Smoke from under hood
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This is a discussion on Smoke from under hood within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Okay, so I was driving today and I probably went like 5 miles to Fred Meyer. When I parked, I ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Thug Nasty's Avatar
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    Smoke from under hood

    Okay, so I was driving today and I probably went like 5 miles to Fred Meyer. When I parked, I realized there was smoke coming from the front right of my car (if you're sitting in the drivers seat it's front right). So I think maybe it's just steam from water hitting hot metal or something and I didn't freak out yet. So I open her hood up and it seems the smoke was coming from the bottom area, but it's really hard to tell. It wasn't a massive amount of smoke, but it was definitely smoke, not just steam from water. I wish I would have smelled it, but the thought didn't occur to me until after. So at this point my guess is it's a cracked radiator hose or something. Also, underneath the hood on the bottom of it, the pad thing is damp. I don't think water could get up on the opposite side of the hood to get the pad thing wet. Could it have been spraying around or something? Then after driving home very slowly and checking it out again, it smelled like coolant (no smoke though). My coolant level is still full.

    Do you guys think I just have a cracked hose or something?
    What's the next step to finding it / fixing it.

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys/girls.
    -John
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  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Is your cap tight?

    The next step is either seeing where the leak is now, or pressure testing the system to find the leak. If you can eyeball the leak, fix it. If you can't find it, pressure test the system and keep looking until you do (you're looking for white residue and/or steam or green goo now, and green juice if you're pressure testing).

    Radiator seams, turbo feed hoses, radiator hoses, and caps have all been known to fail or leak.
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    Registered User Thug Nasty's Avatar
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    Cap is tight. Should I be searching for this leak while the car is idling? Maybe go for a quick spirited drive then look for it?
    Also, where would I need to go / get to get a pressure testing?

    Thanks.
    -John
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  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thug Nasty View Post
    Cap is tight. Should I be searching for this leak while the car is idling? Maybe go for a quick spirited drive then look for it?
    Also, where would I need to go / get to get a pressure testing?

    Thanks.
    Some leaks are easy to spot while idling, others are not. YMMV. Keep your fingers away from the fans and from anything hot and be careful.

    Any garage can do a pressure test, they'll use a rad cap adapter with a manometer and a rather scrotal looking pump to pressurize the system to the rated pressure (say, 0.9 bar or whatever) then stare at it until they see juice coming out of somewhere. Just be careful, your paint is terrible and your hood is aluminium so don't get scratches on the fenders and dents on the hood (make them drop it to shut it, not press it).

    With any luck you'll find the source yourself though. Just stay safe.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  6. #5
    Registered User adam3482p's Avatar
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    all I know is keep a very close eye on the temp gauge.
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  7. #6
    Registered User GateWRXING's Avatar
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    Heres my story

    I had a similar problem, but it helps to know the background.

    04-PSM WRX
    Driving home one day, engine starts making some noises....drive to baby it home, dies about a block from my house. Sub Road Side Assitance tows it to the nearest dealer coincidently the worst dealer ever.

    Anyway, its determined that the engine needs to be replaced. Its all covered under warranty so I let them proceed, they believed a cylinder or a valve had cracked, something cracked. Anyways they replace it, two weeks later all is good....drive home....that night and a day later seeing a bit of smoke...thought it was something just burning off new engine but all is definantly not good.

    Come outside the morning or two after and have all my coolant all over my driveway thank you subaru!

    So I immediately call the dealer, they tell me to fill it up with coolant and drive over there. On the way over the engine is smoking whenever I'm idling and at low rpms, from the same side you explained. Drop it off again, they said at first something with the thermostat is wrong have to order new one, then call me back the next day just to tell me a plug or hose had been not installed properly. So I figure ok, a little angry but I trust the car is ok, theyve had it twice now to check out everything with the new engine.

    1000 miles later, driving on a long trip, just cruising at 80 in 5th, noise starts and within a mile or two engine is DONESKY. 2ND TIME.

    Taken to closest dealer (at the time it was Matthews Subaru in Bingham. NY). They tell me that this engine had blown an oil seal (Reason undisclosed: my guess: never properly checked or tested or installed by first dealer). At this time I furious, and I get SOA involved. They let slip that on the first engine nothing was changed but the block, same turbo, IC, manifold etc....so I'm getting increasingly pi**ed. After at least three weeks of back and forth
    SOA finally stepped up enough that I was able to trade in my 04, +their help+ a little cash from me and get into my new 06 limited wagon.


    Ultimately the story ends well because I love my new car. but the moral of the story is be very very very wary of the seals and tubing, if you lose a seal a lot can go bad in a short period of time. Get this checked immediately.!


    Sorry man, hope this gives you a little guidance
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  8. #7
    Registered User Thug Nasty's Avatar
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    Well good news fellas. I found the leak. It is leaking off the far side of the main radiator hose. The one that goes from the middle on the top of the radiator going left. It trickles down where that hose connects. Called Subaru and it's a $15 dollar hose. I'm off to pick it up later today. Glad this wasn't a bigger problem.

    Thanks guys.
    -John
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  9. #8
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thug Nasty View Post
    Well good news fellas. I found the leak. It is leaking off the far side of the main radiator hose.
    Good. Search for how to "burp" the system so you make sure there are no air bubbles in the coolant and you're good to go.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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