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Occasional White Smoke on Starting Nissan 3500NV

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New User

Apr 7, 2021, 6:41 PM

Post #1 of 3 (288 views)
Occasional White Smoke on Starting Nissan 3500NV Sign In

I have a 2012 Nissan 3500NV with a 5.6L V8 which sometimes emits white smoke out of the exhaust when starting. I can't find any pattern to predict when it will happen. Seems totally random. It's not time of day, time of year, van on a slope, etc.. It doesn't even happen each day, but several times a week. There are no visible oil leaks, but it does consume oil. If we take a 200 mile trip I will be a quart low after the drive. I assume it's worn out seals. I've tried a variety of products added to the engine and nothing seems to help. I have almost 140,000 miles on it and it's done this since I purchased it with 110,000 miles. It runs smooth with no discernible affect on how the engine runs. Can the van run like this long term? Am I just waiting for a bigger problem to happen? Should I continue to try products? (I've tried Lucas and Bar's Engine Oil leak products). How bad is the repair if I need to change out the seals and whatever else could be causing this issue. Thanks for any help.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 7, 2021, 7:19 PM

Post #2 of 3 (282 views)
Re: Occasional White Smoke on Starting Nissan 3500NV Sign In

It could be valve seals. They usually do that after a period of idling. It's usually more than just seals. The seals wear out because the guides are worn allowing the valve to move around in the guide and cause the seals to wear. Just replacing the seal may fix it for a while but if the guides are worn, it will happen again.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 7, 2021, 8:40 PM

Post #3 of 3 (274 views)
Re: Occasional White Smoke on Starting Nissan 3500NV Sign In

Valve seals I take it suspect? IDK for sure but if those are the reason for a qt. of oil in 200 miles there's another source reason.

Jrod: Quote you "> Should I continue to try products? (I've tried Lucas and Bar's Engine Oil leak products) <"

No. Don't look for magic in a can to solve what I think may be neglect along the way so suggest checking this engine for evidence of that. It may have had little to no service the first 100k put on it now paying for that. Sludge comes to mind. Might see that on or under oil cap or dipstick.
Long term? Change the oil more with still proper type suggested OE I do like synthetics. Still change those (any type) on time meaning both time and miles.

It this has worn valve guides such that valves move too much I doubt you'll more than patch that as Hammer said it will come right back.
Can't know but the puff of smoke at start ups is telling to a point. Neglect is so if that means sludge oil can't return fast enough to be pumped around again.
Beware of oil additives that just thicken oil to cover up a problem they also slow down oil return to sump (oil pan) more noticed by cold weather upon cold start ups, the long time idling mentioned or (not anymore) engine used as a brake downhills then ask for power again quickly I see the most following a typical school bus (or that type use) quite honestly making many stops then takes off,


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