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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some advice on my ’13 Versa sedan…When the car has been sitting overnight and I go to start it the next morning, I see a pretty full stream of white exhaust (definitely more than normal) for about 15-30 seconds and returns back to normal. During the 15-30 seconds, there is a super strong smell of gas…Once the smoke dissipates, the smell dissipates as well. The engine bay does not smell of gas…And there is no smell of gas around the gas tank/cap. Another thing to note, my gas mileage has been less than average. As I have mentioned in a previous post, my engine revs higher than it has in the past. I’m lucky to get about 430 km’s to a tank which is about 267 miles. The car has about 75,000 miles on it.
 

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White exhaust - looks like engine coolant leaking into combustion area, possible head cracked, or a bad gasket. One way to diagnose it - to apply a radiator pressure and keep it overnight, see if in the morning pressure dissipates.
 

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Maybe a leaking injector causing the fuel psi to bleed down into the engine the night before. Usually a head gasket, depending on leak is a constant leak. You should see the fluid changing colors to a milk shake if not even bubbles in it. Depends on how the gasket blows, if it does. You exhaust does contain water vapor and your pipe will collect fluid from the atmosphere over nite if its cool out.

Does take a bit for the cat to start working and make the exhaust less harmful. Maybe nothing at all to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone...I am hesitant to think it's a blown head gasket. The car temp according to the gauge has always been spot on where it should be. I also check the fluids regularly and there has never been a drop in either coolant or oil. Car at idling hovers between 500-700 RPM's where it should be. My real concern is fuel consumption and how it has changed considerably. Thinking it has something to do with the high revs on the highway...Most of my commute is highway. I'm going to do a drain and fill of the transmission fluid to see if that helps any. Is there a simple DIY way to check if an injector is leaking?
 

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Looking for some advice on my ’13 Versa sedan…When the car has been sitting overnight and I go to start it the next morning, I see a pretty full stream of white exhaust (definitely more than normal) for about 15-30 seconds and returns back to normal. During the 15-30 seconds, there is a super strong smell of gas…Once the smoke dissipates, the smell dissipates as well. The engine bay does not smell of gas…And there is no smell of gas around the gas tank/cap. Another thing to note, my gas mileage has been less than average. As I have mentioned in a previous post, my engine revs higher than it has in the past. I’m lucky to get about 430 km’s to a tank which is about 267 miles. The car has about 75,000 miles on it.

This might be another possibility:

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or-failing-catalytic-converter
 

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Ford is having a real issue with detecting leaking head gaskets in the fiestas and focus vehicles. It can leak between cylinders, cylinder to water jacket, cylinder to atmosphere, etc. Usually a lack of power is associated with a blown head gasket.

The lack of power maybe why you need more rpms to maintain highway speeds. Did you over heat the car? Did you loan it to someone who may of hooned it behind your back? Did you try drifting the car?

My car burns more fuel when it gets below freezing 32f or 0c. Also its about time the big oil company switches from winter to summer blend. Most stations that sell gas have gone from maybe containing up to 10% ethanol to this gas contains at least 10% ethanol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's the thing, I'm the only one who drives the car...The car has never overheated (temp gauge always just under half), and although I classify my driving style as spirited, I doubt I've done anything to exceed specs of what the engine/transmission can handle. One thing I did notice yesterday, while in park I was having a little fun revving the engine while waiting for someone and noticed as I was revving the engine, the car would shimmy. Not crazy shaking, but definitely enough to be noticeable. When idling in Drive, Park, Neutral, it's as smooth as glass. I have an appt. tomorrow to have these issues assessed.
 

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Is your car still under warranty? In the US, the powertrain warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles so you may still be under warranty. If so, I'd take it to the dealer, maybe ask them to keep it there overnight, and then start it up the next morning when the engine is cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately it is not. I'm already past 75,000 miles. I took it in, and they see no issue with the smoke (was told it is normal) and that they couldn't any rich gas smell upon startup. They probably wouldn't be able to if they didn't let it sit long enough. Leaving it overnight is not really an option as I need my car. They did notice that my serpentine belt was slipping and suggested replacing the tensioner. They only suggestion/possible solution to the high highway rev's was to reset the TCM and have the transmission re-learn my driving habits. After all this service, car does drive smoother, no more squealing noises but still has the smoke/gas smell issue in the morning...And still rev's really high on the highway (I'm talking close to 3,000 RPM's @ approx 75 mph). It almost feels like it doesn't slip into the most efficient 'gear'. I know CVT's don't have gears so perhaps ratio would be more accurate. Nothing else really gives me any worry that the actual transmission is on the way out. As for the serpentine belt, I've replaced it twice now. Apparently according to the dealership, it's normal for them needing to be replaced every 45,000 miles? Seems pretty excessive if you ask me.
 

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Well, if it makes you feel better us 5 speed guys run 4 grand to do 75 mph. I still get 40 mpg in the end. Ive had other eco cars and they seem to rev high and still return great fuel economy like the geo metro.

I bet its a lack of power causing the engine to run higher to maintain the power to maintain your speed.

I do not know your mechanical skill, but Ill go over how to narrow down a leak of coolant to the combustion chamber as it sounds like your problem.

An engine compression check of each cylinder. Inspect each spark plug as coolant will clean a spark plug.

Pressure check of the radiator and cooling system.

Check of engine oil for color change other than black, like a milkshake. Black stones labs oil test will show an increase of sodium to indicate a leaking head gasket.

Check of coolant system for bubbles when engine is running when its cold by removing the cap on the radiator, not the over flow bottle. Mechanics go a step further and use an emissions tester for engine exhaust from the cooling system.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

Now these tests can not tell you if its a gasket issue or a crack in the head or block or gasket. 99% of the time its a gasket and its visible when you take the head off. If not, then usually the cylinder or cylinders are steam cleaned like the plugs so its easy to narrow it down you there are further tests with dye to check the head for cracks and magnets and metal powder for the block.

So, quick and dirty if you dont do much of the above just check your spark plugs cause a cleaner looking one will tell you that cylinder is having coolant leaking into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice.

I have a pretty good general knowledge of cars, engines and know-how...However, I have a pretty low technical knowledge of repair. Of course, I know the basics of checking my fluids and doing the more general DIY maintenance jobs.

I do know that a manual 5-speed (which I have driven in the past) will rev higher during cruising than a cvt would...I've owned this car since it was new and it has always 'leveled off' to lower RPM's while cruising on the highway. Of course RPM's would increase on inclines but there was always a leveling off to more efficient RPM's. A 'normal' RPM range I used to be at while cruising at 70-75 mph would be around 2500. During inclines, RPM's would shoot up between 3000-4000 RPM's, but would always drop down.

Our conversion is liters per 100 km's....And I'm currently lucky to get 8-8.5. In US mpg's, that's roughly 27-30. Up until a few months ago, I was getting 5.5-6 liters per 100 km's which is roughly 39-42 mpg's. A pretty stark contrast.
 

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Yeah, thats a bit much for fuel consumption. Head gasket replacement usually is around a grand not counting if you need any machine work or sending parts out. It maybe a better idea to consider trading in to another vehicle vs trying to fix this. If the problem is in the block or head thats going to be even more expensive going through the dealer and they would rather replace vs remove and send out to machine.
 

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First you need a metric tool kit, torque wrench, straight edge and feeler gauge.
Then instructions from a shop manual or a several day subscription to an online one.
A top end gasket kit and head gasket.
Oil, filter, antifreeze, t stat or 2 as some have 2.
At least 8 hours to work and a local machine shop.

Once you remove the head you need to see where it leaked and why. This is where the straight edge and feeler gauge comes in handy as you use it to see where its warp or not even. Same for the block. If its the block thats warp you are likely going to need to remove the engine to get it machines or just get a junkyard one.

If the head is warp, you can get most machine shops to deck it or make it level. Depending on wear and your budget you can get them to port and polish to make more power, replace valves, valve seals, etc depending on wear.

I dont know about the V but some cars you have to replace the head bolts vs reuse the old ones. This is where it can get a bit more expensive. Also some cars have multiple gaskets and you do not know which one you need til you take off the old one. THis can add a few days if you are shopping online vs the local store.

While you got it apart you may want to consider replacing other items like timing chain and related parts, water pump if its internal, spark plugs, etc while its all apart.
 

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Sounds like you are burning coolant. Check you coolant level - if it seems normal, mark the current level with a sharpie on the overflow tank and continue to monitor it. Next, change your oil and pay close attention to the oil. If you have a blown headgasket your oil will begin to mix with coolant and will start to look more and more like chocolate milk as the coolant problem worsens.

Replacing the headgasket is a time consuming task so I would take the head to a machine shop and have them check to make sure it is not warped as well as the block. If it is warped and you replace the head gasket without machining the surface to a perfectly level finish, the headgasket will continue to blow out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So...Checked and monitored coolant. No change in level and operating engine temp has been normal. Changed the oil, but haven't noticed any chocolate milk composition. I did notice (and is somewhat concerning me) is a gas smell on the dipstick. I mentioned this to my mechanic and he said that this is normal. As a side note, I've switched to synthetic oil over a year ago. As I've mentioned in a previous post, my hwy rpm's are high (around 3,000 at 120 km/h or 75 mi/hr). This is a CVT engine which has a tendency to rev high of the start and stay that way for a bit before abruptly 'shifting' into the most efficient ratio. This sometimes happens back and forth for a bit before settling down. However on the highway, it feels like I am stuck in passing 'gear' with no efficient ratio fallback. Anyway's, I'm not even sure if gas smell on the oil dipstick means anything, but thought I'd throw that in there.
 
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