I finally took the truck for a drive last night after it has sat all winter and I had just finished rebuilding the front suspension and steering. When I first started the truck there was white smoke and water(?) comming out of the exhaust. It has sat for a while so I figured it was just condinsation that was in the exhaust. After it warmed up I took it for a drive (I really like the new steering) and it was still doing it (white smoke) but not as bad and there was still water dripping out but again, not as much.
I checked the dipstick and it had condensation on the upper side of it and the oil didn't look milky. I checked the coolant (after it had cooled down some) and it looked clean. The exhaust doesn't give off a sweet smell that I can tell but I wasn't on my hands and knees sucking on my tailpipe either.
My plan was to check the spark plugs to see if any of them are white. What are some other things I should look for?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the last time I had a problem like that it was a cracked head. After the engine warmed up it would not smoke but everytime it sat until it was cold and restarted I got a lot of white smoke out one side of the exhaust. Mine didn't give off a sweet smell either. The crack was so slight that when the engine warmed up the leak was practically negligible. It would also miss on one cylinder at idle but fired on all cylinders after it warmed up. It could also be a bad head gasket or a cracked block. I noticed you live in North Dakota. I assume you had plenty of antifreeze in it for the winter...
I kept in in the garage this winter so it wasn't AS cold cold but it was still cold in the garage. I made sure the antifreeze mixture was good before winter. It's only got about 500 miles on the motor. I bought it as a rebuilt longblock and it sat for almost 2 years before I installed it in the truck and ran it. I know seals can dry up with it sitting that long. Would this plus winter have anything to do with it?
Sitting should not have hurt it nor the cold if you had sufficient antifreeze. Unless there was a screw-up on assembly it's probably just condensation as Old F1 suggested. Keep an eye on the coolant level and drive it some more. If it is something like a cracked head or bad head gasket the white smoke will be worst on a cold start-up and usually out of one side only...
Does it tend to disappear shortly after it leaves the exhaust? If so then it's steam.
Black smoke is unburned fuel, and gray smoke is burned oil.
Steam can be caused by condensation but should be gone within 3-5 minutes of your engine start up. All that latent water should be evaporated by then - that is is it is just condensation.
BUT, if it continues, then you have a water source that is supplying water to your cylinders. And that means a cracked block, cracked head or most likely, a leaking head gasket. It could be VERY small.
Be sure to check your coolant for traces of oil, and be especially noteworth of any water in the oil - it will appear on the dipstick or at oil changes as a milky white substance.
I think you could say it's more like steam. It disipates not long after it comes out the exhaust. I looked at the oil and coolant but didn't see any signs of a problem (oil in coolant, milky oil, ect) but I'll keep an eye on it.
I drove the truck around for about 10 min yesterday and it still had steam comming out but couldn't see any signs of something being wrong other than that. I'll keep a close eye on it. Thanks for the advice.
I did like Old F1's advice best. It doesn't cost me anything.....now.
If you let it sit for a couple days, and drain a couple cups of oil out of it (yes, you can do that, it's a mess, but...) into a clean container, look for water. It can take a while to settle out, but it will always eventually settle to the bottom of the pan. That's if a cylinder wall is cracked. If it's a head gasket, it may not ever leak into the oil, the coolant may just leak into the cylinders and get burned. It would usually get worse when the engine is hot if its either (pressure in the cooling system).
I just checked the spark plugs and a couple of them were loose. The spark plugs were all a little dark but one was a little lighter that the others. Not much but some. I checked the coolant level and i was down just a little. There was also some condinsation on he dip stick and a very small amount of milky white substance on the dipstick and in the oil. The truck has sat since thursday night. Any ideas? I'm going to change the oil tomorrow night so I haven't drained i yet to see what it looks like.