2002 Nissan Sentra Tricky Smoke

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 60,000 MILES
I have a problem with my 2002 Nissan Sentra. It has 60k miles and I've maintained it with regular maintenance and oil changes since I bought it in '05. The problem is white smoke coming from the engine and the exhaust. I've researched this online ad nauseum and found different answers for different specific situations. My details are as follows: The smoke from the exhaust is very faint except for during acceleration it is more visible, but not extremely thick (can't see it from driving the car, but it's noticeable from behind); the smoke from the engine is coming from the opposite side from the belts, it's very localized, and a continuous plume can be seen as soon as the engine warms up. When pressing the accelerator, the engine smoke does become thicker, but still can be seen at all times. I always have normal engine temperature, maintain a normal oil level over time, have normal coolant levels, and all other fluid levels are normal. The exact source of the engine smoke is obstructed from view but appears to be coming from low on the front of the engine (don't know technical terms for the parts of the engine). It's difficult to properly self-diagnose this problem because most of the helpful answers online are conditional answers seemingly irrelevant to my situation. I'm skeptical about taking it to a mechanic because I don't really know any in my area and this seems like a situation that would be easliy taken advantage of. Any help you may be able to provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time,

Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, December 28th, 2008 AT 10:34 PM

1 Reply


Most of the time white smoke out the exhaust means a blown head gasket.

The smoke from the engine is hard to say based off of what you have said. If you can take a pic and put an arrow on it that may be helpful.

You might check your oil for anti freeze and your anti freeze for oil.

Again, white smoke is usually a blown head gasket.
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 12:24 AM

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