1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

I'm white smoking- thoughts?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by rbgerrish, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. rbgerrish

    rbgerrish Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi folks,

    my 88 Suburban has started smoking. It doesnt always smoke- sometimes it wont for a while, and other times it'll blind 5 cars behind me! I'm no mechanic, but I enjoy learning about my trucks and working on them. I'm looking for any suggestions as to what I should do about my smoking problem. This engine has about 150,000 miles on it. (FI 350 Chevy) I dont want to take it to a dealer, but I might look for a good mechanic in my area.

    Many thanks,
    Ryan
     
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Welcome to plowsite.

    If your sure it's white smoke,it must be burning coolant.Is the coolant level dropping at all ? Most likely it's just a head gasket.

    If's it blue smoke it could be burning oil,like bad valve stem seals,broken ring,etc.It could also be a bad trans modulator valve if it has one.

    I'd first try to determine exactly what it is burning,and then try to isolate it.Finding a good mechanic would be a big help.
     
  3. rbgerrish

    rbgerrish Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    thanks Wyldman!

    The truck IS in fact loosing coolant, but it isnt leaking it on to the ground.

    ryan
     
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It is most likely a head gasket then.You can pull the plugs and check to see if you can spot which cylinder it's getting into.A compression test may help pinpoint it too,but not always.

    Another thing to check is the condition of the oil.If it has a lot of coolant in it then get it fixed quickly,to prevent damage to the rest of the engine,and change it after the repair.It may take a few oil changes to get all the milky stuff out.Shortening the oil change interval may be required for the next few oil changes until it goes away.
     
  5. rbgerrish

    rbgerrish Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Cool. Any idea what a head gasket replacement might cost and how long it should take a typical mechanic?

    thanks again,
    ryan
     
  6. rbgerrish

    rbgerrish Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Another thing, the truck goes through power steering fluid much more quickly than coolant. Could it be burning that?
     
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It is probably an external leak on the PS fluid.It has no way of getting into the engine.

    The book time for the head gasket would be 7.8 hrs for the right side,8.8 hrs for the left side,or 13.3 hrs to do both.I would seriously consider doing both if you want it done right.While the heads are off you might want to consider having them check for straightness and to see if they need to be rebuilt.Now would be the time to do it,so you don't have to worry about tearing it all apart any time soon.

    The head gasket sets are cheap,under $100.00.Use a good set like detroit gasket or fel-pro.
     
  8. bds landscaping

    bds landscaping Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    it could also just be a bad gasket for the intake manifold a friend of mine had the same problem he got it fixed for $200 but if you want to save money you could definatly do it your self.
     
  9. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Probably a head gasket,but can be an intake gasket,either way the intake has to come off,look at the intake gasket once its off,especially around the coolant passages int the front corners,and rear corners on the engine.