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Discussion Starter #1
Well, heres another issue that I sure could use nsome insight. I know, headgaskets. Heard that a lot. But heres the symptoms. Smoke coming out of tailpipe pretty good. And sometimes, but not all the time smoke is coming up from the back of the motor straight up towards hood when hood is opened. Could be both at same time, could be just tailpipe but is always tailpipe whether its coming up from rear of motor or not. Now, the fluid info. Theres no antifreeze ever leaking Im sure as everytime I open the radiator cap the antifreeze is at the same level. right at the top. Always. Theres barely any oil consumption. A quart here, quart there but thats few and far between. Has 115k miles. Is the 6 cyl 2.5 and a 1998 year sebring conv jx or jxi. No oil all caked under the motor like a lot of em have. Transmission fluid level seems like its staying the same always. Never any overheating. ever on the gauge. And the gauge works. Starts out at low, then after warms up its half way right where its always registered. So what in the world. Oil is only thing thats getting added and like I said thats very rare in between oil changes. It was in a front end fender bender that hit medium hard. Not tear up hard but hard enough to bend that drivers side long I beam inwards an inch. Any ideas? Ya'll always know something or another that always helps. Thanks, Marc!
 

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That's odd, and it almost sounds like there's something stuck to the exhaust that's burning when it gets hot...
 

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What colour and smell have the smoke?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The color is a nice white. Not blue or bluish that I can tell. The smell isnt a running hot type smell, more like a hardly no smell type of smell. Burning oil smell if I had to label it at all but not really that strong. Its so weird. And theres still no loss of antifreeze, transmission fluid that I could tell or oil really but I only drove 50 miles this morn. There might have been a tiny less oil on dipstick when I got back. Maybe. I doubt it but maybe.Heres the update from last night when I wrote the post. This morning I got up and drove about 50 miles. 25 there and 25 back. The white smoke was coming out the tail pipe nice and kind of thick after 7 or so miles. I could see it at a red light in my rearview. Then I kept going and got the rest of the way to the 25 mile point. I parked, went inside for 15 mins and when I came back out there was zero drips or puddles or any liquid whatsoever on the ground. I cranked engine and the smoke wasnt coming up from behind the motor when I opened the hood, the tail pipes werent shooting smoke out anymore, so it all seemed to be fixed. Now, I headed back home 25 more miles. No smoke coming out of tailpipes I could see at red light like when I was on way to the place the 1st 25 miles earlier and when I got home, none coming up from behind the motor when I lifted the hood. It was like it was all good. Weird. And its not just some little bit when it does it either. When its doing it, the under hood smoke coming up from the back of the motor is there, nice and thick and noticeable. Tailpipes blowing out same white smoke as under hood nice and thick and plentiful. When I had it on the ramps in my driveway doing the fender swap and body work stuff at the front end could it be the sitting up on the ramps for 2 or 3 days not being good for it? I dont know, Im so perplexed with this odd situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot tom mention, its the one that was in the wreck where the airbags got deployed. And the front is a little off center now. Like the front clip dont line up right anymore and the used fender that came off a gold one isnt lining up right. The front is about an inch off to the left. In other words everything everywhere in the front is an inch to the left now. I have to bend this, beat that and swap a few things out to make the front end look like everythings not an inch the wrong way. And to get the hood to close I had to beat the part thats on the hood, the part that goes into the latch, I had to beat it about an inch or more to the left to get the hood to latch again. It was a pain in the u know what to swap the broken plastic parts, bend the unbroken parts an inch and try to make it look like it wasnt in a wreck. Does anyone think theres a place that can just bend the front back to where it was? Id love to get that inch back so everything would line up right again. You know, like the way it all used to be? Thanks!
 

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The 2.5 V6 is based off the 3.0 Mitsubishi motor. If I had to guess on the smoking:
1) The 3.0 was notorious for oil leaks, especially the valve covers. Because it leaks right onto the head, a small leak could make lots of smoke.
2) The 3.0 was also notorious for bad valve stem seals (even after the valve guide problems were fixed). Because it tends to suck oil into the engine during the exhaust stroke (rather than burning it during the combustion process) a little oil makes a lot of smoke and it is most visible at warm idle and just off idle, like sitting at a traffic light then pulling away.

I know the 3.0 in Chrysler trim was a SOHC design and I think the 2.5 is a DOHC design but I'd bet they are still similar enough to share the same oil issues.
 

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Yeah, that's perplexing. Steam from condensation in the exhaust system?

valiant67, the 3.0 was definitely notorious for oil burning/leaking, but when my 3.0 started to really smoke from the valve seals, the smoke was bluish with a distinctive odor. I had to add oil (10W-40) much more frequently than what OP describes, especially in warm weather, and I started measuring miles to the quart of oil. Also, I never saw the oil smoking from under the hood even though my 3.0 leaked oil at a decent rate.

At one point, I also had a small coolant leak from the one rubber hose going into the heater core that threw out some smoke near the windshield, but again, the loss of coolant was noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ahh, I see. So there prob is oil burning and I just havent driven it enough to realize how much its using or the rate of consumption. See, I havent had car very long at all and havent driven it yet on a regular basis. Man, this sucks. If I put new valve covers on it would that help or maybe even fix the whole issue with the smoking? Because were kinda sure its not the head gaskets since theres no coolant whatsoever missing and when headgaskets are blown or bad doesnt the dipstick show a little water or have a milky look to it? So prob not headgaskets I hope and assume. I can do the valve covers and while I have everything taken off to get to valve covers I can probably get to other things it would need like the plugs in the rear of the motor and the wires. And as long as I got it tore down to get to valve covers isnt there some other stuff I should while I got access? And should I even be thinking about valve covers as an option here or is my thinking getting a little off track? If I am supposed to do a valve cover job, does anyone have any suggestions about how to do it the absolute right way so I only have to do it the one time. You prob know theres a lot of stuff to take off to get to just the back 3 spark plugs on these motors. So while I'm there Id love to know what all you would do while nits open and accessible. THANKS!!
 

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Head gaskets can just leak oil. Coolant and oil doesn't have to be mixing. These are MLS gaskets and sometimes a bolt re-torque will stop (or slow) an external oil leak.
Burning coolant will be more steam and can have a sweet odor. There is no mistaking a burning oil smell.
The 2.5L did share in some oil burning problems like the 3.0L did, just not as bad. If it is minor, I wouldn't worry about it. There are 32 valve seals and this would be almost too big of a job (with special valve spring tools involved) to do in a driveway in a day without experience. The rear head is awkward to get at and is usually the one needing work.
Our JX did smoke out the exhaust after sitting awhile (usually over the winter with occasional warm ups), but was much better after replacing the cat and has been good lately.
 

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valiant67, the 3.0 was definitely notorious for oil burning/leaking, but when my 3.0 started to really smoke from the valve seals, the smoke was bluish with a distinctive odor. I had to add oil (10W-40) much more frequently than what OP describes, especially in warm weather, and I started measuring miles to the quart of oil.
I had a 1994 LeBaron that smoked a fair amount but really never used that much oil, way less than 1 quart per 1k miles. This car didn't leave as big of clouds of smoke as some but still was smoking.
 

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I'd check to make sure the engine is breathing properly (as in sticking PCV), especially if this comes and goes.
 

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From what I've read it's not clear -- Have you seen the smoke coming out of the tailpipe, or just rising from the rear in the mirror?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Seen it actually coming out of tailpipes. I rev it up and run to back real quick and can see thick white. Not a crazy blown engine cloud like the Dodge Intrepid 2.7's but its thick and dissipates after about 4 feet or so most times. And it doesnt do it but intermittently. And lately it seems like it calms down and theres nothing coming out the longer I drive it. Say 2 or more nhours of going across town for something, I get home and nothing. Seems to be there a lot when its first cranked up in morn or whenever its first started up after sitting a while. But again, not every single time. prob about 80% of the first start ups after sitting. Still weird to me, satill perplexing. And Imperial seems to have it undertstood somewhat as to how its acting. And he's right, too much work for me in a day in my driveway to tighten or torque the 32 valve seals back down. And also maybe its not a major deal right this minute. But maybe later it turns into one? The only thing I really dont like is the coming out of the tail pipe at red light in front of everybody. Kind of embarressing. When its smoking. Again, it sometimes acts right and has no smoking issue at all. So intermittent. I think Imperial said one time something to the efffect that he would rather have a blown engine than an intermittent prob because he knows what the issue is. Intermittent problems can be a you know what. Its def not a burning coolant smoke issue. Coolant level is always at the top. The issue seems close to the posts that Valient67 said. I can see the smoke coming from tailpipe when its doing it and I rev n run to the rear of car. Its nice and right there, all whiten as can be and thick enough, bout 4 or so feet before starting to disappear. The PCV valve is nearly new. I wonder what else I should check or replace like the PCV. Thanks for all help! A lot.
 

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Does it smoke from the tailpipe at all times? Hot only? Cold only ? (cold is normal as tailpipe condensation is being expelled)
 

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If it is thick, but dissipates within about 4 feet, and is pretty odorless, it's got to be water vapor.
You would surely smell that much oil, and the cloud would stay for a while.
Also if it were antifreeze, it would have a distinctive odor.
You do have antifreeze, not just plain water, in the cooling system, right?
What has the air temperature been running lately?
If it were in the 40's or lower, especially if the humidity was high, the condensation vapor would be more noticeable.
The vapor coming up behind the engine could be coming from an exhaust leak. If so, that would explain why it would disappear first, as the exhaust system would heat up from front to back.
The muffler on those is way in the rear, isn't it? The muffler can hold a lot of moisture, even standing water, unless it has a small drain hole at the lowest point. Being way at the rear, it takes a while to get hot enough to get that moisture out of there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Heres whats happenning tonight. The car is smoking like its oil burning. But it smells like somethings on fire too. I think. The smoke smells like oil or something on fire possibly. Thats how thick it was when I opened the hood. After idling for 10 mins or so, in driveway, the smoke was rolling out from behind the manifold, white, sort of thick, not dissipating like a water type white smoke does at all. Rolling out from under the back of motor behind the aluminum intake up into my face. White and kind of thick I guess, and smelled like oil or maybe a rubber type burning smell. Maybe. But not water. And the tail pipes that are side by side, they had the usual smoke coming from them too and its not a water type white smoke. Its not quite white like water smoke or steam. Close to that bright but not quite as white. Well, the tailpipes had something on ground under them and it was 2 little spots that were liquid but not water. I stuck finger in the little spots ands it was like oil. Just like thin oil but it was like oil for sure. I was revving it up loud a few times trying to blow out some of the smoke and see if it would quit smoking like it does sometimes and there were 2 liquid spots with oil in them. Last thing, when I was reving it up to high rpms it would get loud like all cars do and I let the pedel go and it tapers back quiet as the rpms start back down. But when I let my foot off the pedal it would make this weird noise right before going back down and kind of while it starts to go back down then the noise disappears and the engine sound is normal. Like a loud sound, vibration type sound maybe. Just nas loud as the motor and it stands out so you can hear that weird loud vibration type sound along with the loud regular motor sound. Weird? Hoping somebody understands what Im trying to say. Man I need help. Thanks!!!


Peterjon1 wanted to know about the water in radiator. Yes, its antifreeze and water combined. The 50/50 you get from anywhere. The temp around here is hotter than most areas. Its South Carolina. So its hot even when its winter sometimes. Lately its been 75 high and 55 low for the last couple weeks or longer. I do think IM smelling oil in the smoke now, not antifreeze. I wish I knew what this was so I could fix it. Hope this tiny bit of info helps you come up with something. THANKS!!
 

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You probably have an engine oil leak at the rear bank. Maybe head gasket or valve cover gasket. You may be able to see it by looking up at it from underneath.
The oil out the tailpipe may be worn valve seals. If the car has been off the road for a long time with only occassional start-ups, you may want to wait until it is back on the road and a few hundred miles are put on it before revisiting a possible valve oil seal situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes sir. I understand. I think i do anyway. After I get airbag situation finally done I will be driving it more often. A lot more often. So then I can revisit the valve seal situation after the car has some miles on it from regular driving. That takes care of the seal at the valve issue if its even an issue at all. I;ll know more later. Alright, I guess then that the valve cover gasket or head gasket issue isnt gonna fix itself no matter how many miles I drive it. And you think I may be able to see more by going under and looking towards the rear of the motor. Ok, then thats what I'll do this morning. I hope I know what Im looking at or for. But if theres something obvious or big going on back there I'll see if you know what it is. Thanks again! You knew I was coming with that ol 'Thanks!!'. But I dont know what else to say. I appreciate the help you all always give me and dont know how else to return the favor except for 'Thanks!' all the time, Marc-
 

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Look for wetness at the back of the engine. Leaks will drip down from the leak source, so try to look for the highest wet spot.
The cam oil seal is also a common leak spot. This would appear as a leak at the passenger side of the engine.
If it is a heavy leak and everything looks wet with oil, you may want to spray down the area with solvent and rinse to look for where the leak starts again. Use a flammable solvent on a cooled engine only. The upper intake manifold may have to come off for a better look. It can be tight back there.
 
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