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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 33023
Experience:  35 years working as an ASE certified tech.
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We just bought a 2002 rx300 with 120k and we noticed white

Customer Question

We just bought a 2002 rx300 with 120k and we noticed white smoke upon start up out of tail pipe that dissipates. There is a slight sandy feel to the oil residue under the oil cap and the car seems to hesitates a bit upon acceleration. The coolant, is super low as I just checked. Almost out
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.
Hello and thank you for your question,White smoke out the exhaust in most cases is caused by the engine burning coolant and if your cooling system is low on coolant then you are likely dealing with the early stages of a leaking head gasket. In order to determine if in fact that is the case you will need to perform an engine block test. Its a fairly easy test to run and it checks the cooling system for any signs of hydro-carbons (exhaust) in the cooling system. I have enclosed the steps in the link below for performing the testing. Have a look and post back if you have more questions and or need more help and we can work from there.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok thank you, ***** ***** did not address the gritty feel to oil residue under cap and hesitation upon acceleration. All related?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm concerned about sludge can the smoke be related to that?
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.
Yes the sludge build up is very likely related if you have coolant leaking into the oil due to a failing head gasket. The gasket leaking will cause the smoke as well as the sludge build up due to the loss of coolant.

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