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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 07-16-2011, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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White smoke, weird smell when i turn off car

Hello, I have a 94 4runner SR5 V6 with 128,000 miles on it. The past few days my car has been emitting white smoke towards the top left of the engine when I turn my car off and it has also done it when i have stopped at a red light. Today when i got home, i immediately got out and threw open my hood and heard a slight hissing sound and looked for the source of the smoke and could only make out that it is the top left part of the engine. I am not very auto savvy so i dont know what else to call it. It emits white smoke as well as a odd smell that I can smell inside the car as well as outside. I had an oil change yesterday as it was 4500 miles since but the problem has not gone away. I'm kinda wary of driving it but as its my only transportation I have too. I plan on going to the mechanic Monday if I cant fix it. If theyre are any details that would help diagnose this, please let me know.

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Nick
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Possibly it's developed a leak at the lower intake manifold gasket. Or any of the coolant hoses/gaskets on that side of the engine. It's leaking onto the exhaust somewhere and burning. That's what you're seeing smelling.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Possibly it's developed a leak at the lower intake manifold gasket. Or any of the coolant hoses/gaskets on that side of the engine. It's leaking onto the exhaust somewhere and burning. That's what you're seeing smelling.
Thank you for the reply. How bad is this for my car and how much do you think the shop is gonna charge to fix it?
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not bad for it really, unless it's leaking quite a bit. If you can keep the coolant overflow reservior filled up, it'll probably be fine until you can have it fixed.

How much? I haven't a clue...too much in my book. I do all my own repairs.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudHippy View Post
It's not bad for it really, unless it's leaking quite a bit. If you can keep the coolant overflow reservior filled up, it'll probably be fine until you can have it fixed.

How much? I haven't a clue...too much in my book. I do all my own repairs.

Just because there is coolant in the overflow does not mean there is coolant in the radiator.

No one can tell you whats wrong and how much it will cost. For all we know it could be headgasket leak.

Have the coolant system pressure tested to find out where the leak is. It could be a $10 hose. Or could be intake manifold gaskets.
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.....not sure why so many people have problems.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just because there is coolant in the overflow does not mean there is coolant in the radiator.
Oh really?

Quote:
RESERVOIR TANK

The reservoir tank is used to catch engine coolant which–overflows the cooling system as a result of volumetric expansion when the engine coolant is heated. When the engine coolant temperature drops, engine coolant in the reservoir tank returns to the radiator, thus keeping the radiator full at all times and avoiding needless engine coolant loss. To find out if the engine coolant needs to be replenished, check the reservoir tank level.

What does that mean exactly? Simple. If any coolant in the system is lost/needs to be replenished, then to replenish it you fill the reservior tank. NOT the radiator.

How does that work? Simple. The vacuum check valve on the radiator cap. If coolant were forced out of the system under pressure that would cause a vacuum to exist in the system. Since no air can get into the system to fill that vacuum, it forces open the vacuum check valve. Which allows coolant from the reservior tank to replace what's been lost. So as long as there's enough coolant in the reservior tank to replace what's leaked out, the radiator always stays full.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mudd you can spout off all the copy paste you do from different sites and that wont change what i've seen in real life. Now in an ideal world where everything works like it should, sure I agree with you. The overflow is where you should check your level. But what if the cap is bad? There goes your "text book" working system and how many people actually test the radiator cap? you can't assume everything works like it should especially when dealing with coolant leaks.
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I NEVER have problems getting my crank off....
.....not sure why so many people have problems.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Agreed. If the cooling system has a significant enough leak in it or a bad radiator cap exc. sufficient pressure isn't created in the cooling system during a heat cycle. Then when the system cools, the vaccum that would suck coolant from the resovoir into the system is not created. In addition to the coolant that already leaked out of the system, if any vaccum is created it will suck air into the system if the resistance at the leak is less that the resistance of sucking more coolant in from the resovoir.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ive also seen freshly overheated, bone-dry radiators with some coolant left in the overflow. Never assume!
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I lost all my coolant from the radiator about 10 mins from home. Once I got home, I left the truck running trying to figure out why I had no hot air... Eventually, I noticed the temp gauge was... eh... a little hot... and shut it off. My reservoir was still FULL and my radiator was bone dry.... My understanding was always "when the radiator loses coolant, it is automatically replaced by what is in the reservoir" but obviously not. Oh and if you think it was a bad rad cap, it was replaced a couple hours before.

Some things just can't be explained. Like why the 20 amp dual filament fuse flew out of the fuse box on my a/c the other day. It takes a pair of pliers and some muscle to take them out.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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interesting concept with the overflow tank

i cant even recall the last time i checked any of mine. basically never
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That's one of of those looks good on paper things.

The only thing I've ever seen a res tank to be good for is for overflow. Last time I checked mine it had really dirty/black water in it and never got around to cleaning it out. If the cooling system is all good then you really shouldn't lose any water in the first place. But as stated before, never assume..just pull the cap off and check it..
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:22 PM
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