Calling all TFW2005 motorheads - Need insight on vehicle smoking problem!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Autobot Burnout, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout A face you can trust! Really!

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    I know we've got some car buffs on here so hopefully this can help point me in the right direction, as I have no idea just what happened that's rendered the family van out of service until further notice.

    The gist of the situation is my mom, who uses the van - a 2006(?) Toyota Sienna - to commute, was trying to head off to work a few minutes ago, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary and the van was in as much working order as it is these days (I'll explain the one pre-existing issue shortly) yesterday. However, inexplicably the van produced a rank smell accompanied by a highly discernible cloud of smoke (think dry ice except even more translucent) that quickly got into the house. The van was immediately turned off and it stopped producing smoke, but what had gotten into the house took some door opening and extra ventilation through fans to disperse - the smell of course is still lingering and it's all that can be done to have multiple air fresheners trying to kill it. Thankfully the van hasn't done anything worse yet but we're taking no chances until we get a mechanic to look at it.

    Now, the pre-existing issue with the van is that it's AC is shot. I think the compressor died or something but basically since this past summer the van no longer can produce cold air and the heater isn't as effective as it used to be. The replacement part is also rather expensive from what I've been told hence why this issue wasn't fixed months ago.

    But I'm getting a wide variety of results online ranging from minor oil leaks to busted transmission fluid leaks and dead animals in the air filters, so I don't know how to narrow it down. Thus I turn to you all - any advice from guys who know these kinds of machines to help pinpoint why this van in good repair suddenly went mad max on us would be appreciated.

    EDIT: Just some more clarification - the van is always kept inside a garage at night so while it does get chilly, it's not exposed to the elements like rain, snow, etc. I also just looked around the vehicle and I can't asertain any kind of leak from ground level so I would like to think this means it's just a crappy filter gone south - while the van is serviced on schedule, the air compressor dying in the middle of a summer roadtrip (what better time to learn your AC is gone?) probably is evidence enough the car as a whole is starting to wear out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  2. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    It could be some wiring is shot and you're burning electrical components or the heater is malfunctioning (if it were the heater I'd expect the smell to start a few seconds to minutes after the car started), what about the exhaust system, could it have a leak? Or as you said, you could be leaking fluids and they're burning on the engine components. Try running it with the hood open and look to see if you can figure out where the smoke is coming from, for a start?

    It's a smell I can't 'picture', so its hard for me to say. If it were a dead animal, you'd know, though. If it were a clogged air filter, the fan and engine would sound like they were struggling.
     
  3. 3.8TransAM

    3.8TransAM Banned

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    By the piss poor description it sounds like something in the cooling system let go and sprayed onto something hot.

    Light white smoke and it burns your nostrils.

    If I were you, I would actually take a look at it first and visually see what you can find.

    "Rank" smell doesn't qualify as descriptive.............................
     
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  4. SWAGE66

    SWAGE66 The Reeled Robot

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    ^^^

    Gotta check those fluids! Coolant definitely is common for smoke issues, see if you have any in the reservoir first. Look around the engine for liquid as well. Could be many things, though. A missing O-ring on a coolant line, bad radiator cap, heater core leak, etc. If the heater doesn't work like it should, as you mentioned, this is probly the area that will need repaired.

    Figuring out where the smoke came from is the first step. Either a fluid leak, or exhaust issue.

    Just remember to open the garage door before you start it up again, if the smell hasn't reminded you enough lol.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Just here for the toys

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