Generating Lots of White Smoke?

Contributed by Jay Grove

I had a problem with my '94 Explorer that this group might be interested in. At about 50k miles, it started belching James Bond quantities of white smoke. I was only a few blocks from home, the oil level was normal, and the car was running smoothly so I decided to turn around. Once home I rechecked the fluid levels trying to figure out which one was causing the smoke. The oil level was about a quart high, the transmission and coolant were about the same. Figuring I had blown a head gasket or broken a ring I pulled the spark plugs to try and localize the problem. The left middle and rear plugs as well as the right rear plug were fouled. The engine oil was not mayonnaise-like or mixed with coolant, and did not smell like gas.

The only fluid left on the list was transmission, but how did it get into the cylinders and engine oil?

The question was answered after examining the intake manifold. There is vacuum tubing that runs from the manifold to the automatic transmission modulator. By applying suction to the tubing I was able to draw up fluid from the transmission. The Chiltons manual describes an easy replacement procedure for the vacuum modulator, but fails to mention that you have to remove the catalytic converter to get to it. The modulator runs $15 and the converter gaskets are about $15 total.




Updated April 1, 1999

All contents of this site Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999 Jeff Singleton. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.