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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Check this video out: https://photos.app.goo.gl/33bWsn4x9t5xkZYd9

It's only recently started happening, and at the same time, the exhaust has been a little more "smoky" (white) in color, and the exhaust also smells horrendous upon startup (like fuel, but it's a bad smell).

Is this anything to worry about? It's like a constant beeping noise you get from a little Piezo or something... very confused. For context, I did the spark plugs myself a few weeks ago.

Thanks in advance. Hoping it's nothing bad.
 

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Odd sound. Very much sounds electrical in nature based on the steady intonation and frequency. No idea what it could be.


White smoke and a horrendous smell could be (a) a catalytic converter going bad or (b) oil or coolant bypassing into the combustion chamber (which would accelerate the death of the cat).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Odd sound. Very much sounds electrical in nature based on the steady intonation and frequency. No idea what it could be.


White smoke and a horrendous smell could be (a) a catalytic converter going bad or (b) oil or coolant bypassing into the combustion chamber (which would accelerate the death of the cat).
Thanks for the response. This just further supports my theory that one of my cats is going bad. UGH! How do I fix this? It's a really bad smell that's similar to fuel and it's really really sour in nature. Very hard to describe. Doesn't smell like oil or coolant.
 

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Sounds like what my mom's '07 does, but I think that's just the throttle. Not 100% sure though, it may just be with the key on when I've noticed it. How long does it last after removing the key?

As far as the smoke, have you had any excessive fuel consumption lately? Losing any coolant or oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sounds like what my mom's '07 does, but I think that's just the throttle. Not 100% sure though, it may just be with the key on when I've noticed it. How long does it last after removing the key?

As far as the smoke, have you had any excessive fuel consumption lately? Losing any coolant or oil?
Fuel consumption has been around 13.1 MPG city. Haven't done highway in a while thanks to the global pandemic we're in...

It lasts for about 1.5 - 2 mins consistently. Happens only when I turn off the car and pull the key out and doors are closed, I'm standing outside the car and I can hear it.

Don't think I'm losing any coolant or oil, but I'm not sure how to check oil loss. The coolant level with the engine shut off is right below the minimum line. Don't know about oil. Getting VIDA/DiCE in the mail later today, so I should be able to check it with that, no?
 

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You have a dipstick to check the oil like any other car. Check with a cold engine on a level surface.
 

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You have a dipstick to check the oil like any other car. Check with a cold engine on a level surface.
DUH. *facepalm* I can be so dumb sometimes... YES I know there's dipstick. Just didn't connect the dots. The oil level is normal.

Here's another video of the noise I took just a few minutes ago as I sat with my new VIDA/DiCE toy I got in the mail today, checking what trouble codes my truck has (none, thankfully). This time, the noise went away in 10-15 seconds of me shutting of the car, and the car had been idling in park the WHOLE time for about 30-45 minutes in my garage as I sat there with my laptop scrolling through VIDA. So, the engine was DEFINITELY at normal operating temperature (coolant gauge at middle). Wondering if that has something to do with it...
 

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No worries, we all have those moments sometimes lol. I think this noise is normal, just things running for a moment before shutting down. I'll have to check my mom's XC90 at some point today.
 

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Hello there,

I don't know about the noise, sorry.

That said, I have some ideas regarding the exhaust & smell you have going on.

From what you have said about pandemic driving habits [mostly around town] and the car idling for long periods of time, and colder temperatures now in the Fall... I'd say the exhaust color after cold start is normal condensation rather than smoke.
I bet the exhaust has lots of moisture in it and its condensing in the air.. hence the whitish 'color'. The smell is akin to rotten eggs and again is related to the moisture in the exhaust components.

Low speed.. short trips .. the exhaust components cannot fully 'warm up' as they do when driven longer distance & at highway speeds. The moisture builds up over time.

A blast down the highway will dry out the exhaust all right.. but expect whitish condensation from the tailpipes on the next cold start as our weather cools off going towards Winter.

Good luck man.

M
 

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MBL - that moniker has a familiar ring to it...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello there,

I don't know about the noise, sorry.

That said, I have some ideas regarding the exhaust & smell you have going on.

From what you have said about pandemic driving habits [mostly around town] and the car idling for long periods of time, and colder temperatures now in the Fall... I'd say the exhaust color after cold start is normal condensation rather than smoke.
I bet the exhaust has lots of moisture in it and its condensing in the air.. hence the whitish 'color'. The smell is akin to rotten eggs and again is related to the moisture in the exhaust components.

Low speed.. short trips .. the exhaust components cannot fully 'warm up' as they do when driven longer distance & at highway speeds. The moisture builds up over time.

A blast down the highway will dry out the exhaust all right.. but expect whitish condensation from the tailpipes on the next cold start as our weather cools off going towards Winter.

Good luck man.

M
I do some WOT pulls on the hill up to my house... haven't been on the highway in about 1.5-2 months. It's always sitting in the garage, which has only one exhaust fan in it. Never outside, so do you think condensation build up could still occur? Garage is insulated BTW...

And yes, rotten eggs is sort of what it's like, but if you were to add fuel to the mix, that's what it smells like. I really wish there was a way to "send smells" virtually.. LOL

VIDA has told me I have 94 misfires in the catalytic converter once, and then another day when I was sitting with VIDA in the car with the car on, the number was 19 and slowly climbed up to 21. HOWEVER, under each cylinder's individual misfire counter, ALL EIGHT SAID 0 MISFIRES. Makes no sense, if you ask me. How does the catalytic converter detect misfires???

Thanks...
 

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Hold your hand in the white exhaust. If your hand becomes wet, then you'll know. A piece of un-coated cardboard can do the same thing.
Volvo started to aluminize exhaust components in the '70s because of condensation rusting out exhaust systems for the short trip folks. A Volvo engineer at the time told us (Reps) that for every gallon of fuel burned; one gallon of water is generated in the form of water vapor. We don't see it most of the time because it remains as vapor when passed through the exhaust system once it's hot.
 
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