White Smoke

I have a 1990 corvette....when I start the vehicle I get white smoke from the exhaust..is this die to a bad head gasket..cracked head..etc...what can I check to determine what the problem could be without spending
hundreds at a garage
Thanks in advance to all....... Eric
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If its only a small amount of smoke at startup, then it is probably valve stem seals.
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wrote:

then that would be blue smoke..
my2
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may be nothing to worry about ? its winter time. condensation in your exhaust system will build up at a faster rate in the winter.
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If the Vette sits for any length of time it's a good chance that there is some oil leaking past the valve seals..usually nothing to worry about. It quickly burns off..but watch out if becomes excessive amount.
If you are worried about a head gasket/water leak it is a simple and inexpensive task to have the system pressure tested at a local repair facility..NOT the dealership as they will screw you over big time .
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Nothing to worry about if its only for a short time at startup. I had a 72 Vette and only the driver's side exhaust did this on startup until it warmed up. There was an exhaust gas recirculation through the intake manifold and a heat riser valve on the end of the exhaust manifold. When the engine is cold, the heat riser valve closed on one side and the exhaust warmed up the intake manifold and exited the other side. So one side was exhausting while the other stayed closed until warm.
If it is lots of white smoke (cloud), then it could be a blown head gasket. Water is leaking into a cylinder. FYI White is water, blue is oil, black is rich fuel mixture in the exhaust.
Mustang_69 wrote:

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Just to expand on exhaust smoke:
White means water in the exhaust:
- for a short time 5 - 15 min at start up on a cold day, nothing to worry about - for longer, it may mean a blown head gasket with water getting into cylinders
Blue color means oil in the exhaust:
- Only on startup after sitting for a while or only during acceleration, oil is leaking past valve seals - Constantly, bad piston rings
Black color means over rich fuel mixture:
- Choke stuck on or not tuned - Needs a tuneup on the carb or fuel injection side
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Mustang_69 wrote:

Is it a little white smoke for a short period of time, or is it a lot of white smoke for a long time?
TomC '90ZR1 #792
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Thanks all for the good feedback...
I relocated in June from PA to LA...At that time I noticed that after the car sat for a few weeks, when I started the vehicle there was, what I would call, lots of smoke...after about 5-10 minutes of running it reduced significantly but still has spots of white smoke for another 5-10 minutes and then it would stop....
There is loss of coolant and in an attempt to drive it up the road to a garage it overheated on me...I brought it back home and other then when I started it to get it on the trailer to bring here to LA, it has not been ran..I am not a mechanic and fear that running it will damage something...I have had the car for about 1 yr.
I will check the oil and plugs this evening and see what I discover....any other suggestions?....
Thanks again to all.......
Eric
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Mustang_69 wrote:

Eric:
Have it towed to a shop. If you're losing enough coolant for the engine to overheat you've got a serious problem. From your description it sounds like the coolant is getting into the combustion chamber, this usually means failed head gasket.
Good luck!
TomC '90ZR1 #792
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