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I have a 89 Buick Century Custom. On the first start of the day, I have no problem. No smoke and no difficulty starting. However, after the car warms up, say, after driving to a gas station the following happens: When I attempt to restart, it just cranks and cranks. I pause and let it set for about 5 seconds. I turn the ignition again and it starts after a few cranks. It bumbles a bit and acts like it is going to die as white smoke comes out of the exhaust for maybe 3 to 5 total seconds. Other times, it pops right off with no smoke. This seems to be a warm weather issue only as I don't really have a problem when during winter. I've read about fluids leaking but most of those address blue colored smoke or things that happen on the cold start up, which is not my problem. Also, I cannot be sure, but I think I might smell just a bit of gas after the car restarts.

Other's experiences with this? Ideas? A mechanic told me that all old GM's do this, but I'm not satisfied with that answer.

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How is your coolant level? If it was dropping slowly over time, that plus the white smoke might indicate a bad head gasket. A cracked head that only leaks when warm could be it, too. Does it smell like Antifreeze?

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I cannot tell if it is antifreeze, I'm not good at identifying smells. However, I did notice that I get smoke during a cold start-up. That changes what I said in my original post. I'm thinking about putting some bars leak radiator stop leak in there. Do you think it is worth a try? – KiloJKilo Jul 13 '12 at 11:50
@KiloJKilo Smoke from burning antifreeze should have a sweet smell. If it was me, I don't know if I would put any stop leak compounds in the coolant loop if I suspected a head gasket leak. I don't think it would be good if that stuff got into the engine. Maybe if it was specifically intended for head gaskets and it was a small leak. – Mark Johnson Jul 13 '12 at 20:33
It has more like an alcohol smell to me – KiloJKilo Jul 13 '12 at 21:34
Just had a head gasket issue myself. Does it heat up fast? – Chris Jul 14 '12 at 14:30
@Chris, not really. Seems like I have to be halfway to work before it gets up to about 180 to 200 degrees. That's about as high as it goes. – KiloJKilo Jul 15 '12 at 2:49

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