White Smoke From Exhaust: What You Should Do (The Answer)

White Smoke From Exhaust

As you drive your car, you should be conscious of the type of smoke it emits. For this article, if your car emits some white smoke from the exhaust, beware. So, suppose you encounter such a situation, what would you do?

Well, if the vehicle produces some white smoke, it will be a clear indicator that something is not right. In general, the problem may be due to condensation. Remember, there are more other explanations for that.

If your vehicle operates well, you have the confidence to drive it. However, you can keep it to be in a better form by routine maintenance. A properly serviced vehicle can serve the user for a longer duration.

Never ignore such an issue as you drive your vehicle. You need to discover the root cause and take corrective action as appropriate. Here, in this piece, we will address the whole issue of white smoke exhaustively.

The Meaning of the White Smoke

white some from exhoust

When you experience white smoke from the exhaust, it should be a cause for alarm. The thickness size will speak volumes about the nature of the problem. Typically, condensation may build up in the exhaust pipe leading to white smoke.

If the smoke is extremely thin in size, it will disappear immediately. At this point, you should not have any cause to worry. If it is thick smoke, then the challenge is big. The fault in the engine coolant may cause thick white smoke.

Thick white smoke can have severe repercussions on your vehicle. Below are some of the issues associated with white smoke:

  • Cranked engine block
  • Damaged cylinder head
  • Blown head gasket

When you realize some white smoke coming out from the exhaust pipe, never ignore the problem. For example, a coolant may leak to cause severe damage to your vehicle.

Causes of the white smoke

As a matter of concern, white smoke is an indicator that there are some defects in your car. We can look at it in different ways to determine its origin.

1. Leaking Coolant

Leaking Coolant

A leaking coolant may result in white smoke, especially while driving. Interestingly, it may not be evident when the vehicle is starting. The burning coolant may get overwhelmed, thus leading to this unpopular smoke.

The combination of the engine oil and the coolant can cause a milky like color to come out in the smoke form. As the coolant access the combustion chamber, the white smoke is inevitable.

Besides, the absence of coolant may heat the engine to produce white smoke. On the same note, you should know the car’s temperature. It is dangerous to operate a vehicle that lacks a coolant. The gasket may fail as it will not seal properly when the engine overheats.

Consequently, the engine will heat up faster while damaging internal components. You should act in advance to prevent the repercussions.

2. Condensation

condensiation in car

Condensation is a common thing, especially in cold weather. When you start your car and notice white smoke, do not panic. The smoke may be due to the cold weather. It happens because hot gases encounter cold air while outside.

The reason is as steam and condensation meet, white smoke is evident. As you drive for a while, the white smoke will eventually disappear. If you live in a warmer climate, you may not encounter such a situation. For those who live in colder regions, it is normal.

3. Broken Fuel Pumping Injection

Broken Fuel Pumping Injection

The broken injector is standard on diesel-operated vehicles. It may cause a considerable amount of white smoke from the exhaust pipe. The main challenge is that the fuel pump injector would be malfunctioning.

You can check the injector and perhaps change it. Such action may require an expert. It is not a preserve for beginner drivers. Call the mechanic to fix the problem as he may find it suitable.

4. Valve Seal or Piston Ring leak

Piston Ring leak

When the piston rings are faulty, they may cause the oil to leak into the combustion chamber. It will mix with oil and start to burn. As a result, the white or bluish smoke will come out of the pipe.

You should take the vehicle to the mechanic. Never hold the cylinder head with bare hands since it will be hot at this level. If you check the coolant and if it is normal, then evaluate the coolant system pressure.

5. Incorrect injector pump timing

Incorrect injector pump timing

There should be precision timing between the injector pump pressure and the engine. When timing is erroneous, the fuel will fail to burn rightly in the cylinder. Eventually, it will come out as a cloud of white smoke.

6. Complications from other parts

If you encounter the white smoke while driving, be careful about your safety. A complicated issue may be in the offing with costly consequences. For example, it could be damage to the head gasket, cylinder head, or fuel filter.

Furthermore, a cracked or clogged engine may cause white gas to come out. All these complications are expensive to repair and replace. It would be best if you took immediate action to avoid further costs.

One way of preparing for such emergencies is to do regular maintenances. The procedure may track the problem and fix it in advance. By doing so, you will save more money for other related vehicle repairs.

It is possible to get white smoke when the engine is idle. If there is oil leakage to the engine combustion chambers, then it will emit it smoke. You can recognize it since burning oil may cause some explosions.

Once you discover that there is leaking oil, fix it immediately. If you delay, it may affect the spark plug and cause severe damages to your vehicle. Generally, the unburned fuel in the engine may cause white smoke.

How to Fix the Issue

man fixing a car

There are remedies that you can do to your vehicle to overcome the challenge. Alternatively, take the car to your mechanic for repair. You can perform the following steps to fix the problem.

1. Inspect the intake gasket

The gasket usually seals the cylinder. Whenever the gasket gets broken, the coolant can access the combustion chamber. Such a fault will cause the white smoke to come out while you are driving. How do you fix the problem?

You should first examine the intake gasket. You should repair it when you discover any rust or leak. Suppose everything is fine, you can proceed to implement other steps.

2. Examine the Head Gasket

You should only perform this action if the intake gasket is in sound form. The head gasket seals the cylinder head to restrict the coolant. In case it leaks, the coolant will access the combustion chamber.

The resultant action is a collection of white smoke from the exhaust pipe. Suppose this part proves to be okay, you can check the cylinder.

3. Examine the cylinder head

The cylinder head comes from aluminum materials. If it gets overheated, it can break easily. The role of the cylinder head is simple. It will connect the head gasket and the engine block. The sad news is that whenever the cylinder head gets broken, you have to buy and replace it.


Operating a sound vehicle is what everyone is after. But, some situations can cause the car to fail. As a responsible driver, you should diagnose the problem and fix it immediately. If your vehicle produces white smoke from the exhaust, correct it.

Unfortunately, many fail to establish the root cause. If the challenge is due to condensation, there will be no harm to your car. You must check some other parts that can lead to severe damages like the broken cylinder head part.

In such circumstances, you may have to replace it to avoid further damage to your engine. At last, when your car is in good form, you can have peace of mind. Nevertheless, your riding experience will be enjoyable. Happy riding.

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