SMOKE UNDER HOOD Please Help
It looks like I have some trouble on my hands. I have had a rough idle for a while now that has been getting progressively rougher. The car (97 3.5L 51500 miles) idles well when cold (at about 900RPM) but as it gets up to full temperature and is sitting at a light in drive idling (at about 500RPM) it shakes badly. The other day it was doing this and the "check engine light" came on, I drove it back to my place ( 1.5 miles away) and parked it. It gave me the codes 12 43 55.
Later when it had cooled off I pulled the plugs and wires and checked the coil pack as per the instructions in the "how to" section. They all looked ok, so I pulled the IAC sensor and cleaned it (it was seriously dirty). At this time the car started easily and ran fine, I only let it idle for a minute then I turned it off and disconnected the battery (to clear the engine codes).
That was 2 nights ago. It rained all the next day and I had nowhere to go, so it was this morning before I reconnected the battery. To my surprise the car whirled over and stumbled once but then it flat out refused to start. Two attempts latter it finally started after I pumped the gas a bit, it seemed to run fine but the exhaust was a little dark and more excessive than usual.
I opened the hood to take a listen and thats when I saw it, SMOKE or a smokelike substance under the hood. The volume was fairly low and it disappeared quickly, it came from the drivers side back corner of the engine, and appeared to be coming from at least midway down the engine. The engine still seemed to be running fine but after a few revs there was another puff of smoke from the same location. At this point I shut it down (I know very little about engines and this is way out of my league)
Sorry for the long post, I'm just hopping someone here can guess what I am dealing with and that it is not too serious a problem.