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Why is White Smoke Coming Out of My Car's Exhaust Pipe?

We understand that seeing white smoke coming from your vehicle's exhaust pipe can be a cause for concern. It definitely doesn't seem to be normal and you haven't seen it happen before - so what does it indicate? 

Your vehicle's exhaust pipe is where your vehicle's fumes are released. White smoke is not typical, however it doesn't necessarily always point to a major issue. Let's take a look at some of the common causes of white exhaust smoke and what steps you should take next. 

Common causes for white exhaust smoke include: 

  • Condensation - if it happens to be a cold day and you only see the "white" smoke upon vehicle start-up, you may just be seeing steam from condensation. If this is the case, the smoke will clear quickly and you won't have any other symptoms. 
     
  • Coolant Leak - a coolant leak is a typical cause of white exhaust smoke. If there is a coolant leak, you may also smell a sweet syrupy scent. Low coolant can cause damage to your vehicle's engine and surrounding components, so getting this taken care of quickly it vital. 
     
  • Cracked Cylinder Head - a cracked cylinder head, a failing head gasket, or a cracked engine block can also cause white exhaust smoke. In this instance, coolant is getting into the cylinders or combustion chamber which causes the white smoke. Any issue with your vehicle's engine should be resolved as quickly as possible to minimize repairs needed.
     
  • Bad Fuel Injector - in diesel vehicles, a fuel injector that is failing or not pumping at the right time can cause issues with fuel getting into the engine which can lead to thick white smoke coming from the exhaust. 

While the issues listed above are just common occurrences, the best way to truly understand the problem with your vehicle is by coming into ABR Houston for a thorough evaluation. We can determine the exact issue and what repairs are needed to resolve the issue quickly before it progresses. If you're seeing white exhaust smoke, don't hesitate to give us a call or stop by our shop today! 

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