My transmission doesn't shift & white smoke comes out of the tail pipe. on 1992 Toyota Corolla

For some reason my car will not shift into second gear unless I let go of the gas pedal & then it will shift. Also, white smoke comes out of the tail pipe when I start the car. It runs very rough. Help!

by in West Palm Beach, FL on December 26, 2013
2 answers 4 comments
ANSWER by on December 26, 2013
It sure sounds like the head gasket is leaking coolant into one of the cylinders after sitting for awhile. Might want to check that out first. Have a repair shop do a combustion leak test to confirm. Now, the transmission delayed 1-2 shift problem sounds like the detent or kickdown cable needs adjusting!! That is a pretty common problem on this vehicle and an easy fix! But for now the head gasket deal is the first thing to adress.
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ANSWER by on December 27, 2013
I think what you have is a leaking vacuum modulator on the transmission. Should be a vacuum hose between the engine intake manifold and the transmission. Follow the hose to an external component on the trans and remove the hose from the trans. Check inside the hose for transmission fluid and if present, replace the modulator and hose. This should take care of both concerns. The modulator has a rubber diaphragm with vacuum on one side and ATF on the other. If the diaphragm leaks, the fluid is drawn through the tube and burned in the cylinders which produces thick white smoke in the exhaust. It shifts when the gas pedal is released because as soon as the throttle plate shuts, vacuum increases to maximum and provides just enough to shift.
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COMMENT by on December 27, 2013
That's a good thought! But it doesn't have a 'transmission' vacuum modulator valve!
COMMENT by on December 27, 2013
pardon me.
COMMENT by on December 27, 2013
Consider yourself pardoned! That was a very good possibility however!
COMMENT by on December 31, 2013
Just goes to show why no mechanic should ever attempt to memorize anything. R.T.F.B.! My apologies for potentially wasting time and money.