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How to fix the seventh generation of Honda's compact car.

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White smoke, backfiring, and continuous cranks..?

Hello fellas! I’m looking for a fix for my Honda civic, 05, 1.7L manual, LX Special Edition.

So, there’s been a lot of problems with the car to begin with, but I’ll start with the one that has me stumped.

Ever since I’ve almost entirely rebuilt the head from my valves burning through, there’s been white smoke erupting from my exhaust, and the car backfiring when trying to start. It can take anywhere from 2 attempts to try and start it, to 7.

So, I thought this was a timing issue, readjusted the timing like 6 times, even replaced the belt thinking it could have been stretched. Nope.

Replaced the head gasket, nope.

Replaced the valve cover gasket, nope.

Replaced the EGR valve gasket, nope.

Even replaced the entire exhaust and header, thinking my CATs could have been plugged, nope.

Replaced my fuel injectors, nope.

Now, the interesting part for when I replaced my fuel injectors with performance ones, (as they were $200 cheaper,) my car began smoking white smoke more. And cranking continuously on cold starts, until I suppose it warms up a bit. It still backfired as well.

I can’t think of anything else it could be aside from piston rings, or possibly my ECU going out of whack. I would appreciate the help though, thank you!

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Are you sure it's WHITE smoke? That's steam (or, more properly, condensed steam in the exhaust). If it has a blue tinge, that's oil smoke, which would be either blowby or valve stem seals (or possibly an oil gallery leaking across the head). It sounds like there was no smoke beforehand, so it's due to the repair. When you replaced the head gasket the second time, did your pistons look unnaturally clean? You might. be able to smell antifreeze in the exhaust condensate -- kinda sweetish smell. There could also be some sludging in your engine oil.

The true color of the smoke is definitive. It's either oil or water and you need to know which to get to first base.

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Absolutely certain it is white smoke. As white as can be. If it helps, the smoke is more abundant when the car is revved. The pistons looked quite clean in the middle, a little scorched on the edges from the combustion I’d assume, the smoke smells like burning. It’s fowl, and terrible to smell. No sweet scent there, so it led me to believe it was oil.


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Hi Andrew,

It sounds like you have been really thorough. Are you absolutely sure that your timing belt is correctly aligned?

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Absolutely. Was alligned with the arrow on the block of the motor.

EDIT: I also just unplugged my crank shaft sensor to make sure it wasn’t my timing issue, and the car wouldn’t start without it plugged in, just endless cranks, which should mean it’s not a timing issue.


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Andrew Welsh zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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