02 wrx white smoke issues
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This is a discussion on 02 wrx white smoke issues within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've been having issues with my 2002 WRX. A few days ago I would drive it to work and then ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    02 wrx white smoke issues

    I've been having issues with my 2002 WRX. A few days ago I would drive it to work and then turn it off. Smoke would poor out of the hood. Pulled apart the exhaust. Half the up-pipe gasket was gone. Replace all the exhaust gaskets and torqued correctly. Drove to work then next day. After coming off the freeway there was a lot of white smoke coming out of the exhaust after getting off of the onramp(after coming to a stop waiting for traffic). Left work after my shift. Had a friend follow me home (about 30 miles). Every stop light the car would smoke like crazy after taking off. (Large cloud of white smooke). After about 25mph the smoke would stop. No white smoke the whole drive home after getting on the freeway (30+ miles). Pulled the car into the garage and checked the coolant which was about a quart low (don't believe a turbo gasket would eat up that much coolant. Pulled the plugs. 3 of 4 smelled like coolant. Pulled the passenger front plug and that one smelled the worst like coolant. After pulling the plug steam came out of the spark plug hole. I'm thinking the head gasket is gone for that cylinder. The car drives fine. Has power and doesn't smoke while driving on the freeway. I thought it may have been a turbo gasket but the smoke coming out of only one cylinder has me worried as it was only out of one cylinder and that was the last plug I pulled. I'm thinking the motor is blown. I'm going to compression test tomorrow and see if it is low in that cylinder. Looking for confirmation because if the motor is blown it would not be worth putting a new motor in as the car isn't worth the repair cost. I also pulled the inter cooler to see if coolant was in there. Just a mild amount of oil and no trace of coolant. I thought of the ICAV but it would have leaked in every cylinder. I am mechanically inclined and I could replace the head gasket if needed but I don't think it would be worth with the price of the car as it is.

    Sorry for the wall of text and bad grammar. Was trying to get as much information as possible in the explanation. If you need more information please let me know. I am at a loss. The car has close to 150k miles. Not new by any means. It has been maintained religiously. I'm a little angry and a little disappointed. Trying to find out my options. Any thought is welcome and will be looked at. I love the car and it pains me to think that I would have to junk it. I've exhausted every option beside compression testing which I will do time permitting. Any help would be welcome. I would like to keep this thing running till the end of time.

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  3. #2
    Registered User scoobaru03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    D.C urea, Maryland
    Generally white smoke is coolant getting into the combustion chamber. You could pressurize the system to see if any external coolant leaks are occuring, be sure to do it when engine is cold. Also do a block test to see if any combustion gasses are getting into the coolant system.
    2003 Impreza WRX Sport Wagon

    "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me as a member." - Groucho Marx

    Is it fast? I don't even know if its street legal. O.o (IROC-Z)

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