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White smoke comes out of my 1993 Camry


1993camry
06-04-2011, 08:00 PM
Hi folks,

Can somebody offer some idea? I have a 1993 Camry LE. Yesterday I was driving, I heard a popping sound. Then white smoke started coming out. I then pulled my car over. Some nice guy looked at my car.

I was told that radiator cracked, because I never add water to the water tank. I didn't know what a radiator is, so he point at that pipe-like object. I was able to keep driving, and finally made it home.

Today, on my way to the car repair shop, my car went dead, so I had to pull over. I then waited for about 1 hour, and was able to turn on my car again. But 5 minutes later, same thing happened, and my car went dead again.

I had to call a tow truck.

Brian R.
06-04-2011, 08:17 PM
Have it towed to a mechanic and pay him to fix it if he can. You have to add coolant (not water) to the radiator overflow tank (white plastic bottle with two hoses through the top, one connected to the radiator cap) when it gets below the indicator lines on the tank.

If you allowed the engine to overheat too badly, you are now in the market for a different car.

You will have to pay attention to maintenance items in the owner's manual or you will not keep your cars alive very long. Camrys can last 20 years or longer if you have done regular required maintenance.

Be nice to your cars and they will not die on you when you need them.

jdmccright
06-06-2011, 09:44 AM
White smoke came out of where...Engine bay? Exhaust pipe? The former could be as you say, a cracked radiator or blown out hose. The latter usually points to a blown engine head gasket or worse a cracked block. Any chance the engine was running hot before it first happened?

As Brian stated, looks like you're in the market for a new car if it's the latter, or at least a new engine. Toyotas of this era are great for reliability, but they're almost TOO reliable to the point of complacency...though a counterpoint would be you can't predict when a head gasket will go. But the rest of the cooling system does need periodic maintenance to keep it flowing properly.

I ask about it running hot beforehand because the one part that I know can fail is the cooling fan temperature switch. If that craps out then the fans don't know when to turn on, leading to overheating.

Hope this helps!

Scrapper
06-06-2011, 10:16 AM
Have it towed to a mechanic and pay him to fix it if he can. You have to add coolant (not water) to the radiator overflow tank (white plastic bottle with two hoses through the top, one connected to the radiator cap) when it gets below the indicator lines on the tank.

If you allowed the engine to overheat too badly, you are now in the market for a different car.

You will have to pay attention to maintenance items in the owner's manual or you will not keep your cars alive very long. Camrys can last 20 years or longer if you have done regular required maintenance.

Be nice to your cars and they will not die on you when you need them.
yes they are good cars i no someone got one he just turned over to 300.000 mls. the computer must be telling it to shut down? is it missing? i'd do a comp test first before you do anything.

Scrapper
06-07-2011, 05:16 PM
yes they are good cars i no someone got one he just turned over to 300.000 mls. the computer must be telling it to shut down? is it missing? i'd do a comp test first before you do anything.

you never done a comp test yet? most of the time it only takes once to get it hot to blown head gasket or crack one or both. like rite now it's 95 here feels like 150 here in clarks hill in. just think of your moter and think how it get's. anyway good luck to yuh................

1993camry
06-08-2011, 04:12 AM
Hi folks, thanks for all your responses. I took a photo of inside. I circled the cracked.
Can anyone tell based on the photo below?

(photo: http://i55.tinypic.com/2uffspl.jpg)

http://i55.tinypic.com/2uffspl.jpg

Mike Gerber
06-08-2011, 11:41 AM
That is the top of the radiator. Where you have circled is a common place for the radiator to crack as they get old. Hopefully you didn't do any damage to the engine when the car obviously overheated from low or no coolant in the cooling system. The engine might have been so hot that it seized and that's why it shut down. What does the mechanic now say? Has he run any tests on the car to determine if any damage was done to the engine?

Mike

1993camry
06-08-2011, 10:15 PM
That is the top of the radiator. Where you have circled is a common place for the radiator to crack as they get old. Hopefully you didn't do any damage to the engine when the car obviously overheated from low or no coolant in the cooling system. The engine might have been so hot that it seized and that's why it shut down. What does the mechanic now say? Has he run any tests on the car to determine if any damage was done to the engine?

Mike

Spoke with a mechanic over the phone. He says I might need to replace the engine if car doesn't start.

Scrapper
06-09-2011, 08:03 AM
Spoke with a mechanic over the phone. He says I might need to replace the engine if car doesn't start.

try turning harmotic balancer if you cant turn balancer it is locked up.

cjstew4
06-10-2011, 01:40 PM
On my 3rd radiator on my 94 camry LE (247k mi) where that is the typical spot where the radiator begins to separate at the curve in the plastic. Mine did it twice but on the inner side of the radiator between the the cap and the outer edge of the radiator. Even the replacement ones are made of plastic on the top where yours leaked.

Prior to my last radiator going my timing belt shreaded, water pump failed, lost most of the coolant, wife drove it till it dropped, could not turn it over for a day had it towed to the mechanic, would turn over then though but would not start since it could not hold coolant. He put in new timing belt, water pump, t-stat, but warned me that when it overheated and shut down (nice thing toyotas do to save the engine at times) it may have down damage internally that may come back to haunt me where the seals, block etc may have also been damaged and need to be repaired. I did the few hundred $ repair a 50k mi ago for the timing belt and water pump, but get white smoke at start-up and seem to also be burning or blow-by of coolant somewhere as I more than normally have to add coolant to the overflow every few months. I do believe that the overheating shutdown caused some damage. Replace your timing belt and water pump every 60k mi if you haven't already. Good luck on this one. Don't let the mechanic go for the new engine rationale so quickly.

Mike Gerber
06-10-2011, 06:45 PM
"Of course he's gonna say "you need new engine" lol, and White smoke is most likely a blown headgasket."

The white smoke in the area he has shown us in his pictures is coming from the top of the radiator, not out the tail pipe. That doesn't necessarily mean he has blown the head gasket, but continuing to drive the car when it overheated could have blown the head gasket or worse. He has the car at a mechanic now so the mechanic can run some test to see what, if any damage has occurred.

Mike

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