2000 Toyota Sienna Grey smoke comes out at the exhaust pipe

Tiny
BEW
  • 2000 TOYOTA SIENNA

Engine Performance problem
2000 Toyota Sienna 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 103000 miles

I've noticed that almost every time I take a long drive for 1.5-2 hours or around 100 miles and stop the car to rest around 15-30 minutes, when I come back to start the engine there will be some grey smoke comes out around 3-5 seconds from the exhaust pipe and disappear then. By the way, my car runs smooth and it was already tuned up at 95000 miles. Water pump and timing belt had been changed already. Moreover, two of O2 censors has been changed but the one after the CAT has not been changed yet. Is there any problem with the engine? Why the grey smoke comes out? How much do I have to pay for fixing this problem?

Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 AT 9:40 AM

25 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

So tell me are you using oil or antifreeze? Get back to me on that.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 AT 10:34 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

What do you mean about oil or antifreeze? If it's engine oil, I change regular engine oil every 3000 miles at STS or Strauss. If it's antifreeze/coolant for radiator I have never changed it yet.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

What I mean is check the oil and see if it is low. Then check the anti freeze in the radiator and see if it is low. If you have never changed antifreeze in 103,000 it more then time. Anyway let me know what you find with those fluid levels and we will go from there.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 8:58 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

I will check fluid level and change antifreeze as you advise. Any problem after that I will get back to you. Thank you very much.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 9:54 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

I don't mean you have to change the antifreeze now. I am saying it is do. This may not fix anything other then it is time to be changed. Now let me know if any of the fluids are low as this may help with figuring out why it smokes ok. Thanks.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, June 13th, 2009 AT 8:37 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

I already checked the oil and antifreeze level. They are all fine(not low).

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, June 13th, 2009 AT 8:29 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

Well to get gray smoke you are either burining oil or antifreeze. How often do you fill the coolant res?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 15th, 2009 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

For the coolant, I haven't filled it since it's never low. For the oil, I fill it about half QT. Every 3 weeks or a month because I usually have to drive a long way.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 15th, 2009 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

Well for piece of mind you could have a shop do a chemical test on your car to make sure there is nothing wrong internally. What a chemical test is, is a fluid in a tube that is put on the radiator where the cap goes and then is run and if the chemical changes color you have exhaust gases getting into the radiator and that means coolant is getting into the engine you could also do a coolant pressure test just to make sure there is no leak there either. How is you mileage sense this smoke started?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 AT 10:30 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

The smoke comes at around 93000-95000 miles. There is one thing I don't understand, if the coolant is getting into the engine why the coolant level is not low? I just changed the coolant this Sunday and I noticed on Monday that after driving for 1 hour there is a small group of grey smoke came out few seconds when I started the engine. By the way, if I have to test and fix it how much do I have to pay for?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 AT 9:46 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

OK you haven't told me this before. This is why I say all info is important. Smoke only come out after driving for a bit then parking it and restarting it? If this is true then you just have the signs of an engine getting tired. Meaning that at this point you have a small amount of oil getting past the valve guide seals and into the engine when you start it, it burn this off and then no more smoke for a bit. Is this what is going on? Let me know.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 AT 9:47 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

- For your question "Smoke only come out after driving for a bit then parking it and restarting it?" Yes, it comes out when I have a long drive(1 hour up) but it doesn't happen when I drive for a short time (15-30 minutes)

-Another question is "it burn this off and then no more smoke for a bit. Is this what is going on?" Yeah, let me give you a little more detail about this. After a group of smoke comes out this long trip next long drive it may not come out.

If the problem is as you think, what should I tell the techinician to fix it and how much for fixing cost?

Thank you.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 AT 10:09 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

It can be a bit costly to do a valve job if that is indeed what the car is needing. Now have you noticed and drop in MPG? See what I feel might be happening and it is very hard to say sense I can't see the vehicle and the smoke and such is that you drive the car warms up oil gets very hot (this is normal) and this thins the oil now it can get into weak areas that it normaly wouldn't like a cracked or weak valve stem seal. As the car is sitting once it has been good and hot a valve or two are open and this oil gets past the seal or seals and gets into the cylinder when you start the car after this it burns the oil off and you get some smoke till it is gone from the cylinder therefore no more smoke till it sits for a bit again. So what you can do is pull the spark plugs and look at them and look for any that might have a shine to them or oil residue this will answer which cylinders if any are doing this. Hope this helps let me know how things go.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 9:36 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

The MPG is normal.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 9:27 PM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

I will check spark plug on Monday and I will let you know the result then. By the way, how long can I drive with this problem exists?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 9:30 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

Well that just depends on how it persists. I have seen engines last years this way. If you like include a pic of the plugs and the smoke if you can catch that and I will look at them and let you know what I think. Thanks.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, June 19th, 2009 AT 8:48 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_007_1.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_010_1.jpg



I attached the coolant photos to you too. After I changed the new coolant /antifreeze last 2 weeks(June 14th) I mark the level of it with the black line(it's above the word "full"). From that day till June 19th I drove around 180 miles and the coolant level drop to the orange line. And from June 19th to today(June 22nd) I drove about 300 miles and I notice that the coolant level drop to its current level as you see in the attached photo.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_011_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_012_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_013_1.jpg



These 3 pics are the front spark plugs from left to right.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_009_1.jpg



This pic is the rear spark plugs.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_014_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_015_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/337098_36193606_016_1.jpg



These 3 pics are the holes of front spark plugs from left to right.

Sorry that I can't take the photo of the smoke for you. Yesterday it came a little bit after I start the engine after driving around 25 miles

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 22nd, 2009 AT 10:35 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
  • 5,140 POSTS

Well the plugs look like they have coolant deposits on them. So what I would do is find a shop that will do a chemical test on the engine. What they will do is put a tub on the radiator neck with the cap off and put a chemical in it and if the chemical changes color then you have a blown head gasket. Let me know how this goes.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Please consider a donation if we helped you
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 AT 9:02 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

Ok I will have it tested on Wednesday and will let you know the result then.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 AT 9:23 AM
Tiny
BEW
  • MEMBER

I went to a shop today to have a chemical test. I also told the techinician about the systom of my car. He didn't do the test but he said it should be leak or crack at the head gasket. He said the cost for fixing this may rise up to around $1000 if the head gasket is cracked. In case the gasket doesn't crack I may have to pay around $250. Should I let him fix it?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 AT 10:31 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Related Smoke Grey Questions

Recommended articles