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Identifying the White Smoke from Car

You’ve probably been told that seeing white smoke coming out from your exhaust pipe is cause for worry. Before you go to panic mode, take a deep breath and see if the white smoke from the car clears up after a minute. It is only a simple condensation when the white smoke disappears after a minute or two. The white smoke is just the engine’s hot air mixing with the cold air.

However, seeing white smoke from the car all the time is cause for worry. The problem can be simple or serious.

Nothing to worry about and bad to worst car problems are manifested by seeing white smoke coming from the car all the time.


Condensation issues

Colder climates will commonly cause condensation and white smoke to happen at startup. There’s nothing to worry about when the white smoke is thin and vapour-like that quickly dissipates after a minute or two.

ECU issues

The ECU or the engine control unit is considered the “brain” of the car. The timing of the combustion can get out of whack when there’s something wrong with it. A trained technician can reprogram the ECU if this is the culprit producing the endless white smoke. Not having to replace any car parts seems to be the good news if the ECU is the cause for the white smoke. That is unless replacing the ECU is the only solution.


Fuel Injector Issues

Fuel is sent into the internal combustion chamber by the fuel injector. The engine will get out of timing if the sending of the fuel is not timed right. White smoke will also happen when the chamber does not get the right amount of fuel during combustion. Diesel engine cars usually show this problem. The problem clears up when the fuel injector is replaced. The happy news is the inexpensive price and easy replacement of fuel injectors.


Valve seal or piston ring issues

Engine oil is prevented from entering the combustion chamber with the help of the seals found around the piston valves and rings. White smoke happens when something goes bad with the seals. Damaged valve seal or piston rings allowing the engine oil to burn along with the fuel emits white smoke. A top overhaul is needed to replace the seals. The intensive work needed means being saddled with an expensive mechanic bill.

Cylinder head issues

The worst-case cause for the white smoke is a car having cylinder head issues. White smoke caused by a damaged cylinder head means immediate replacement of the entire head. The coolant starts to leak internally when the car’s cylinder head gets damaged or cracked.

Only a tiny crack in the coolant can cause it to leak, mix, and contaminate the engine oil. The white smoke coming from your exhaust pipe is caused by contaminated oil. Another tell-tale sign for contaminated engine oil is the sweet odour accompanying the white smoke.

Low levels of the cooling system and coolant level will make the engine overheat. An overheated engine will also cause the failure of the head gasket. The internal components of the car’s engine wear out at a faster rate.

There are few reasons to cause white smoke from the exhaust pipe of the car at startup. Only one of the reasons is fairly common and completely harmless. After identifying white smoke from car, the only way to make sure is to seek help from a professional mechanic.


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