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Old 10-11-2013, 04:35 PM   #1
thorfox
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Default White Smoke Under Hood

Ok, First off I'd like to say I have searched this topic. I've found lots of helpful information, and likely causes. HOWEVER, I would like to hear what you guys think about my situation.

About 2 weeks ago something about the size of a refrigerator (covered in plastic) fell off the back of a truck on the hwy. I ended up hitting it going about 75mph. It felt like the passenger side of my car was lifted completely off the ground after impact, like i drove up over it some how.

I immediately pulled over, there was a big gash out of the font bumper, fender was bent up, and some various scratches on the side of the car. I looked for leaks and couldn't find any. The only odd thing was a smelled a burning rubber/plastic smell.

I drove about 30 minutes home, and nothing was odd. I've driven it about 50 miles since then, nothing odd except a burning rubber smell I notice when I get out of the car.

Today I started driving it and about 5 mins into driving my friend noticed smoke coming from the hood scoop and the passenger side wheel well at idle. I opened the hood and it looks like its coming from the bottom of the engine area on the passenger side.

My 02 wrx has 85k miles so I highly doubt its a head gasket. I also doubt it is a turbo seal because of the mileage and the owner before me hardly ever got it into boost. I'm thinking (and hoping) its just some plastic stuck on the headers. What do you guys think?

********

TL;DR: 85k miles, 02 wrx, white smoke at idle after hitting fridge sized box covered in plastic.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
Dat8687
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is it your lower engine shield pushed up against the manifold? Its plastic and will melt
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
thorfox
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It definitely could be. I can't see anything melted on it right now, but I will be getting an alignment today or tmrw and will check when its up on the rack. Thanks for that suggestion.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:30 AM   #4
WRXin05
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Yeah just check around area for plastic or anything melted. Turn it on and get underneath it track down the smoke.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:21 PM   #5
thorfox
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Couldn't find any melted plastic from the splash guard.

I let the car sit for about two hours and drive it again and it wouldn't smoke anymore.

I've driven it about 100 miles more hwy and city and there's no more smoke, but I can still smell a burning plastic smell, although not as strong.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
thorfox
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Update:

I just checked my oil, 1500 miles since my last oil change, and its half way between the low and full mark. I haven't seen anymore smoke, but the burning plastic smell is still there.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:49 AM   #7
socalbugeye
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Having a similar issue, not sure what it is at all. 02 as well
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:16 AM   #8
BugeyedBandit
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Perhaps your passenger side front axle boot ripped when you drove over the object? They are known to fling grease onto the downpipe and cause smoking/strange smells when the boot rips
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:22 AM   #9
Mynewimpreza45
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Could be a coolant line off the turbo leaking on the down pipe and causing white smoke
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:28 AM   #10
TheChrza
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Coolant causes white smoke, do a pressure test
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:07 PM   #11
IA Performance
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First off, thank goodness the damage was rather small given the size of the impacted object!

Were you able to jack the car up, remove the splash panel, and inspect for any leaks with a flashlight and safety glasses? Oil and Coolant will make smoke if they come in contact with the exhaust system, or even the exhaust shield. On the passenger side cylinder head you have both water and oil lines. Even a breather hose coming off will allow vapors and oil to come out and drip down the valve cover to the exhaust manifold area.

The axle boot idea mentioned before is a great one too. It will sling grease on the underside of the down pipe as well as up-pipe, neither of which are easy to see unless you are underneath the car.

let us know what you find.

Stephen
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
thorfox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugeyedBandit View Post
Perhaps your passenger side front axle boot ripped when you drove over the object? They are known to fling grease onto the downpipe and cause smoking/strange smells when the boot rips
Checked that and there are no rips or grease anywhere. That was my initial guess/hope.

Quote:
Could be a coolant line off the turbo leaking on the down pipe and causing white smoke
Quote:
Coolant causes white smoke, do a pressure test
Quote:
Were you able to jack the car up, remove the splash panel, and inspect for any leaks with a flashlight and safety glasses? Oil and Coolant will make smoke if they come in contact with the exhaust system, or even the exhaust shield. On the passenger side cylinder head you have both water and oil lines. Even a breather hose coming off will allow vapors and oil to come out and drip down the valve cover to the exhaust manifold area.
I didn't remove the splash guard, but I will be this coming weekend and reporting back. Without the splash guard removed I couldn't find any leaks. Also, my coolant levels are normal, but will keep an eye on it. Not only that but the car stopped smoking after that initial time, now just the burning plastic smell is there.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:40 AM   #13
thorfox
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***UPDATE***
So, I never got a chance to get under the car this weekend. Hopefully I will this friday.

The smell has gotten a lot worse as its gotten colder, although I don't know if the temperature caused it to get worse or whatever the problem is is just getting worse.

I also smell burnt rubber sometimes and burnt plastic others. I really can't put my finger on what the smell is half the time whenever I'm actually in the car.

I've noticed the smell seems to get worse as I'm easing out on the clutch and not giving the car any gas, just slowly rolling forward. I've also noticed now that it's colder that I have a lot more white smoke or steam coming from my exhaust than other cars around me.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:42 AM   #14
thorfox
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Could my symptoms possibly be a burnt clutch? I really don't know, I've never smelled a burnt clutch before.

I've gotten clutch shudder every once in a while, randomly, for the past 2 months. However, there is no slipping, or anything else to my knowledge that would indicate the clutch is failing.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:47 AM   #15
IA Performance
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Tip of the day: A small problem can turn into a HUGE problem if not dealt with in a timely manner.

Spend time under the car diagnosing it versus updating a post with worsening symptoms. It starts to show a lack of concern and/or desire to truly remedy the situation. In doing so, the thread is hurt. I understand people get busy with life, but how difficult would your life be with a dead car?

When in doubt, seek a professional mechanic in your area to perform diagnostics sooner than later.

Stephen
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:37 PM   #16
thorfox
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Update:

I got under the car, tool off the splash gained and checked everywhere for leaks. Everything is bone dry.

Since my last oil change 2500 miles ago it's burned a little over a half quart. From what I've read that's normal. Coolant levels are also good.

Hasn't smoked again, smell is still there, but no other sign of anything being wrong. Something odd though is that the smell seems to be worse when is baby it and I hardly ever smell it if I drive it hard.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #17
BuckwildWRX
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Look at your coolant overflow and look at the level. Go ahead and top that off while your fiddling with it. Make sure your passenger tire is not rubbing anything.
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