Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I have a ton of white smoke from my truck when i start and run it, is that likely a head gasket problem?

asked by on

I had a leak in my radiator at the bottom cap so I replaced the leak, there wasn't much radiator fluid in it when I emptied the old radiator. When I started running it again sometimes i have a misfire as it's warming up and there's a lot of white smoke. I start to drive and it billows out the back. Is this a head gasket problem?

My car has 138000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello there, many faults will cause white smoke to be seen on startup with your 1988 Toyota Pickup. When white smoke it seen it indicates that coolant is being burned in the engine, this is not a normal operation. There are a few common causes for coolant being burned such as intake manifold leaks, head gaskets, or cracked cylinder heads. All of these have the potential to become large issues and if the vehicle overheats it can damage the engine. A qualified Technician such as one from YourMechanic will be able to diagnose your white smoke issues and make any repairs required.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I have a ton of white smoke from my truck when i start and run it, is that likely a head gasket problem?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Abnormal oil loss

Blue smoke from the tailpipe, either at idle or under power, is an indication that the engine is consuming oil internally. Common causes for oil consumption are oil getting past the piston rings into the combustion chamber or oil leaking...

Q: My car constantly overheats within a couple of minutes and I've had all of the cooling system replaced already.

Hi there. If the engine takes a little time to overheat, then it is possible that the radiator could be plugged up. If the engine overheats fast, then either there is air in the cooling system or one or both...

Q: Toyota starts then shuts off when cold

Your truck has two devices to assist cold starts. The cold start valve is an extra injector that sprays fuel into the in take for about a second when you are cranking the engine below about 45 degrees. The other...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...