1997 Honda Prelude white smoke but mechanic said no problem

Tiny
MATHIASREESE
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA PRELUDE
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 134,687 MILES
My 97 honda prelude recently had its radiator replaced due to corrosion. Since then, the car has occasionally sputtered out white smoke that smells like gasoline when started. The smoke disappears when the engine warms. I took it to a mechanic fearing the car had overheated at some point and antifreeze was leaking into the engine from a head gasket problem. Even though there were no performance problems and there was no discoloration of the engine oil. The mechanic checked this through compression tests, etc. And told me he didn't find a problem even though he did see the smoke at one startup. (He kept the car for several days). He suggested that this may be normal for my car at its age. This mechanic's shop is a very reputable one in this area. But it is still going on, and I am still worried.
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Sunday, May 11th, 2008 AT 6:56 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
If its not due to condensation-Get it block and pressure tested to find out why its burning coolant in the combustion chamber-
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Sunday, May 11th, 2008 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Sounds like you could have a leaking fuel injector that is slowly leaking fuel when the car is off, filling a cylinder with raw fuel so when you start it, the cylinder is flooded out. A test your mechanic can do is a fuel injector balance test or he can remove the plugs when cold and turn over engine and see if he sees fuel or coolant. Also is your car losing coolant?
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Sunday, May 11th, 2008 AT 7:06 PM
Tiny
MATHIASREESE
  • MEMBER
It looks as if I am not losing any coolant, if I am, it is not noticeable or discolored. Is a block and pressure test different than a compression and leakdown test? I may have the mechanic look into the fuel injector.
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Monday, May 12th, 2008 AT 9:43 AM
Tiny
JASON CARSON
  • MEMBER
I had a similar problem a couple years ago with a car and it turned out it wasn't gas or coolant I smelled burning it was oil. The person that owned the car before me didn't keep up on oil changes and what happened was the oil caked up inside of a valve seat and wouldn't let the valve close all the way thus leaking oil into the cylinder when it wasn't running then when I would start it in the morning it would puff white smoke stinky smoke. But after it had been started and ran it wouldn't smoke again unless I let it sit over night or for a long period of time. So you may want to look into this and see if you might need your valve seats reground its a pretty common problem and it seems to match the description you gave and with the age of the car its not unheard of. Also if you did have had a cooling problem and it got hot more than once oil will dry up and build up on many different parts when the engine reaches higher temps mainly on your valves and valve train resulting in sticky valves which in turn results in white smoke when you start the car there is a very good possibility this is your problem hope this was some help to you.
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Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 AT 10:03 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi jason carson,

It is not sticky valves that cused your problem. Replacing the valve seals would have solved your problem.

Valve seals harden over time and when it happens, oil is being burnt when engine is running but it does not come out in volume.

When engine is not running, oil leaks through the seals and stays in the inlet manifold or combustion chamber depending on the valve position.

If valves had stuck, the engine would not have run well.
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Thursday, July 10th, 2008 AT 9:25 AM

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