Saturn Sky Forum banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, just picked up an '07 red line today that has a smoking issue at idle. Getting white smoke out of both exhaust after you rev the engine, or after startup and idle. Also has a weird sulfur type smell and idles a little rough.

After reading through some of the posts here, my plan is to start with a new PCV valve. If that doesn't work, check compression on all cylinders. If those look good, then maybe bad turbo/seals. Noticed it burns some oil on the trip back from purchase.

Am I on the right track? Smoke is white and doesn't smoke when on throttle, so likely not rings? The smell and slight rough idle seems PCV, but don't have experience with what turbos are like when the seals go south.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Thought about that as well. The oil looks clean and does smell like coolant or gas. Car didn't overheat during the 3 hour drive home. Has 108k miles, one owner with most service history done at dealers on Carfax.

If head gasket, I should see/smell coolant in the oil, correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Thanks for the reply. Thought about that as well. The oil looks clean and does smell like coolant or gas. Car didn't overheat during the 3 hour drive home. Has 108k miles, one owner with most service history done at dealers on Carfax.

If head gasket, I should see/smell coolant in the oil, correct?
Sometimes you may see or smell coolant and even notice the oil to be milky. It could all depend on what the leak is or it’s severity. I’m not sure, because I didn’t inspect your car, just going from prior experience. I’m attaching a photo of an inexpensive leak detector on Amazon, that is simple and easy to use.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bottle Hood Bumper

Gadget Font Data transfer cable Cable Microphone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,689 Posts
I would add some of these into your cooling system and see if the white smoking improves. Give it a few hundred miles of driving to do it's thing.
Amber Rectangle Material property Font Automotive tire

We owned THIS MOTORHOME for 24 years. At around 50,000 miles, it was boiling away coolant much in the same manner you describe. I used all 6 pellets in the cooling system which solved the problem. After roughly another 25,000 miles and a number of years later, flushing the cooling system again removed the pellet material so I decided to address the problem permanently which in my case, the head had a crack in it. So I got a loaded rebuilt head.

In the case of a Redline with direct injection, you might consider a brand new head......assuming the problem is related to the head or head gasket. I hear brand new RedLine heads are being sold for only $300 from one particular supplier. One of our forum members replaced his RL head earlier this year. He posted his experience in fairly good detail.
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hello all, just picked up an '07 red line today that has a smoking issue at idle. Getting white smoke out of both exhaust after you rev the engine, or after startup and idle. Also has a weird sulfur type smell and idles a little rough.

After reading through some of the posts here, my plan is to start with a new PCV valve. If that doesn't work, check compression on all cylinders. If those look good, then maybe bad turbo/seals. Noticed it burns some oil on the trip back from purchase.

Am I on the right track? Smoke is white and doesn't smoke when on throttle, so likely not rings? The smell and slight rough idle seems PCV, but don't have experience with what turbos are like when the seals go south.
My best guess is turbo seals. If you are able to do a compression test that would rule out bad rings or leaky valve. Turbos go and when they do it is with a big cloud of smoke. I saw a cheap new turbo on RPM motorsports site if you do end up needing one. Or go big wheel and rebuild it. If it is your turbo blowing smoke. If at idle there is no smoke, that is a sign of bad turbo and not pistons/valves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My best guess is turbo seals. If you are able to do a compression test that would rule out bad rings or leaky valve. Turbos go and when they do it is with a big cloud of smoke. I saw a cheap new turbo on RPM motorsports site if you do end up needing one. Or go big wheel and rebuild it. If it is your turbo blowing smoke. If at idle there is no smoke, that is a sign of bad turbo and not pistons/valves.
Will try the compression test tomorrow. Am I looking for values in a certain range, like 130-160? And consistency across all 4 cylinders? Notice the smoke mostly after I've been on the gas then let off, or right after revving it

I also just got a trouble code tonight...P2188, too rich at idle bank 1. It definitely has a strong rich/sulfur smell to it
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
Sulfur smell is normally a bad cat, I've heard. I have never smelled a car with that smell though. I am not sure the values for the engine, but yes you are right. The shop manual will have a range that is acceptable.
I will try and find it, but hopefully someone here knows and chimes in.
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
Will try the compression test tomorrow. Am I looking for values in a certain range, like 130-160? And consistency across all 4 cylinders? Notice the smoke mostly after I've been on the gas then let off, or right after revving it

I also just got a trouble code tonight...P2188, too rich at idle bank 1. It definitely has a strong rich/sulfur smell to it
It might be more work, but if you do have a turbo problem your cat might be good still. All the oil spitting into the cat may have just put a lot of carbon in it. Maybe a few hard pulls will clean it out...?? I do not know, I am just spit balling here, but that is what I would try before shelling out the $400 for a new cat.
I think fix the turbo (if it is the problem) then test the cat later maybe the smell clears up...
If you pop off your intake tube you can check for shaft play by wiggling the tip of the wheel. There are specs for that too, but pretty much it should barely move. If you have a lot of play that is another sign of a worn turbo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
My best guess is turbo seals. If you are able to do a compression test that would rule out bad rings or leaky valve. Turbos go and when they do it is with a big cloud of smoke. I saw a cheap new turbo on RPM motorsports site if you do end up needing one. Or go big wheel and rebuild it. If it is your turbo blowing smoke. If at idle there is no smoke, that is a sign of bad turbo and not pistons/valves.
 

·
Premium Member
Black 2008 Saturn Sky Redline (manual)
Joined
·
121 Posts
I was under the impression that white smoke indicated a coolant leak and that blue/gray smoke was an oil issue. I would definitely do the coolant leak detector. I had a 2000 grand am that was slowly seeping coolant into cylinder 1 and never saw coolant in the oil. But the leak tester found emission traces in the coolant. Could be a similar issue with your sky if you're only seeing it right at startup.
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
These guys are funny! A piston ring is a type of seal. They even describe the ring that prevents oil from passing. That is a seal. It is called, wait for it......... A sealing ring, in the automotive world we just say rings.
If the "smoke" is white its not smoke its steam. Synthetic oil is blueish, could be seen as whiteish especially on a cold day.
People here covered coolant/head gasket issue, I talked about the possibility that he is seeing synthetic oil smoke.
Yep could be coolant. Could be, "turbo seals" too. Could be a dream, and I didn't just see people saying that rings aren't seals hahahaha!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It might be more work, but if you do have a turbo problem your cat might be good still. All the oil spitting into the cat may have just put a lot of carbon in it. Maybe a few hard pulls will clean it out...?? I do not know, I am just spit balling here, but that is what I would try before shelling out the $400 for a new cat.
I think fix the turbo (if it is the problem) then test the cat later maybe the smell clears up...
If you pop off your intake tube you can check for shaft play by wiggling the tip of the wheel. There are specs for that too, but pretty much it should barely move. If you have a lot of play that is another sign of a worn turbo.
I'm not familiar with turbos. If the seals are bad, would there be oil leaking that I could see from somewhere?
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
I'm not familiar with turbos. If the seals are bad, would there be oil leaking that I could see from somewhere?
It would be a separate problem if you did see any (loose oil lines, or loose at the cat (if oil is getting past the seals you might see it) ). You can also look into the exhaust side of the turbo and if it has massive amounts of carbon or wet, that says a lot. But that is a lot of work before more simple tests.
Have someone recreate the smoke you saw and if you smell like a sweet chemical smell it is more likely coolant, a burning smell likely oil. You described a sulfur smell. Burning synthetic looks white to me unless you try and describe it carefully and then you notice it has a blue tint to it.
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
Check this out. This is where you should start. This is a short and sweet video about blown head gaskets or coolant leaking internally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My list of possible issues is growing a little! I'm used to working in 1970's stuff so the sky will take some studying.

The smell is definitely a burn/sulfur smell. The last thing I would call it is sweet. The P2188 code for rich fuel just showed up as well, so here is my thought in what to check in order:
  • PCV valve replace- part coming Monday
  • Clean MAF sensor
  • Compression check
  • If compression check good, take off turbo and inspect for any play in seal or leak
  • If compression check bad, look to other problems like piston rings or head gasket
Aldo ordered that tester on Amazon for tainted coolant. Should be here Monday also. Thanks for all the advise. Really appreciate it. I think I can fix most things, but my diagnosing skills are not great.
 

·
Registered
2007 Saturn Sky Redline
Joined
·
36 Posts
You can check the turbo shaft play from the intake side without taking it out. I think. Haven't tried on this car. The exhaust side will require you to move the exhaust at least. But really if you build boost and a cloud pumps out, it's a good sign of turbo issues.
Oh and call your local auto parts store you can borrow all kinds of tools for a deposit hold.
You will figure it out. Or gm can help for about $150 and give you a highly probable solution.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
OK
first no one can diagnose your car from words on a screen. They can only provide suggestions based on their guesses.

Unless the car has been abused, the trubo should be fine. You can pull the tubes and inspect the turbo yourself. You can check for excessive end play in the turbo and see if there is oil in the output side of the turbo. If its the seals, you should see oil there.

You can get rotten egg smell from a charcoal filter that is full of fuel due to topping off and is no longer able to do its job venting the fuel tank properly.

Its possible even likely that the cat is in dire need of servicing.

I would start with the easy things and work to more complex.

Pull the charge tubes off the turbo and look for oil,.

Pull the drain on the intercooler - there is a hose on the bottom that collects and allows you to drain the IC of water and what ever else gets trapped. Check if any fluid drains and inspect it if there is.

Pull the plugs and consider replacing them. Inspect their condition and see if they are looking good.
While doing the plug inspection/change do the leak down test. You are looking for the one cylinder that does not hold vacuum as long as the others.

If you are able borescope each cylinder and look for any excessive wear, carbon buildup or other issues.

Pull the Cat and inspect it. If its full, rattles or looks like crap, replace it with a Solo cat.

Pull a maintenance report from your friendly local GM dealer to see what maintenance has been done on the car before you bought it.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top