My Chevy 1990 1500 Scottdale is smoking whats the problem?

I am wondering whats it means when white smoke coming out of the tail pipe? I also smell it burning oil sometimes. The engine has 310,000 on it. Its my first truck I just it this year.

The most common problem is clogged oil return holes in the top of the cylinder head. It keeps oil trapped on top of the heads and the valve guide seals are overwhelmed. At 310K…you could also have weak oil control rings. You need someone with mechanical skills to pinpoint the cause.

White smoke may mean a blown head gasket. Is your coolant level mysteriously dropping? If that isn’t it I agree with @missileman, weak rings but could also be very worn valve guides and seals. If you crack this motor open for a head gasket, be prepared to rebuild the whole thing. Why not look around for a used engine with far fewer miles. It is a small-block chevy (it is a V8? right? you don’t say), they made millions of them.

Agree; with those symptoms and that high mileage, I would shop for a good used engine. You also probably have considerable blow-by from worn rings, forcing oil out of the crankcase and into the valve covers, casing the oil smell.

It’s a V6 I might buy a new Chevy 1500 truck

If buying a new one is an option, there is no choice. That old aluminum motor isn’t worth checking up on. So many things in it are beyond realistic wear limits.

Before making any decisions, I suggest you have it looked at by a reputable mechanic. While the chances are excellent that the engine has serious old-age problems, sometimes we get surprised and discover that the problems aren’t as serious as the symptoms would suggest. It’s worth the hundred or so bucks to find out for sure.

Sincere best.

310K on the same engine is pretty good. I think you should go for the record. It’s your first truck, right? It may have considerable more miles in it yet. If your coolant level seems to be stable (check at the radiator, not just the overflow plastic bottle), then try changing the oil and filter a few times. By this I mean change, drive it a few hundred miles, change again, then again after another couple hundred miles. Fresh oil might clear out the passages.

I’m not saying this is a good idea, but I’ll tell you what my dad would have done if it happened to his 1960’s truck. He’d drain the oil out, install a new filter, and refill the oil pan, not with oil, but with diesel fuel. I’m not kidding. Then he’d idle the truck for 5-10 minutes with the only engine lubricant being the diesel fuel. Only do this at idle, no bumping the idle rpm or racing the engine or driving the truck. Then he’d drain all the diesel fuel out, replace the filter again, and refill with engine oil. The idea is the diesel fuel will dissolve sludge build up that might be blocking some of your engine’s oil passages.

Then again, it could damage seals, so like I say, I’m not recommending this. But at 310 K, if nothing else seems to work and you are looking a buying a replacement engine anyway, might be worth a chance.

If you’re going to fill the engine with something, try this first:

Check BITOG ( for reviews. Haven’t seen any negative ones yet.

So its a V6. This engine is based on the V8, it is a very good engine. Heck it GOT to 310K! GM also made millions of them as well. If the previous suggestions don’t stop the smoking you might still want to consider a swap.

Brand new “in a crate” engines are available for not a ton of money IF everything else on the truck is OK and it isn’t a rust bucket. Used engines are also available, usually cheap, because guys want the V8’s more than a V6 and can be changed in a day with a few buddies help. It all depends on the condition of the transmission, rear axle, and everything else. You don’t want to swap a motor and have the frame rust in half. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.

So far the truck cranks up on the first try, Yes this my first truck. I currently work for the city of Montgomery I was trying to till two years to see if my credit improves.

If you’re trying to get 2 more years, while you’re waiting for your credit score to improve . . . I suggest you keep driving the truck

Monitor the coolant and oil levels. Every week, from the sound of it

If this truck has an automatic transmission, you should probably do a fluid and filter change now, and every 30K from now on

Definitely do not finance a car, if your credit isn’t good. You’re going to get hammered, most likely. Plus, you’ll need to buy expensive comprehensive insurance

My brother was driving a beater for several years. The idea was to save enough money to get himself into a new car. Even though there were repairs, in the end, it was still much cheaper than monthly car payments

And there was no depreciation, because the beater wasn’t worth squat, anyways

That’s my plan

Good plan, and you’ve got some good advice here. Try some of the ideas and keep driving it as long as you can. If you want to take a long trip maybe rent a car, but for local things just make sure you keep the oil level up and change it pretty often. Lots of times people just stop taking care of old vehicles, and if you catch things in time then regular maintenance can bring back a lot of what look like old beaters.

Thanks guys for all the advice, I just got a pay raise on my job so I hope it leads to full time work.