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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Team,

I have a 2011 Chevy Cruze (1.8L) with 105k miles. My car was affected by a faulty thermostat that caused it to overheat while idling and/or running the air conditioner; when I was moving or turned on the heat, the temp gauge would drop back to normal levels. About a couple months back, I took it to the dealer to get the t-stat replaced and the coolant flushed; they advised that I also had a leak in my transmission cooler line and that they'd need replaced. Also, the engine valve gasket was dry rot in a particular area in the front of the engine, so it was trickling small bits of oil and making an unpleasant burning smell. I couldn't do anything about the valve cover gasket, but for the time being, I used some flex seal tape & a couple clamps on the affected cooler line to mitigate leaking of the ATF to the transmission block, which seemed to work alright. Two days ago, I scrounged up enough $ to get both things fixed; I also had the transmission serviced to add new fluid to it.

Since getting these issues resolved, the car is running much better; it's not as difficult to shift, and I've not seen any temperature issues while idling. My concern now is that while going uphill in 4th gear (~3-4k RPM at 40-45MPH), I'm seeing moderate amounts of white smoke come out of the exhaust until I manually shift into 5th gear; this occurred twice (yesterday morning & this morning). As I drive around more, it eventually all goes away. When I parked at work this morning, I held a napkin slightly over the exhaust w/ the car on to see if there was any smell or moisture hitting it; it was dry & didn't smell sweet (i.e. coolant issue), but the exhaust pipe exterior was dingy. Do you all think it's just condensation and I'm overreacting, or could it be excess ATF burning off since they cleaned the area before putting the new cooler line on? Is there anything I can do to clean this up to prevent further issues?

Thanks,
Kyle
 

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Discussion Starter #2
From the sticky to better assist:

1. Year, trim level, and transmission.
2011, LS, 6-spd automatic w/ manual up/downshift.
2. Miles on the car!!!
105k
3. Check engine light, airbag, or other warning light on or "Service [insert system here]" message showing? Has somebody told you the code if the check engine light is on?
No light
4. Approximate location of the issue.
Uphill - exhaust issue
5. As detailed a description of the problem as you can give. Something like "My 2012 Cruze Eco manual transmission with 50k miles on it is making a grinding noise from around the brake pedal at 12 mph every time I start the car, and doesn't do it again until I start the car again" is enough to let us get started. (Hint: I described the ABS self-check, and that check is normal for every Cruze on startup)
See above for backstory & issue
6. Country! Your warranty and repair options might be different in other countries than here in the United States or Canada.
USA - No warranty options
7. (as needed): Left-hand drive or right-hand drive? If your car is right-hand drive, that's nice to know since a lot of us on this board have little experience with RHD cars.
Left
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Folks, I have talked with the mechanic that fixed my car the other day, and he gave me some reassuring news. When they fixed my valve gasket & cover, they advised that oil got into the spark plug area and a chamber of sorts (didn't catch the name - sorry). The excess oil is going to burn out the exhaust for a couple more days; he mentioned if it continues though, I'd have to take it back in.

I have some more updates too:

-White smoke did come out this afternoon while going uphill between 3500-4k RPM again in 4th gear. It eventually went away when I shifted into 5th and let off the pedal.
-When I hammer the pedal and go between 5500-6500 RPM (short distances of course as a test), I get some white smoke too.
-270 degree turns (right or left) yields some white smoke as well; I lose some power temporarily while turning but am able to accelerate with no issues when I even out.
-When I parked, I checked the exhaust and saw a white powdery substance caked on the outside of the exhaust pipe. The substance didn't smell sweet, and my coolant levels didn't drop in the reservoir.

That being said, I'm going to give it another few days or so to see if this issue clears up. Feel free to comment on any other possibilities and/or things I can do in the meantime to help.
 

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Open the hood and clean of the engine and surrounding bay. Then monitor for leaks. Mark the coolant level in the reservoir and monitor for changes.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
I took the car to the wash on Saturday before I gave it to the mechanic and followed mostly everything in this video. Didn't get as detailed as he did, but the cleaning did help performance. Coolant tank has been notched. We'll see if the issue recurs into next week; I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your quick response!

-Kyle
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update today:

Still some white smoke while going uphill; I revved the engine to 6500-7k RPM and blew out more oil. It eventually cut out and is starting to diminish after driving it more. Continuing to monitor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update today:


Slight smoke this morning going uphill and eventually went away; on the way home, there wasn't any smoke at all around corners or uphill. I'll continue to monitor into next week. Thanks everyone for your responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update 5/28:

PM Drive - No smoke

Update 5/29:

AM Drive - No smoke


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This being said, I'm going to mark this issue as resolved for now. Thanks everyone for your help!
 
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