White Exhaust Smoke from Your Car and How to Fix It


Have you been seeing white exhaust smoke from your car? You may be wondering why that’s happening or if there’s something wrong with your vehicle. Since the exhaust pipe is the outlet of the engine for emissions, it’s quite normal that smoke and vapor will be released through it. 

The colorless gases that have been emitted by the engine are usually harmless and you shouldn’t worry about it. However, there are some kinds of exhaust smoke that can indicate that your car’s engine has some issues. It would be best if you have your car checked immediately. 

Why Your Car Emits White Smoke

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If you see white smoke while you’re starting your car or when you’re accelerating or even when idle, then it means that coolant or water is getting vaporized. You can confirm this by smelling the smoke by using your hand. Don’t put your face need or directly at the exhaust pipe. If you smell a sweet scent, then that’s the coolant and it’s a serious problem. 

Your vehicle’s internal coolant is most likely leaking and that’s causing the white exhaust smoke. Whenever the coolant gets into the car’s combustion chamber, then it begins to produce a sweet smell. If you leave your car like this, then the coolant may contaminate the engine oil. This will produce an even heavier white smoke.

The best way to go about this problem is to take your car to an auto mechanic. However, if you think that you can fix this problem by yourself, make sure that your car’s engine is not hot before opening up the reservoir cap. Opening it while hot may cause burns that could get serious. Check to see if the coolant is at the normal level. You also have to check the cooling system pressure so you can determine where the leaking coolant is coming from. 

Fixing a Car that Emits White Exhaust Smoke

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When you’re going to try to fix your car, do exercise utmost caution. If you think you will not be able to handle this by yourself, then it would be best to call an auto technician. It’s possible that as you try to fix your car, you may encounter more problems. That’s why calling an expert is the best option. 

Now, you can do two things. You may inspect the car’s coolant levels as explained above. Remember to only open the reservoir cap when the engine is cold already. The second thing that you can do is inspect the car’s intake gasket. 

Check your car manual if you are not sure where the intake gasket is. Assess if there are any damages. If there are issues, then it’s most probably the cause of the white exhaust smoke. If you do not see any problems, you should still take the car to a mechanic so that it can be properly assessed and taken care of. 

Final Thoughts

Usually, you shouldn’t worry about the exhaust smoke of your vehicle. But if it is sweet-smelling, thick, and doesn’t immediately clear up after you start the engine, then it’s time to troubleshoot so that whatever is wrong with the car can be fixed.


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