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White smoke (James Bond style) coming from tailpipe


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My 2002 986 2.7 5sp, 68k miles developed a serious problem recently. Here's the details:

Two days ago, I noticed a bit of white smoke coming from the tailpipe as I was on the freeway. The temp was at 180, no performance issue, oil OK, coolant OK. Could not find anything wrong. After I stopped to check it out, the car did not smoke again (on that trip).

Yesterday morning, while checking the car for problems, I started the car, let it warm up, and took it up to 4k rpm... all with no trace of smoke. Oil was still ok, as was the coolant level.

In the afternoon, I drove the car about 4 miles... still no sign of smoke. Again, temp ok, no performance issues. etc..

On the way home though... it was another story.

Upon the return trip, I noticed a bit of smoke coming out of the tailpipe. It seemed to occur after I let off the gas. If I accelerated, the volume of smoke did not increase. This lasted for about 1 mile in 30-40mph traffic.

On the 2nd mile, the car did a full smoke screen (Fit for any proper spy movie) and then shut off. Luckily I was able to pull over and have the car towed home.

At this point, the oil gauge was 2 bars lower than before.

The OBD II scanner reported no codes and the car will not turn over. :-(

I'm in the process of reading every reference to white smoke on various websites, but would appreciate hearing from this crowd.

Any thoughts on what could have happened?

Kevin

2002 986 2.7 5sp, 68k miles.

Edited by sobefun
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My 2002 986 2.7 5sp, 68k miles developed a serious problem recently. Here's the details:

Two days ago, I noticed a bit of white smoke coming from the tailpipe as I was on the freeway. The temp was at 180, no performance issue, oil OK, coolant OK. Could not find anything wrong. After I stopped to check it out, the car did not smoke again (on that trip).

Yesterday morning, while checking the car for problems, I started the car, let it warm up, and took it up to 4k rpm... all with no trace of smoke. Oil was still ok, as was the coolant level.

In the afternoon, I drove the car about 4 miles... still no sign of smoke. Again, temp ok, no performance issues. etc..

On the way home though... it was another story.

Upon the return trip, I noticed a bit of smoke coming out of the tailpipe. It seemed to occur after I let off the gas. If I accelerated, the volume of smoke did not increase. This lasted for about 1 mile in 30-40mph traffic.

On the 2nd mile, the car did a full smoke screen (Fit for any proper spy movie) and then shut off. Luckily I was able to pull over and have the car towed home.

At this point, the oil gauge was 2 bars lower than before.

The OBD II scanner reported no codes and the car will not turn over. :-(

I'm in the process of reading every reference to white smoke on various websites, but would appreciate hearing from this crowd.

Any thoughts on what could have happened?

Kevin

2002 986 2.7 5sp, 68k miles.

Sounds like the AOS has gone bad. Run a search on AOS (Air Oil Separator) using the search feature on this Board.

Here is a link to Mike Focke's Web Page PRESS HERE

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Pull all the spark plugs and look for one (or more)that is oiled down; a blown AOS can flood one or more cylinders enough to hydrolock your engine with inhaled oil and kill it. This is not something to mess about with; if you are lucky, you caught it before it bent a rod or worse. Do not run the car until you have determined if you have cylinder(s) filling with oil or not.

If you've gotten to it in time, a new AOS and a few miles will clear out the remaining oil and you will be fine. But get it properly checked before even starting it again....................

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Same happened to me (01S 60K mi). I pulled the throttle body and found oil. Replaced AOS, cleaned out throttle body, and all good in that regard. However, in my case, after replacing the AOS, the day after oil began pooling up on the garage floor. As I am doing a clutch change, I found the RMS leaking. Not sure how the two are related but was very coincidental.

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You must have pressed the James Bond smoke screen button on the dash. Just press it again and you should be fine. It's use is to illude bad guys, police, and ex girlfriends.

x2 for AOS.

It's at the shop now. So far, Q has been able to get the car started, but it seems that the smoke screen button is stuck. I am awaiting results from further investigation. The scary part is that I switched to two wheels for the interim and was almost hit (THREE TIMES) by henchmen (aka Miami drivers) on the way to the shop. On the way home, another one (slick American car) attempted to merge me into a curb. Luckily I narrowly escaped. Spectre must really be out to get me.

At least the car starts now. I'll file another report soon..

Now where did I hide that bottle of 1990 Bollinger?

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I'll repeat what I said earlier: DO NOT RUN THE CAR! If your AOS is toast and the engine is inhaling oil, even turning it over with out starting it is enough to do serious and very permanent damage (like one or more bent rods). This needs to be handled by someone that really knows what they are doing and has the correct equipment (like a bore scope), or it can and will get very expensive, very quickly......................

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I'll repeat what I said earlier: DO NOT RUN THE CAR! If your AOS is toast and the engine is inhaling oil, even turning it over with out starting it is enough to do serious and very permanent damage (like one or more bent rods). This needs to be handled by someone that really knows what they are doing and has the correct equipment (like a bore scope), or it can and will get very expensive, very quickly......................

As always, thanks for the the valuable advice. My choice of mechanic was based on the recommendation of a board member of the PCA (Gold Coast Region). In South Florida, that's about as good as it gets.

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Update: AOS failure.. After $401, car is back on the road and running fine. Smoke screen option was disabled. I want to give a shout out to a few stand up guys.... Pedro of Pedro's Garage, and Luis Gil of European Auto Center in Miami.

Kevin

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