I'm working on a 98 Cadillac Deville with the 4.6 Northstar engine in it. This car has been sitting for almost two years. I know there are a bunch of things to do to it to make it roadworthy after sitting but before I put to much money or time in it I want to make sure its gonna go. So to start with I put in a good battery it and it starts, runs and drives but it smokes BUT the smoke does not have a car smoke smell (if that makes sense). It smells almost like a camp fire but not as woodsy. I'm thinking some little furry woodland creature decided to make it's home in the exhaust system. So my question is how far do you think it could get into the exhaust? Do you think it could get through the muffler and the resonator all the way to the catalytic converter (kind of ironic a mouse living in a cat ). So short of ripping the exhaust off the car do you think there is a way to find out or clean it out? Or am I way off on my idea and it's something else. Any help or ideas would be great.
Head gasket was fine. The car had been in an accident that messed up the hood, grille and headlights. The owner had no time to fix it and the local shop wanted way more to fix it than he wanted to pay.
I doubt any critter would get very far into the system from lack of air circulation. Animals that live underground in warrens have two or more entrances - an exhaust system only has one opening so circulation only comes from air being stirred up near that one opening. Given that a nest isn't very far into the system, it would take quite a bit of driving/idling to get enough heat that far down the system to create smoke - just driving around the block a few times wouldn't do it. So, my question is How long was the engine running before you noticed the smoke? (and what was the outside temp?)
Also, assuming it's some kind of critter, did you check on top of the exhaust pipe for a nest? An exterior nest, say somewhere near the bottom of the down-pipes, would get hot fairly quickly and would more easily smoke/catch fire than one inside the pipe.
From what I remember it was mid 80s that day. The car was parked about 1-2 miles from where I was taking it. I let it run for about 5 to 10 minutes before driving it. As soon as it warmed up some just from letting it run it started to smoke a little and had that odd woodsy smell to it. Once we started driving it the smoke really got bad. To the point of I could not see the car through the smoke. Once we got it there and shut it off it continued to smoke(or smolder). I went back the next day to get more into it and see what I could figure out and when I started it there was no smoke(or at least not much). Still had the odd smell but that was all. I let it run for awhile then I drove it about 8-10 miles and still no smoke only the wood smell. I was given the chance to buy it before I had ever looked at it and that's why I was messing with it in the first place. (More on that in the proper section). The smell went away after a couple days of driving it.