Smoke when car warms up

Due to an accident, my car (90 LS) has been sitting in the garage for around 6 months. When I turn the key, the engine starts with no problems, and idles fine. But when it reaches normal operating temperature, it starts to smoke seriously thru tailpipe. Would it be just cracked/dried out valve seals, or should I check something else?

What color is the smoke? Blue, black or white?

White, and has a very strong ‘exhaust’ smell…

Hmm, have you ran the car in the freeway? If its white smoking and covering cars for; lets say two blocks / that my friend is a head gasket

No, I haven’t taken it out of the garage… If I start it and leave it idling, there’s no smoke unless you rev it say around 3000rpm or so. I was thinking the problem is valve seals, and replacing them and doing the job right, would require a new head gasket anyway… so it was in the plan. What about the piston rings?

The thing is that some @sshole broke my windshield for no reason in the parking lot of a mall, and I had a hard time finding the replacement here. In the mean time, I started my car every other day to keep the engine in shape… then I ran out of gas and postponed the trip to the gas station with a container for a too long… the battery died… then I got caught up at work, so I couldn’t start the car for a couple of months. When I finally did, it started with no hesitation, and after it warmed up (say 20minutes idling), it started smoking when I revved it…

Sounds like moisture condensation in your exhaust. Its basically steam. Let it run for a while and see if it boils off.

Hmm… I don’t think it is condensation because the smoke is thick, and does not dissipate as steam would…

The white smoke from a blown headgasket does not dissipate as easily as stream does there’s other stuff in it than just water (like antifreeze). As bad as it sounds id say you have a blown headgasket.

Does it run like shit too? Also if you keep running it like that you could cause further damage…it most likely is the head gasket or a cracked head…if you take it apart be sure to check for cracks at the valve seats and all that just to be sure. Oh yeah, and check your coolant level. If you’re not sure fill it up and rev it a few times, then check to see if you lost any.

Oh no, I’m not driving it like that! Since I replaced the windshield a couple of months ago, I noticed the problem after the car has been sitting for months in the garage.

But why would the head gasket die when the car is not being used? I understand the valve seals, because they dry out, right?

Hmm, that I really don’t know. Was it out of coolant or something?

Actually no, I had brand new coolant and had recently done an oil change a couple of weeks before the incident (broken windshield). Even the oil is still clear. I even dropped a cap-full of clean engine oil inside the cylinders before trying to start it after months of inactivity, to prevent turning the engine with dry rings/cylinders…

Sounds like a blown head gasket to me as well. I don’t recommend running it while smoking either. If you do so, not only can you do further damage to the engine by enlarging the weak point in the faulty gasket but you could introduce that moisture into the exhaust system causing rust-through. I know this from experience! In fact, I did exactly what you did. I started the engine every other day or so, letting it run until it began to smoke then turned it off. Eventually I starting disconnecting everything to remove the head.
When it was time for me to move to a larger place, I had no way to tow the car, so I said wtf! I bolted the VC back on, reconnected everything and I drove it! It was only 2 miles. It smoked viciously for the first 2 blocks. I got stuck at a traffic light for a few minutes. It was torture!! So embarassing. Where were the 20mph winds THAT day? Surprisingly, it STOPPED smoking after the 3rd block - not even a puff. The heat must have expanded the metal and put pressure on the gasket - I don’t know.
Once I got it to the new place, I continued to start it everyday. I even drove it around the block a few times. It was too good to be true…because when that thing started smoking again…boy did it SMOKE!! MUCH worse than before! The last straw was when I cranked it up one afternoon and it sounded like water was slushing around in the engine. It sputtered and popped. That’s when I realized what that mysterious brown stain was in my new driveway… It was water leaking out of a rusted hole in my muffler. I got under the car with my screwdriver to examine the hole and ended up punching right through the muffler! So now, not only am I replacing all of my gaskets and seals(and hoses), but I have to get a new muffler as well - this time a real one.
I’m in the process of changing the head gasket now…

The moral of this story is…“If it smokes, it must be broke(s)!” So do like that Vault commercial and “Get to it!”

My friend’s 240SX just went through this, first the head gasket blew, and he replaced it but it still ran like crap, took it to the dealer to find the head was cracked, it had jumped time, and the piston rings were blown. So be careful LOL

How ironic. I’ve been driving my girlfriend’ 240sx in place of my teg for the last year or so and what do you think happens? Yes! It too blew the head gasket. It has gotten to the point now where it begins to overheat within 10 minutes of idling/driving. Then the sputtering and lagging kicks in making it pretty much undrivable. I’m sure the head is cracked too - it’s been driving hot for waaay too long! No rebuild for that one - JDM swap sounds much better.

So, what would you guys recommend? Check the head for cracks, if it’s fine, just replace head gasket and valve seals?