Other vehicle maintenance and repair

How to Stop White Smoke from the Exhaust

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: August 29, 2019
How to Stop White Smoke from the Exhaust

You may commonly see white smoke coming from the exhaust on cooler days upon starting. This is likely due to steam created due to the engine burning off the condensation. For this reason, it's important to tell the difference between normal car fumes and problematic smoke. But if this continues even during warmer months, then it may indicate trouble. It's important to get your vehicle checked out and have it fixed as soon as possible. There may be several reasons for a car smoking white smoke from the exhaust. In this oneHOWTO article, we are going to talk about how to stop white smoke from the exhaust, no matter what the underlying reason is.

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  1. Coolant deterioration
  2. Cold weather
  3. Acid wear
  4. Using special products to stop white exhaust smoke

Coolant deterioration

In some cases, the white smoke may be caused due to a deteriorated coolant in the radiator. If the coolant isn't working properly, it can lead to white smoke. If the coolant has run out, then it will lead to the engine overheating.

Another problem is when your car has a coolant leak. This might be allowing coolant to enter into the car’s combustion areas. When the coolant enters the cylinders, it vaporizes and spews out from the exhaust in the form of white fog. If this is the reason why your car is smoking, the best remedy is to get your gasket replaced by a professional.

Other than that, you may also try a stop leak or neutralizing flush to stop the radiator acid as an emergency solution. You can find this type of product in specialized shops. Just follow the instructions and pour the right amount in the coolant system.

Cold weather

If you see white smoke during startup only, then this is probably because oil leaks pass the valves and mixes with any moisture present in the car’s exhaust. When you park your car under extremely cold conditions, the car becomes too cool, its air shrinks and starts producing moisture. The result is as much as 1 cup of water in the exhaust system and its motor. So, when you switch on the ignition after a few hours, such as in the morning after a cold night, this moisture comes out of the exhaust as white smoke.

It usually comes out as a white fog and stops on its own after a couple of minutes. However, turning on car from very cold can put extra stress on the vehicle. Any car is subject to the elements. Chassis sealant and lubrication is designed to reduce such stress. However, sometimes just being outside is enough to take years off your car's longevity. Keep the car in a garage or covered parking lot where possible. If not, a car cover (such as tarpaulin) can be bought cheaply.

Acid wear

When sulfur gets mixed with the moisture in the engine, it produces acid. All oils, diesel and gas fuels contain sulfur. Most of them have additives to control this sulfur and keep the transmission and the engine protected.

A special motor treatment is available that aims at sealing oil loss and helping to avoid expensive repairs of the valve. More acid in the exhaust and the motor will cause you to need to replace your motor and muffler sooner than needed. Make sure you check your oil more frequently to avoid this problem in the future and top it up frequently.

How to Stop White Smoke from the Exhaust - Acid wear

Using special products to stop white exhaust smoke

There are many additive products that you can use to fix the white smoke issue. Before taking your car for a repair, experts recommend trying to solve the issue using these products. If the problem does not get solved with these products, your car may need a special servicing in which particular attention needs to be given to dirty conditions, bad or worn out parts or the car etc.

A muffler is present in all cars that is used to change unburnt gas and oil into water. With this, the exhaust does not come out, and kill the vegetation and cause pollution. So, if you can see white smoke coming from your exhaust every time and for long, then the best thing you can do is to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Stop White Smoke from the Exhaust, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.


  • Sometimes the best decision to make if you want your car to have a longer life is to replace your engine altogether, or problems may extend to other parts and costs may escalate.
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What did you think of this article?
Donna F Link
This was very helpful, and gave me several options to look at resolving the issue
Hi, I usually have smoke coming out of the exhaust of my toyota diesel car. When I start in the morning, everything seems fine but after driving for some minutes, then smoke start coming. It appears for some seconds then stop and keeps repeating for seconds and stop for 2/3 minutes repeatedly. Sometimes the smoke is not too much and sometimes it is very much.
How do I resolve this please?
I really appreciate you helping
Mr. Kook
When I start my in the morning, white smoke tend to come out from the exhaust after several seconds. This foggy white smoke will reduce when the engine is getting heated up. After driving from a short distance, the white smoke will disappear.

Please advise. Thanks a lot.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Mr. Kook,

Here are some possible reasons white smoke may be coming from your car:

My car is blowing white smoke on pipe and it disappear what does it mean? It single smoke
oscar moran
very good tips, greetings from México
pls my chivrolet space car is bringing out white smoke,i scan it,it giv me that my mass air flow sensor,under pending fault,and i notic dat my coolant water get shorten every 2day,what can i do.
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How to Stop White Smoke from the Exhaust