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Hi all,

I have a 1999 Kia Sephia and recently it has been exhibiting some strange behavior. I have never seen anything like this in any other vehicle that I own/have owned, so maybe someone else has seen it or has an idea for me.

When I drive on the highway for any significant distance, say 20-30 miles at around 65-75mph then come to a stop after I have left the highway, after I have downshifted from 5th to first, when the light turns green and I go, I have almost no power and i get a nice huge puff of white-ish blue smoke out the tailpipe (like it is burning oil really badly), and then the car runs fine again with no smoke, no problems at all as far as performance goes after that initial smoke.

If I only drive the car in town, I NEVER see it have any smoke, this ONLY happens after I go out on the highway, which seems odd to me, as I had an old truck that once it started smoking, it never quit..LOL

ANyway, if anyone else has seenthis problem, or is a better mechanic than I, perhaps you could shed some light on this for me. Oh, I have an ODBII Code reader, and apart from the one problem that I fixed recently when my check engine light came on, (sorry, dont' remember what it was, but it was stupid), I get an all ok reading from the ODBII reader.

Thanks in advance,

Greg
 

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Short answer:With the info you've supplied I'm 99% sure you have a leaky gasket.

Long answer: The huge puff of smoke is the result of one or more cyclinders burning fluid other than gas. Your car is either burning oil, coolant, or both. The reason why the car doesn't appear to be smoking consistantly is because your head gasket is not completely blown but it has a leak in it. The reason why I think that is because when you car is running it is cycling oil and coolant through the engine. And the speed at which those fluids are moving are determined by how fast your engine is moving (R.P.M. of the cyclinders). Well there is a fairly long lag time between when you push or depress the pedal and when the water/oil pump compensates for the speed at which the engine is operating at. Under normal driving conditions the car is able to completely burn small leaks thats why you don't always notice the leak.But when you lower the engine speed (espeacial if you down shift to slow down/stop the car)faster than the pump(s) can slow down you will momentarily flood you car with oil or coolant(which would cause the car to run like crap) and when you start to accelerate your basicly forcing/burning out all the excess liquid. If the engine speed increases alot then you might see the leak(smoke). Because the pumps are working really hard and force alot of fluid(flooding) in the cyclinders.

I have seen a few cars do what your describing but most cars only do it during hard acceleration.

If I only drive the car in town, I NEVER see it have any smoke, this ONLY happens after I go out on the highway, which seems odd to me, as I had an old truck that once it started smoking, it never quit..LOL
The symptoms are a can be very different from automobile to automobile. Some only blow out smoke when you are flooring it others do it all the time.

The first thing you need to do is find out whats leaking. A rule of thumb is that if your car is blowing white smoke then your coolant is leaking, if black then it's oil. Another way for you to check is removing all 4 spark plugs if they are covered in oil guess what you got a oil leak. Plus you can always have a compression check done by a local shop. If your just leaking coolant their is a product that you add to it that might seal the leak up if its small enough. I can't remember what it's called but I do known It contains copper in it. I used it on my last car and it worked well. You can pick it up at a local auto parts store. If you do find that you have an oil leak the leak could come from a variety of other places values guids, piston rings, etc.... If that was the case you car would hesitate alot more.

To find out how to remove/check your plugs check out
www.kia101.com


Hope this helps and good luck
 
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