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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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07 V6 Ford Escape, just turned over 40k. No incidents yet.
Friday I drove home from work, ran out to the grocery store quick, and then back home again. Stayed parked all weekend in my garage. Here in Minnesota we're starting to see 30 degrees regularly in the night. I care for the vehicle in it's recommended manner, plus some.

At some point late Sunday afternoon I grabbed keys, and must have hit the car starter, because an hour later I was in the garage and heard my car radio on. This could only have been the case if the car starter started and stopped, which it does after 15 minutes. Unfortunately the radio stays on, which could run the car battery dead. I opened the door to kill the radio, and went back inside as I was watching Sunday Night Football.

No big deal, battery should be fine.

Monday morning I'm running late to go to work, and I get to the car and it won't start (of course). "Hmm, drained the battery too low - i'll put the charger on it". Ran 10amp charge through it (was reporting 60%) until it was at 100%. Disconnected charger, hopped in and turned the key and to my discouragement, the car failed to start. Engine turnover was not quick like normal, and what I had earlier perceived as a low battery was not the case. I turned the key again, and it continued, occasionally firing. On my 3rd attempt to start it eventually started, running real rough and sputtery. After about 15 seconds, it got a bit better, and so on. I let it warm up for 3 minutes, and noticed that the exhaust was not only hot steam but a white-ish smoke.

I smelled it and it was not burnt oil smell, it was almost sweet - possibly anti-freeze. Looked at the coolant level and it appeared normal.

Exhaust eventually normalized, I drove to work, engine temp stayed where it always does, vehicle was responsive across all speed ranges - Like nothing ever happened. I drove it last night and this morning again, no issues.

Any ideas? I did post some time ago about a ticking that others seemed to attribute to more normal and annoying than anything else (which I haven't heard lately, but typically is louder when it's colder)
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Keep checking the anti-freeze level for a while with the engine cold.
Put your palm in that white smoke coming out of the exhaust and feel the condensation formed.Does it feel somewhat oily?If yes, it is definetely engine coolant.If not it is the normal cold start vaporization of air in the exhaust system.
 

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SUVord said:
Keep checking the anti-freeze level for a while with the engine cold.
Put your palm in that white smoke coming out of the exhaust and feel the condensation formed.Does it feel somewhat oily?If yes, it is definetely engine coolant.If not it is the normal cold start vaporization of air in the exhaust system.
+1 on that one.

The sweet smell concerns me a little....indicative of coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did cup my hand at the exhaust initially, and the residue was not oily. Over the last few starts, there has been no issues. I will continue to monitor the exhaust, and also check the exhaust odor (which to the eye and the odors in the garage has seemed normal)
 
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