White Smoke From Exhaust? What it Means & How to Fix It

Are you buying, selling, or registering a vehicle? Be prepared to satisfy any insurance requirements. Get a free quote.

ATTENTION

Please Enter your ZIP Code to Get Started.

Seeing white smoke coming from your car’s exhaust pipe can be alarming, especially if you don’t know what it means.

In most cases, this type of smoke indicates an issue with your engine that should be addressed as soon as possible. 

White smoke is often caused by burning oil or coolant and can lead to serious problems if not treated promptly. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to diagnose the problem and get things back on track. Read on to learn more about why white smoke may appear from your vehicle’s tailpipe and what you can do about it.

Reasons for White Smoke Is Coming from Your Car’s Exhaust

The most common cause of white smoke from a car’s exhaust pipe is an engine problem, usually due to burning coolant or oil.

Coolant is made of a mixture of antifreeze and water that helps keep your engine at the right temperature.

Problems such as a cracked cylinder head, leaky head gasket, worn out piston rings, or a damaged radiator can cause the coolant to leak into the engine and be burned off as white smoke. 

In some cases, burning oil can also create white smoke. This can occur if there is an issue with your car’s oil pump, or if there is an overly worn part in your engine such as the piston rings or valve seals. This type of smoke can also be caused by oil seeping into the combustion chamber, which is usually a sign of a worn out cylinder head gasket. 

Fixes & Estimated Cost

If you are seeing white smoke coming from your car’s exhaust pipe, the first step is to have the car inspected by a professional mechanic.

If the smoke is caused by burning oil or coolant, they will be able to identify where the leak is coming from and recommend a repair plan.

This may involve replacing the faulty parts such as piston rings, valve seals, or head gasket. It’s also important to check the level of oil and coolant in your car, as low levels can point to the source of the issue. 

In some cases, white smoke from a car’s exhaust pipe is caused by something simpler such as condensation or even leftover snow. In these instances, you may just need to give your vehicle time for the smoke to clear. 

The exact cost of repairs will depend on the extent of the damage and the parts needed. In most cases, however, fixing white smoke issues can range from $100 to over $2,000.

This includes labor costs as well as any new parts or components that need to be replaced. It’s important to weigh the cost of repairs against the age and overall condition of your car, as it may be more cost efficient to invest in a new vehicle rather than pay for costly repairs.

How Serious is it? Can You Keep Driving?

It is not advisable to keep on driving a car that has white smoke coming from its exhaust pipe.

This type of smoke can be caused by serious engine problems, so it’s important to have the issue checked out as soon as possible. Driving with a faulty engine can lead to further damage and also put other drivers at risk if the car loses power or fails to stop. 

If you’ve seen white smoke coming from your car’s exhaust pipe, don’t delay. Have the vehicle inspected and repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage and ensure that your engine is running properly.

Taking care of the problem early can save you time and money in the long run.

Need cheaper insurance? ➜