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White smoke from dipstick

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
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White smoke from dipstick

Postby hollow » 14 Dec 2013, 10:58

So I thought it was time to check the PCV system today, I don't know if it has been cleaned or not.

I put a small plastic freeze bag over the oil cap, secured tightly by a rubber band. The bag did nothing - it didn't inflate and it wasn't sucked in either...

If I pushed it down it still didn't inflate.

However with the engine up to temp - I had white smoke Coming out of the dipstick...

Does this mean that I have to clean the system? Won't do it myself...
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Re: White smoke from dipstick

Postby mikealder » 14 Dec 2013, 11:05

I would think the white "smoke" you saw coming out of the dipstick tube was steam, these engines will hold quite a bit of condensation which will boil out when the engine gets to temperature, if the bag didn't inflate I wouldn't think there is anything wrong with the PCV.
If the dipstick is getting a white mayo type coating on it then again this is water mixed with oil that condensates out due to the location of the dipstick tube which gets lots of cold air blown at it causing any steam to condensate back to water, mixed with oil this turns to the white mayo substance, try insulating the dipstick tube with some pipe lagging which will reduce the cooling effect of the air - Mike
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Re: White smoke from dipstick

Postby rspi » 14 Dec 2013, 11:29

If you have a bad elbow, torn or loose, on the side of the manifold near the power steering pump or at the PTC, you will get smoke out of the dipstick. Check for cracked or loose elbows.

Also, use a very soft plastic, like rubber glove or very thin shopping bag. A freezer bag is likely to stiff to respond to the minor vacuum changes.
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