White Smoke from Exhaust on Startup

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White Smoke from Exhaust on Startup

White Smoke from Exhaust on Start up
White Smoke from Exhaust on Startup

During morning do you notice white smoke from exhaust on startup especially when the engine is very cold? Do not worry because this is a normal condition. It happens because during startup any condensation that has formed in the engine over the night while your car is parked is steaming off and will exit on the tailpipe as white smoke. This is a normal condition if white smoke from the exhaust is noticed only during startup on a cold morning when the engine is very cold and not on any other time.
The possible reason for white smoke from exhaust on startup

1. Condensation inside the engine.
2. Burn head gasket.


What to do?
You do not have to do anything to fix the problem, what you can do is to prevent the white smoke from exhaust on startup from occurring by simply parking your car on a covered parking to limit the formation of condensation in the engine especially if you think that it is going to rain while your car is parked overnight, do not park your car outside on a not covered area. Anyway, even if there is white smoke from exhaust on startup, it’s not a cause of concern because it is normal.

White Smoke from Exhaust on Start up
White Smoke from Exhaust on Startup Prevention

However, if you noticed the white smoke from exhaust even after the car has warmed up then there’s a problem and that's the cause of concern. White smoke that comes out the exhaust not only on startup but every time including when the engine has warmed up is a sign of a problem on the gasket, specifically a blown head gasket.

The engine is surrounded with water/coolant mixture that served as a jacket that circulates around the engine to cool down the engine during operation. The head gasket is a seal in between the cylinder head and the engine block. The purpose of the head gasket is to prevent and to keep the water from going inside or leak out the engine through the small gap between the cylinder head and the engine block.

White Smoke from Exhaust on Start up
White Smoke from Exhaust on Startup image credit

Now if the head gasket is blown, the coolant will leak out or will go inside the cylinder, if it goes inside the cylinder it will burn off into steam, the steam will then go out as white smoke from the exhaust of your car.



What to do?
If the problem is a blown head gasket you need to replace the head gasket. This job requires the skill of the mechanic so it would be better to bring the car to a reputable car repair shop and ask the mechanic to check the head gasket and replace if necessary.

Now one of the tests to do to find out if the head gasket is blown is to do the engine compression test. if the engine failed on the compression test it is possible that the head gasket is blown. Also, by checking the condition of the spark plug, you may tell if the head gasket is blown. Remove the spark plug and observe the condition of the spark plug. If the tip of the spark plug has an accumulation of gray ash color substance it means that the coolant is leaking inside the cylinder and the head gasket is blown.

White Smoke From Engine Cause

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