. There is no evidence of Coolant loss or water in oil but the oil was a low. I added oil and will closely monitor usage.
I have owned the car for 5 years and have never seen near this level of smoke when starting cold so I am sure something has suddenly failed. My guess is a value guide seal. I just have never seen one go overnight. With the low mileage on the car and never having been over heated it would typically not be a head gasket, cracked head or block or even a value guide seal at this stage of motor life.
Any other suggestions or comments would be welcome. I thought about pulling the coil wire and turning it over in the morning then pulling the plugs to look for oil or water foiling. I gather it would tell me which head side is bad or if neither is bad.
So let me ask you: 1. Is this engine prone to early head gasket, head failure or vaule guide seal failure?
2. Am I right that a fuel mixture failure would have triggered a check engine light?
I appreciate you thoughts as I am questioning my own engine knowledge having never had a Toyota suffer from a fundimental engine issue at such low milage.
Thanks, Steve

Tiny

KHLow2008

January, 5, 2013 AT 5:50 PM

Neer heard of gasket failure for such engines if you don't have coolant losses or overheating problem.

For valve seals, though the mileage is low, the age of the seals are not so not surprising if they have hardened up.

Most emission problem would trigger trouble codes but some of them requires 2 trips to trigger the MIL.

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