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Discussion Starter #1
l :angryfire:

As I pulled my 2008 Outlook XR (18,000km) out of the garage today, a plume of thick white smoke came out of the tailpipes, accompanied by a heavy gas smell. A "Service Air Bag" message was displayed on the DIC.

Hoping this was a fluke, went to pull it back in the garage tonight and the same story above unfolded.

I am furious, it was really embarrassing have a cloud of smoke from the outlook drift through my neighborhood. There is no way this should be happening to a car this new. I'm off to the dealer first thing tomorrow, will keep you posted. Obviously I'm really concerned about the vehicle - I love it other than this but I can't believe something like this is occurring in such a new vehicle.

Anyone seen anything like this in the outlook or any other car? From what I have read on various car forums it sounds like a serious engine problem.
 

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Never had that happen with my outlook.... and this is the first time i have seen this symptom on any outlook forums...

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update:

Well, it was kind of a good news no news story so far...

Took it in this morning, no more white smoke but the <Service air bag> was still showing on the DIC.

With regard to the crazy indicators on the DIC, there was a service bulletin regarding a wiring harness under the drivers seat that sometimes is stretched / pinched when the drivers seat is moved around causing a change in the resistance in the circuit. They measured the resistance and confirmed this was the case, fixed the wire and ensured there was enough slack so it doesn't happen again.

No root cause was identified for the white smoke. They could see multiple stored codes for the O2 sensor but since the event wasn't actively occurring it was impossible for them to trouble shoot. Advise they gave me was if it happens again, bring it in and don't turn the vehicle off so they can run further diagnostics. Will keep you posted if this happens again.

BTW....I signed up for an account on the Acadia forum - a few instances of white smoke there, with some serious sounding root causes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay - a very very delayed update on this, a year and half later (still under warranty thankfully).

Started having this same problem again in January 2011. White smoke on startup, rough idle, check engine light, excessive emissions. After warmup, engine performance and emissions normal.

Trip 1 to the dealer:

- Pressure tested and ruled out coolant leak
- Checked injectors, no issue found / issue not resolved.
- dealer ordered some sort of tool further check the injector performance..need to come back when they have the tool.

Trip 2:

- O2 sensor replaced, injectors checked with tool...injectors and sensor ruled out as cause of issue.
- Outlook remains at the dealer, they are now looking to replace a cylinder, will need a couple of days.

Hope the Outlook survives open heart surgery! :eek:
 

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When I hear white smoke; I think oil burning. What is the oil level?
 

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Superfan said:
... they are now looking to replace a cylinder ...
Can you elaborate on that? A 'cylinder' isn't noprmally replaced, in fact is integral to the engine block so not technically able to be replaced. ;D
 

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Must of meant a piston or rings ???
 

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Discussion Starter #8
AA/78U - No problems with oil level then or now

In regards to cylinder I suspect they were zeroing on a specific cylinder misfiring.

Dealer called today, one of the lifters is "broken" and needs to be replaced...outlook gone until next week.
 

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Superfan said:
AA/78U - No problems with oil level then or now

In regards to cylinder I suspect they were zeroing on a specific cylinder misfiring.

Dealer called today, one of the lifters is "broken" and needs to be replaced...outlook gone until next week.
Broken lifter; I don't recall anyone has ever had this problem
 

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Superfan said:
AA/78U - No problems with oil level then or now

In regards to cylinder I suspect they were zeroing on a specific cylinder misfiring.

Dealer called today, one of the lifters is "broken" and needs to be replaced...outlook gone until next week.
Broken lifter, that's a new one :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, well here is the update on this issue:

Just got the Outlook back last night (Feb 25) if you can believe it.

Multiple delays due to various part orders. They found camshaft play when they opened things up, tried the "shim fix" that you can read about on the Outlook and Acadia forums. The shim fix did not work; they determined that the cylinder head needed to be replaced to eliminate the camshaft play. The dealer felt they had resolved the issues, no more codes.

Looking at the warranty write up, probably $2500 of parts plus a $1600 rental car invoice, not to mention labour. Parts range from seals and gaskets, bolts, actuator, camshaft, ring arm, sealant, fluid, lubricant, sensors, head, chains.

When I got it, seemed to run ok, no CE light, no excessive smoke. There was an odor of gasoline in the vehicle though.

Drove to home depot, worked great, left the radio off and listened to the engine, sounded great, went home. This morning, check engine light comes on, along with the white smoke and heavy exhaust smell on startup.

So, back to the dealer on Monday....I've been pretty patient throughout this but I'm starting to get a bit worried about the future of this vehicle.

Wondering as I struggle to determine whats going on...would the fact the the car is parked on an angle in the driveway (back end elevated) have anything to do with it? ie...would condensation in the exhaust cause such thick smoke to come out? I'm talking billowy clouds that last at least the first minute and drift around my front yard.

I've never had this issue with any of my other vehicles but perhaps its something unique to the lambda design. Pretty sure I've seen this even when parked in the garage (nearly flat surface).

I'm going to capture some video of morning start-ups in each position (back end vs front end) for myself and the techs.

Condensation or not, the code being thrown has to be resolved.
 

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I park mine on my driveway at times, which has a decent slant to it. No problems uphill or downhill, cold or hot out, etc. I'm at 37k.
 

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we are at 30k on ours with no smoke issues on a slanted driveway. We did start to experience on initial startup after about a minute of idling, there seems to a wierd shudder, rpms dip, then the computer seems to compensate and the idle normals up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok...so it appears that we may finally have gotten the bottom of this issue.

Took the Outlook back on Monday...the techs found a P0430 code. This indicates poor performance with the catalytic converter (in this case the converter on the left side). While a visual inspection by the tech didn't see any obvious problems, they replaced the converter. Another $800 of warranty parts.

So far, no rotten smoky exhaust issues and no more codes being thrown.

Based on what I've read on the net, the original issue with the cams could possibly have led to the failure of the converter if it was creating misfire conditions.

Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this issue has been finally wrestled to the ground.

Question for all, would the the converters be included as part of the 5 year powertrain warranty? I ask as the 3 year bumper to bumper warranty on mine is up in August.
 

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I believe the cats and emissions system is warranted to 80,000
 

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I guess this doesnt apply.. since yours is a 2008.

Repeat Catalytic Converter Failure
January 4, 2010 5:51 PM

On some 2009 Enclave, Traverse, Acadia and OUTLOOK models, the ignition coil circuit connections may cause engine misfires that may lead to repeat catalytic converter failure as well as scoring of the cylinder bores.
Check the X3 connector, pin 51 - circuit 5291 for odd cylinders and the X3 connector, pin 47 - circuit 5292 for the even bank of cylinders. Pin drag the connections. If a concern is found, replace the terminals.
 
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