How Tos / Q&A

Mailbag: Reading Smoke Signals

Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re helping a reader find the source of mysterious white smoke.

 

J.M. • Cola, SC
Q: I have a 1984 Pontiac Bonneville with a Chevy 350. White smoke has been coming out of the left exhaust pipe and I can’t figure out what’s causing it. Is it bad valve seals? One of my projects was to replace the heads, so is there anything I can look out for along the way to fix this issue? Thanks for all of the help.

A: White smoke is caused by water, so somehow moisture is getting in the cylinders. When you’re removing your heads, keep an eye out for poorly sealed or blown out gaskets. If that doesn’t seem to be the case, examine the cylinder heads for cracks or surface irregularities. Moisture is likely getting into your engine one of these ways.

If you’ve diagnosed a problem with your existing gaskets, check out our How to Choose a Gasket post to start down the path to better sealing. Good luck!

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.