White smoke emmisssion

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My tercel:: 1987 Toyota tercle 4wd DX Wagon 1452CC
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White smoke emmisssion

Post by Dumindu » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:43 am

My car is a Toyota Tercel 1987 4WD 1452CC DX Wagon

White smoke comes out from my car. This happens when a deep acceleration (when pedal compressed deep)is being done. After a deep acceleration, a minor acceleration also causes white smoke for some period.

Mechanic told me piston rings could have been damaged.

Carburetor of my car is newly repaired.

What could be the other causes or options to be checked before going to an engine repair?


I am sure it is not the steam. There is a heavy intolerable odour which resemble the smoke comes out from older generators.

After 50 km of riding I need to add 500ml - 1l of water to the radiator. I cant determine whether this water loss is high. Please consider this too.

Engine oil loss varies from time to time. Sometimes I need to add around 1l for 2-3 month. Sometime need to add around 1l after a month.
Last edited by Dumindu on Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
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Re: White smoke emmisssion

Post by xirdneh » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:11 pm

are you sure its not steam
i was following a friends tercel and whenever he shift and accelerated i saw white smoke
it was headgasket
are you losing any water?
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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Re: White smoke emmisssion

Post by marlinh » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:03 pm

Any water loss is a concern. In a perfect world the coolant system is 'closed'. The expansion tank provides a place for coolant to come and go depending on engine temperature, etc. Coolant burning in the exhaust has a distinct sweet smell to it, unless rad is filled only with water. Not recommended for obvious reasons.

White smoke is generally steam. Coolant or cold engine not up to temp (ie clears up after a few minutes)
Blue smoke - oil burning.
Black smoke - running rich.

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Re: White smoke emmisssion

Post by dlb » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:10 pm

sounds like the head gasket needs to be replaced. if you're losing coolant/water and there are no visible leaks, the only place it can get out is into the combustion chamber and out the exhaust.

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Re: White smoke emmisssion

Post by Petros » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:56 pm

I concur, sounds like head gasket. there is a section I wrote up in the repair guides section on how to replace your head gasket. oil consumption does not sound excessive, but loosing coolant like that is almost certain sign of leaky head gasket if there is no other obvious leak.

The good news is, this is a much less costly repair than replacing the rings. It can be done in 3-4 hours with basic hand tools and a torque wrench. Head gaskets are also relatively inexpensive.

if you want to confirm head gasket, do a compression check, a marginal leaky head gasket will still show good compression, with only one or two cylinders low (if at all). worn rings will show all four cylinders with low compression.

if you have a shop available, with an exhaust gas analyzer have them check the radiator. If they put the sensor in the radiator and detect combustion products, it is the head gasket.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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