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Discussion Starter #1
During the winter months, I would notice that smog or a dense whitish color with a foul odor would come out of my tail pipe during cold startups. This would only last for about 40 seconds. I assumed it was because the engine was cold

However, now that the weather is warm, I still experience the same issue. Is this normal? All I have is a SRI. Thanks
 

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The most innocent explanation would be some water/condensation in the exhaust system. And this might be the case.

However, I hate to say it, but it sounds like the symptom of a leaky head gasket, with coolant getting into the combustion chamber. See if you have a slippery residue on your tail pipe. If it is just water, it won't be slippery, if it is coolant residue, it will be slippery.

How is your coolant level? Has it gone down at all since this started?

You can also remove and inspect the spark plugs, and see if 1 or 2 seem to be exceptionally cleaner than the others (coolant leaking into a cylinder can make the plug look very clean). Particularly if you find two adjacent plugs that are much cleaner than the other two.

A shop can test to see if there are any exhaust gases in the cooling system (a diagnosis aid), and I also believe there are some test strips which can show this, although I have never used them. An auto parts place could advise on this.

If it is under warranty, I would get it into the dealer ASAP to be sure the symptoms and complaint is entered into the formal system, so that you don't miss out on any warranty if it does turn out to be a head gasket problem.
 

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you can also pull your dipstick and check for water in your oil,i checked my eclipse a few years ago by pulling one spark plug at a time and shooting compressed air into the cylinder,i filled my radiator to the top so i could look for air bubbles, if you see bubbles coming into either your radiator,or overflow bottle, then you have a head gasket leak.just an idea....good luck
 

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The dipstick check is a good idea. I would also add that most oil analysis lab tests check for for antifreeze in the oil, so taking an oil sample when changing the oil and sending it in for analysis would also give an indication. NAPA sells an oil analysis kit where you take a sample and send the oil to a lab for about $15, if you're into this sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How is your coolant level? Has it gone down at all since this started?
Coolant level is normal. My coolant however, is orange. I did notice a lot of condensation inside the reservoir

You can also remove and inspect the spark plugs
I just order some FR wires. When they come in, I will check for this

If it is under warranty, I would get it into the dealer ASAP to be sure the symptoms and complaint is entered into the formal system, so that you don't miss out on any warranty if it does turn out to be a head gasket problem
I will do this. I try to stay away from the dealership b/c they inflate their services. The dealers near me charge just to find the problem (if any). I am a poor college student and the last thing I need is to spend a lot of money fixing a potential problem I did not create
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Often clear liquid would come out of my tailpipe. I initial assumption was condensation. I do notice that my car’s idling is rougher than usual, which is why I order the FR wires

I looked closely at the top of my spark plugs and notice an orange substance around the 2nd boot to the left, which resembles the color of my coolant. It’s only on the 2nd boot however. Is this a problem?

Thanks
 

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"Is this a problem?"

Probably not, particularly if it is a dy, powdery sort of stuff. But a picture would help.

"The dealers near me charge just to find the problem (if any)."

If it is under warranty, there should be no charge. If it is out of warranty, I agree with avoiding most dealers. However, a diagnosis charge is not unreasonable (although a particular amount might be), as some people got into the habit of having the dealer tell them what was wrong for free, and then going to fix it on the cheap themselves. Having worked as a mechanic a long time ago in the past, I can tell you that often the hardest part of the job that requires the most skill is not the repair, but the diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Probably not, particularly if it is a dy, powdery sort of stuff. But a picture would help.


Unfortunately, I do not have a camera

However, a diagnosis charge is not unreasonable (although a particular amount might be), as some people got into the habit of having the dealer tell them what was wrong for free, and then going to fix it on the cheap themselves. Having worked as a mechanic a long time ago in the past, I can tell you that often the hardest part of the job that requires the most skill is not the repair, but the diagnosis.
I apologize if I sounded harsh, I did not mean to offend anyone. I am just frustrated at the poor build quality of my vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From what I see, there is a small amount of orange substance near/around the 2nd boot of my plug wire. It’s probably been there for a while…

I did notice that my coolant fluid is above the maximum line. It maybe a stupid question, but is this problematic? If so, would removing the extra liquid help any?

Thanks
 

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"I did notice a lot of condensation inside the reservoir"

That's normal.

"I did notice that my coolant fluid is above the maximum line. It maybe a stupid question, but is this problematic?"

Depends on how much over the maximum, but it shouldn't be an issue. And I cannot see how that would be related to the problem you mentioned.
 
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