Q: Cylinder misfire and white smoke

asked by on December 20, 2017

Car has had the smell of burning oil for a few months now when stopping, no oil leak to be found. Car began vibrating while accelerating and idling yesterday, and more drastically with the AC on. At the same time, the check engine light began flashing. Ran the codes, cylinder 2 misfire. Changed spark plugs, found oil in spark plugs well. Car continued to misfire. Was going to change the spark plug wires and valve cover gasket, but when I drove 15 minutes from the parts store to home, the car began to smoke from the engine area. Drove the car one more time, faint whitish smoke seems to come from the lower intake manifold area. Any suggestions?

My car has 145000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The faint white smoke may indicate the possibility of a blown cylinder head gasket. A blown head gasket may cause a number of different symptoms. Coolant in the engine oil, an engine misfire or oil leaking from the engine could all be symptoms. Each of these symptoms could also have other causes and an actual blown head gasket may show none of the above symptoms. Symptoms will often vary considerably, depending on how the gasket fails. Head gaskets may fail in several different ways. With each failure type different symptoms may result. The symptoms each person sees depend on how and where the head gasket fails. Head gaskets may fail in several different ways. For example, a restricted radiator may cause an engine to overheat, very much the same as a head gasket failure. Often times, intake gaskets will fail causing coolant to leak into the oil.

A warped or cracked cylinder head will also produce the exact symptom of a blown head gasket. An external inspection is the only way to determine if the problem is head gasket related. This may mean a blown gasket, warped or cracked cylinder head or other problems in the area. For instance corrosion on the head gasket surface will cause leakage, though technically not a blown gasket. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to properly diagnose the symptoms you describe.

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