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Registered
1998 Forester stb
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I hope you can help me, I have a 1997 S/tb and it was parked for about a year. I finally decided to get it up and running so I started it a few times and even drive it a few meters, to my great surprise I'm seeing this white looking smoke coming from the muffler. I'm worried sick, does anyone know what could be the problem? When I rev the engine it becomes much more visible. Help please anyone.
 

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Registered
1998 Forester stb
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
is there condensation forming on the area around the muffler, and is the smoke moist like steam?
there is a bit of water dripping from the muffler and the smoke looks like steam, when I rev the engine up it becomes thick.
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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472 Posts
is everyone thinking coolant leak ?
That sounds likely.

Also, I've seen cars with an automatic transmission give off white exhaust smoke when the modulator valve was leaking. I don't know if the tranny in Josey's 1997 S/tb would have this type valve though.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
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1,960 Posts
Hi Josey. Foresters are known to pump out a lot of condensation when they are cold and if yours has been sitting a while perhaps this is exaggerated. If your nerves can endure it, try getting the engine up to operating temperature and check again, mine (99 turbo 5MT) looks like a steam engine sometimes. Good advice from Shalootm to check content of vapour with your fingers. Oil+water will leave a slippery residue but steam will dry off like any water with a bit of rubbing and leave nothing behind. It is also possible that if your Foz has been laid up a year then a bit of oil could have leaked into the cylinders but burning oil always presents itself as blue smoke. Before drawing a conclusion, might a drive clear the engine out and give you a better overview? After that, as suggested above, if there is water in the oil (white deposits) or bubbles in the coolant, then at least you have a starting point. Good luck.
 

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Registered
1998 Forester stb
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi Josey. Foresters are known to pump out a lot of condensation when they are cold and if yours has been sitting a while perhaps this is exaggerated. If your nerves can endure it, try getting the engine up to operating temperature and check again, mine (99 turbo 5MT) looks like a steam engine sometimes. Good advice from Shalootm to check content of vapour with your fingers. Oil+water will leave a slippery residue but steam will dry off like any water with a bit of rubbing and leave nothing behind. It is also possible that if your Foz has been laid up a year then a bit of oil could have leaked into the cylinders but burning oil always presents itself as blue smoke. Before drawing a conclusion, might a drive clear the engine out and give you a better overview? After that, as suggested above, if there is water in the oil (white deposits) or bubbles in the coolant, then at least you have a starting point. Good luck.
Thanks a lot for your help but I'll look into all those possibilities.More questions, if oil is showing up in the coolant does that mean I have a blown head gasket? Or, oil in the cylinders mean a head gasket problem too.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
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1,960 Posts
Oil in the cylinders could be worn piston rings but you would have had an indication of that when you last drove it (piston slap/noise and blue smoke from the exhaust) but your valve stem oil seals failing will let the oil in too, especially after the lay up. There are some interesting products available for dealing with leaking oil seals but I don't know if they would work on the ones in the cylinder head, worth checking them out though I guess. Blown head gaskets often show themselves by engine overheating too easily - your radiator fans spending far too much time running and the inevitable bubbles in the coolant and maybe oil as well. Oh, and the temp gauge of course :icon_redface: What is your mileage? is the timing belt up for renewal because these jobs can be combined. A friend had his Imprezza (same setup as the Foz) in for clutch and timing belt so the mechanic removed the whole engine and found the head gaskets a bit dodgy, so those items plus a few other bad bits found because the engine was out, were done on the bench in one go. I still reckon taking it for a gentle and cautious drive while listening to the Foz carefully for problems will be the best first step.
 

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Registered
1998 Forester stb
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Oil in the cylinders could be worn piston rings but you would have had an indication of that when you last drove it (piston slap/noise and blue smoke from the exhaust) but your valve stem oil seals failing will let the oil in too, especially after the lay up. There are some interesting products available for dealing with leaking oil seals but I don't know if they would work on the ones in the cylinder head, worth checking them out though I guess. Blown head gaskets often show themselves by engine overheating too easily - your radiator fans spending far too much time running and the inevitable bubbles in the coolant and maybe oil as well. Oh, and the temp gauge of course :icon_redface: What is your mileage? is the timing belt up for renewal because these jobs can be combined. A friend had his Imprezza (same setup as the Foz) in for clutch and timing belt so the mechanic removed the whole engine and found the head gaskets a bit dodgy, so those items plus a few other bad bits found because the engine was out, were done on the bench in one go. I still reckon taking it for a gentle and cautious drive while listening to the Foz carefully for problems will be the best first step.
The milage is 205,000 klm and I'm changing timing belt in another week or so and while I'm at it the Crank shaft seal and Cam seals will be changed too.
Thanks a million, guys I'll keep you posted when I take the car in to the mechanic.
 
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