White smoke coming from your car’s back is no good news, but it does not necessarily mean that you need to rebuild your engine. There can be many reasons for white smoke coming from the back of your car. Sometimes the white smoke does not mean anything dangerous for your car, but it is important to check it in case the problem gets worse. In this OneHowTo article we'll explain you what are the causes so you know why your car is smoking white smoke from the exhaust as well as some tips on what to do if you have this problem.
Is it serious?
White smoke coming from the back of your car can be ignored if it is thin like vapor. This is probably coming because of normal condensation build-up in your car’s exhaust system. It is normal, nothing to be concerned about, and will disappear quickly.
But if the smoke is thick, it can be a big problem. It may be caused because the engine is burning coolant. This may be due to a serious issue, like blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head, or cracked engine block. These are costly repairs, and need to be attended to immediately. Even small leaks in the coolant may lead to overheating, and cause serious damage to your car’s engine. Coolant may also end up mixing with the oil, and thus causing serious damage to your beloved vehicle.
Causes of white smoke
Usually, white smoke comes from the back of your car when water or anti-freeze enters your cylinder, and the car’s engine starts trying to burn it with fuel. Actually, the white smoke that you see coming out is steam. Head gaskets and other special gaskets keep the anti-freeze from entering your car’s cylinder area. The cylinder is the place where the air mixture and fuel are burnt after compressing. Anti-freeze that enters the cylinder that then produces white steam that comes out from your car’s tailpipe area. The anti-freeze gets into the cylinder probably because the engine got overheated and the head gasket failed because of excessive heat. Due to this, anti-freeze was allowed to enter the cylinder, from where the problem started.
What to do
If you see white smoke coming from your car’s exhaust, check and make sure that there is a proper amount of anti-freeze in your car’s radiator, and also the over-flow bottle.
Also check if anti-freeze has contaminated your car’s engine oil. You can check the engine oil dipstick, and also the under-side of the engine oil filler cap. If you see contamination with anti-freeze, which will look like a chocolate milkshake, you should not start your engine, and contact a mechanic as soon as possible.
If you continue driving your car with contaminated oil, it may cause serious damage to your car’s engine, which will end up in extremely costly repairs and replacements.
If you want to read similar articles to Why Is my Car Smoking White Smoke from the Exhaust, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.