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Hi, So here's what happened. Any clue? 2013 Volt over 90k miles.

1. I ran the car with the hood open while parked, on a hot day. I did this to get rid of a burning oil smell because a little oil had hit a hot part of the car.

2. The burning oil smell went away after a few minutes but I kept running it like this to make sure it was all gone.

3. After about 20 minutes I think? the car started very lightly shaking. So I turned it off.

4. I turned it on about 5 minutes later and a ton of white smoke came out of the exhaust. I mean a ton.

5. I turned it off obviously.

6. Turned it back on about 15 minutes later and no more white smoke out of the exhaust. But now the car makes a barely noticeable squeaking-ish? sound when the ICE is turned off.

Any clue what this is? I'll go to the mechanic tomorrow I guess.
 

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Check the fluid level in your engine coolant reservoir. White smoke can indicate a coolant leak into one or more cylinders. Definitely have your Volt checked by a mechanic.
 

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I ran the car with the hood open while parked, on a hot day. I did this to get rid of a burning oil smell because a little oil had hit a hot part of the car.
IMO, this was not the correct way to diagnose an oil leak which was giving you the burned oil smell

Don
 

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If you had just done an oil change or added oil, could you have overfilled it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
IMO, this was not the correct way to diagnose an oil leak which was giving you the burned oil smell

Don

Oh no I wasn't trying to diagnose it. Being an older volt, it has oil "seepage" which means a tiny tiny bit of oil leaks, but it's no where near enough to use the word "leak." If you do a very hard turn or something, this seeping oil flies off of where it's accumulating and onto a hot part of the car, causing it to smell. Running it for five minutes gets rid of the smell. This happens like once every 6 months or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"a little oil had hit a hot part of the car"

How did this (oil hit a hot part of car) happen exactly?
See above. I'm not worried about the oil at all.

My question is:

1. Why did the car start to very slightly shake after running for 20 minutes with the hood open?

2. Why did it flood, absolutely flood, my garage with white smoke when I turned it off after the shaking, and then turned it back on?

#2 is my biggest concern because it's the sign of an engine crack of a blown head gasket -- but if it were one of those things white smoke would come out EVERY time I start the car and run the engine but I absolutely can't replicate the white smoke. What would cause white smoke to flood out of the exhaust one time and never again?

Also, I guess I'm not 100% sure the white smoke came out of the exhaust because, you know, you can't see the volt's exhaust but I'm pretty sure it did.
 

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It seems you are saying someone topped-off or changed the engine oil and spilled some on some engine parts, causing a burning smell.

You opened the hood to run the engine so the oil could burn off and the smell could dissipate.

The white smoke out the tailpipe likely has nothing to do with running the engine with hood open.

White smoke coming out of the tailpipe can be nothing to be concerned about if it's thin, like vapor. However, thicker smoke can indicate a big problem caused the engine burning water in the oil or antifreeze has mixed with the fuel supply. This can be the result of a serious issue like a blown head gasket, a damaged cylinder head, or a cracked engine block. Or maybe the coolant is low and the engine overheated.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It seems you are saying someone topped-off or changed the engine oil and spilled some on some engine parts, causing a burning smell.

You opened the hood to run the engine so the oil could burn off and the smell could dissipate.

The white smoke out the tailpipe likely has nothing to do with running the engine with hood open.

White smoke coming out of the tailpipe can be nothing to be concerned about if it's thin, like vapor. However, thicker smoke can indicate a big problem caused the engine burning water in the oil or antifreeze has mixed with the fuel supply. This can be the result of a serious issue like a blown head gasket, a damaged cylinder head, or a cracked engine block. Or maybe the coolant is low and the engine overheated.

Yes well said. Forget all about the oil because I confused everyone by bringing it up as it had nothing to do with my question.

Basically, I ran the car for 20 minutes with the hood open on a hot day. The car started slightly shaking. I turned it off. Turned it back on in 5 minutes and a TON of VERY THICK white smoke came out of the exhaust. Filled my apartment's garage.

I turned it off. And every time I've turned it on since then I can't recreate the white smoke at all, not even a sliver of smoke.

If I could recreate it, I'd be sure it's a blown head gasket or cracked engine. But since I can't recreate it I don't know what it is.
 

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What is the level of engine coolant in the coolant overflow tank, is it down from where it should be?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes well said. Forget all about the oil because I confused everyone by bringing it up as it had nothing to do with my question.

Basically, I ran the car for 20 minutes with the hood open on a hot day. The car started slightly shaking. I turned it off. Turned it back on in 5 minutes and a TON of VERY THICK white smoke came out of the exhaust. Filled my apartment's garage.

I turned it off. And every time I've turned it on since then I can't recreate the white smoke at all, not even a sliver of smoke.

If I could recreate it, I'd be sure it's a blown head gasket or cracked engine. But since I can't recreate it I don't know what it is.
I didn't check precisely before but it's above the line. I don't think it went down at all.
 

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Did you check the coolant level when the engine was cold?
 

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Checks you can do yourself is to look for signs of coolant in the engine oil and signs of engine oil in the coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Checks you can do yourself is to look for signs of coolant in the engine oil and signs of engine oil in the coolant.
I can't replicate the white smoke at all and no signs of exhaust in teh coolant. No clue what that was.
 
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