If I understand you correctly, the car died just sitting there idling. When you say you tried to start it, the starter was turning over but it wasn't starting? Or you turned the key on, the dash light came on but nothing happens?
I am going with it was turning over (correct me if I am wrong) - you noticed the white smoke out of the intake.
Have you been loosing any anti-freeze? How much is in there now?
If the engine is turning over, then remove the oil filler cap. You need to be able to see inside the valve covers to see the lifters. Have someone try and start the car - the belts should be spinning. While they are spinning look inside the valve cover and see if the lifters are moving up and down.
If you are able to pull codes that would be great. You could go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for free they can pull the codes to the car. Most important. Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for free also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter.
If not - let me know what you find out with the above. Also, please be specific on your car. There are several to choose from. Is your just a Ciera, or is it a Ciera Cruiser? It is a V6 but is it a 2.8L or 3.8L. Please be specific here.
Thanks and let me know
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 AT 2:58 PM