Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Feedback: 0 reviews
Okay - some of the other guys might jump in with their thoughts too.
White smoke coming out of the exhaust only comes from one source and that's water. I've never seen any other condition that gives you white smoke. Blue/gray is oil, black is too rich of a fuel mixture, and white is steam. It can be water that is in the exhaust from condensation after it has sat for a while but that usually burns off right away.
You need to really get clear on what is happening. Is it only white smoke when it starts up? Or does it keep blowing white smoke after driving for a while?
In your case it sounds like you noticed the smoke after driving it for a while and this is most likely coming from a head problem. In my experience this was caused by over-heating a motor with an aluminum head on an iron block which is the same type of setup as your 3.8L. I had to replace both the head gasket and have the cylinder head resurfaced since it warped (which I checked using a feeler gauge and a ruler that I knew to be flat). I had to take the head to a machine shop for the work and had them do the valves at the same time. I was a little bit lucky here since it was a 4 cyl motor which means only one head.
I also noticed that you said your motor is supercharged, you could have blown a gasket but I gotta say with the low boost from a super charger I don't see it happening. Unless, the previous owner of the motor (or you) thought it would be fun to try to get higher boost out of the setup which I imagine could lead to problems.
I don't know your mechanical ability - if it were me then I would be doing the following:
1. Checking to see if there is water in the oil. If there is then stop driving and start getting into what is wrong with the engine. Do not take this lightly, running a motor with water in the oil is going to tear things up inside and create a bigger problem.
2. Test drive it to see how much white smoke am I getting, is it only from a cold start or does it happen after it heats up?
3. If I was still getting the smoke after it heats up then I would pull the heads which sucks with a V configuration motor since you have to pull them both to see where the problem is. Even if you find a problem with one head, you might as well pull them both at this point since you've already done the hard work of getting all the modern engine junk out of the way.
At this point - it's either a good time to use/learn some light engine rebuild skills or enlist the help of a friend that has worked on engines. Or take it to a shop. The good news for you is that when started working on engines, I had to use a Chilton's Manual since there was no internet to do research on. These days, I have a computer in the garage and am constantly referring to it as I work on some vehicle "project".