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Old 04-10-2002, 04:44 AM
spwilliams's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 27
Unhappy Smoking 1989 420 SEL


I am the proud owner of a 1989 420 SEL with 104k on the clock. I have recently noticed a disturbing condition on my car. It has happened on only two occasions so far. Here are the symptoms:

1 - A huge cloud of smoke from the tailpipe when car was gunned from a standing start.

2 - While sitting at idle at a light, suddenly smoke cloud envelops the car. The car seemed to run a little rough just prior to the smoke cloud. Lasted for about 20 seconds or so, then cleared up.

Car does not seem to smoke in general when accelerating.

Car seems to use a little oil, but I have not had long enough to really tell. (about 3 weeks and I have put about 1000 miles on it)

Any ideas? Do I have a major problem here?

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Old 04-10-2002, 05:05 AM
Ashman's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
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What color is the smoke?

White? Blueish? Black?

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Old 04-10-2002, 05:28 AM
spwilliams's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 27
Smoking 420 - COlor of Smoke

It seems to be a blueish grey - not white or black.
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Old 04-10-2002, 07:56 AM
Matt Crooke
Posts: n/a
Head Gasket, get it checked asap. Check your expansion tank to see if the water is discoloured in any way.
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Old 04-10-2002, 04:17 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,119
Could be as simple as valve seals. As has been said, have it checked ASAP.

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Old 04-13-2002, 01:20 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
Valve seals and or guides are usually associated with high oil consumption but no smoke. Head gasket problems produce white smoke which is steam and higher temp guage readings. This condition can be easilly checked by sniffing the coolant for hydrocarbons with an infrared detector. I suspect you may have an injector wigging out causing a cylinder wash or a cam oiler tube coming loose.You may even have a computer going South. I hate intermittents.

Good luck,
Auto Zentral Ltd.
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Old 04-13-2002, 08:39 PM
Posts: n/a
Could be a faulty transmission vacum modulator, but burning trans fluid will result in white smoke from my experience. Just a thought...
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