1999 Dodge Durango 99 Dodge Durnago White Smoke Wont Start

Tiny
BYEZNBY
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 DODGE DURANGO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 99,000 MILES
5.9 liter engine

OK, I have a serious issue. My car would barely start in the mornings so we replaced spark plugs and stuff. It seemed to help, but then it started not wanting to crank again and now white smoke comes out of the air filter. When starting the car would try to start and sort of jump like everything is trying hard to start it but it would sound like it gave out of air / like if you let steam out of something pressurized it what it sounded like. We took it to a mechanic and he has had it THREE weeks and still is NOT SURE what is causing this. He said he checked the fuel pump and it is fine so not it. I do know the fuel pump engaged when I turned on the car when it would not start. Now I am upset and angry because I want my car back and fixed NOW. When I would start it before, it would turn over and over and sometimes it may start while other times it never did until the battery died. We would have to jump it off literally for a hour or so to get it to finally crank. White smoke would come out of the air filter under the hood I noticed and if I drove it sometimes it would want to die off if I stopped or if I gave it gas it would studder a bit. This all started a few months back and we have nobody to help us and a mechanic who is hoarding my car and will not tell us the cost or what is wrong! My husband took off the catalyst converter and we got another one but never replaced it but it did not solve any of the cranking issues and made it VERY LOUD :( Bad advice yes we know, but we did buy a new one and the "mechanic that has it now is supposed to put it on for us "UGG. We need help because I got to have my car I mean people work here and I am in desperate need of it. PLEASE HELP!It is a 5.9 liter engine. Before I couldnt drive it because of fear it not cranking after I shut it off so this is not good for my kids and me and we just need help. OH the mechanic also said it could be something in the ignition switch part etc too, but what does this have to do with the white smoke that started awhile back? Im no grease gal but I do read up on my car and I am at wits end.
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 5:28 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Did he check to see if the engine is getting spark? I'm questioning the crank sensor. It tells the ignition when to fire. If it is off, it may cause the engine to fire at the wrong time and puff smoke through the intake. Was the check engine light on?
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
CON_FUSE9
  • MEMBER
With all your descriptions of engine dying, won't start, smoke coming out the wrong end etc. I would recommend you ask for a compression check. Good compression tells you (at least to an extent) that mechanically everything is working O.K. There is a chance that you may have blown a head gasket or other similar failure that is allowing water into the cylinder (white smoke) and it won't show up on compression check.

Once that is done, and all the numbers are O.K. And even across all the cylinders, I would look to the computer - and not just scan for codes, but look at the data signals coming from the various sensors.
The reason is simple. Since the motor runs (even poorly) you probably have enough fuel (and therefor fuel pressure), air and spark. The computer's job is to make sure you have the right amounts of each. I would look at the error codes for clues, but I would like to see all the various signals coming in at reasonable levels.

I haven't worked on a 5.2l in a while (I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee) but I remember them being pretty reasonable to work on so I suspect a competent mechanic could do the above in about 2hrs.

This wouldn't qualify as a repair - but as a diagnosis.

If the mechanic is actually taking 3 weeks, its time to come to either an understanding with the mechanic (he's obviously working other jobs) or find a new mechanic.
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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 1:22 PM
Tiny
BYEZNBY
  • MEMBER
He called the other day and said it could be a ignition or ground wire issue. He said he changed the camshaft sensor etc. I thought the same too that he is just doing other vehicles instead of fully working to find my issues on mine. I stressed to him that I can't be without my car much longer and that this is getting annoying having to call him like I do.

The PCM was replaced about a year ago due to having that 'no bus' thing happening and it fixed the problem from that. I havent seen anymore codes come up in my mileage window since it was replaced, but the check engine light would start coming on when I tried to crank it and ding etc.

I will call him today about the compression check. He has not said anything about head gaskets at all so with it smoking (white smoke out the air filter) tells me something is wrong in that department too but then AGAIN. I know nothing about this car sadly :(

THhank you both for your comments and I accept any more anyone can come up with. I got to get my car done and I gave him until Monday and it gets towed to another mechanic.
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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 12:01 PM
Tiny
BYEZNBY
  • MEMBER
Yea he did do that I think"". The check engone light was not previously on, but when the car got to where it could not start at all if barely is when the check engine light dinged on during me trying to crank it. And then I noticed sometimes when I drove it when we did get it crunk it would stay on. It was not on before all this started but it did come on during cranking it and ding.
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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
CON_FUSE9
  • MEMBER
Thinking about this one. I believe the engine's vent is connected to the air filter. The input side if the PCV system.

So if you have a mechanical issue - like bad rings - the smoke from ignition will pressurize the crank case and blow out the vent (and into the air cleaner assembly).

Again, Ultimately you will want to do a compression check - just to be sure that mechanically everything is working.

As for replacing sensors until something works - that's for the birds. Put an o-scope on it and watch the pulses - any hiccup in the pulses and it could be anything for a small crack in the wheel to a bad sensor or bad ground. Of course sometimes replacing a sensor is cheaper than diagnosing one.
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Thursday, September 17th, 2009 AT 12:26 PM
Tiny
BYEZNBY
  • MEMBER
Well, I have relayed everything posted here and the mechanic finally goes with it is a 'ground wire' issue and tells me it could be complicated? I am frustrated at this point. Almost now 6 weeks the car now is going through another mechanic.
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Monday, September 21st, 2009 AT 10:28 PM

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