So today, in this article, we are going to consider the possible causes of white smoke from exhaust and the solutions. If you are an automobile owner, you’ll be shocked when you start seeing white smoke gushing out from your exhaust. Let’s now see what could be the cause of this.
Causes Of White Smoke From Exhaust
If you see white smoke from exhaust the following are the top reasons why this is happening:
Condensation build-up within the exhaust system causes thin white smoke to appear on ignition before disappearing. It usually happens during the winter or early in the morning. When your engine first starts up, the smoke should be thin, barely visible, and coming out in little amounts. It should burn down rapidly after about 30 seconds to a minute.
It is not a sign of problems, but if it occurs in conjunction with other symptoms such as decreased engine performance or trouble starting, it could suggest a more significant problem with your engine.
Damaged Coolant Reservoir Tank
Coolant can leak into the combustion chamber of an engine if the coolant reservoir tank is damaged or cracked. The leaky coolant is subsequently burnt in the cylinders, resulting in thick white exhaust smoke.
Although a coolant leak from a damaged coolant reservoir tank is less common than leaks from the causes listed below, it can occur if you accidently damage the tank while repairing another problem nearby. In any event, the damaged reservoir tank will have to be replaced.
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Cracked Coolant Reservoir Tank
Even though a cracked coolant reservoir tank is uncommon, most mechanics would assume the worst when they see heavy white smoke coming from the exhaust. This is frequently caused by a crack in the cylinder head, head gasket, or engine block, which are all difficult to fix and are not a maintenance task for the inexperienced.
A continually overheated engine due to low coolant levels, which is caused by leaking coolant, and constant temperature swings of the engine produce cracks in these sections. They let coolant or oil to seep into the cylinders, where it is then burnt, resulting in thick white exhaust smoke.
Cracked Cylinder Head
Coolant will seep out of a fractured or broken cylinder head and mingle with the engine oil. The oil will then become polluted. It doesn’t have to be a large fracture; even a small break might produce massive spurts of white smoke from your tailpipe. The white smoke will have a characteristic sweet odor as coolant mixes with engine oil.
Cracked Head Gasket
In most engines, the head gasket is a thin metal sheet that sits between the cylinder head and the block, sandwiching the top and bottom halves. Its primary purpose is to create a seal between the two pieces, preventing coolant leaks from the engine’s cover.
Normal wear and tear can cause cracks in the head gasket. When this happens, the coolant escapes the engine’s cooling channels and enters the cylinder, where it burns. It is not possible to fix a cracked head gasket; it must be replaced immediately.
Cracked Engine Block
The worst-case scenario is that your engine block is cracked all the way through. Be prepared for an expensive and time-consuming replacement if this is the issue. In this situation, you’ll almost certainly need professional help.
Most engine blocks are built of cast iron or aluminum alloy to withstand high temperatures and efficiently transport heat away from the engine. The engine, on the other hand, is a complicated system that necessitates precise precision from each component. The block can overheat if any of the engine components aren’t working properly, weakening and deteriorating the block.
Other signs that the block is getting too hot include discolored coolant, puddles of fluid under your car, frozen coolant in the radiator, and poor performance because the engine can’t maintain appropriate compression if there’s a leak in the combustion chamber.
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How To Troubleshoot & Fix White Smoke From Exhaust
Check the coolant level first if you want more evidence that coolant is getting into your engine block when it shouldn’t. If the level is low but no coolant is leaking from the coolant reservoir tank, this supports the notion that the leak is caused by a crack in the head gasket, cylinder head, or engine block. Additionally, an engine block leak detecting kit that employs chemistry to check if your coolant is tainted is recommended.
The hood must be opened first. However, before removing the radiator cap or reservoir top, make sure the engine is suitably cool. Allow at least an hour, or longer if possible, for the engine to cool down before checking the coolant.
Then, while your car is parked on a level surface, open the coolant reservoir and check the coolant level in the coolant chamber. Look for “Low” and “Full” or equivalent wording on the side of the plastic overflow container, then fill the reservoir using a funnel until it reaches “Full.” One method is to insert a stick into the reservoir and measure the amount of coolant.
If the coolant level is sufficient, look for any fractures or corrosion that could cause the coolant to mix with the engine oil or fuel. It’s also a good idea to check the cooling system pressure to see which component is producing the leak. (Pressure is applied to the system up to the range set on the radiator cap.) There is a leak if the system can’t maintain pressure for more than two minutes. If there are no external leaks, a crack in the head gasket, cylinder head, or engine block is the most likely culprit.
First Step: Look For a Crack In The Intake Manifold
The head gasket should be checked first, but the intake manifold gasket should also be checked. The intake manifold is sealed by the intake gasket, which transfers both coolant and oxygen to the engine. The engine overheats owing to leaking coolant, air, and gas if the intake gasket cracks. Keep in mind that most gaskets are rubber or plastic. As a result, it’s susceptible to heat damage. Fortunately, it can be easily fixed if identified early, even if it cracks or becomes damaged.
An intake manifold gasket can cost between $190 and $540 to replace. The gasket will cost between $20 to $120. Because changing any engine component is not a simple job, labor costs will range from $170 to $420.
Second Step: Look For a Crack In The Head Gasket
The head gasket should be checked after the intake manifold gasket has been checked. The head gasket’s purpose is to keep coolant out of the cylinder by sealing the head to the block. The head gasket must be replaced right away if it has a crack.
Repairing a head gasket can cost thousands of dollars, thus it’s generally easier and less expensive to merely scrap and replace the damaged portion. A new head gasket can cost anything from $1,600 to $2,000. The parts cost between $720 and $850, while labor costs between $900 and $1,200.
Third Step: Search For Any Crack In The Cylinder Head
Because it joins the engine block with the head gasket, the cylinder head is crucial. Because it is composed of aluminum, it is prone to warping or cracking in the event of engine overheating, resulting in the emission of white smoke. If a crack is discovered during an examination, the cylinder head should be replaced as soon as possible.
Depending on whether it’s aluminum or cast iron, repairing a fractured cylinder head will cost between $500 and $1,000. The use of a furnace or flame spray welding to mend cracks in cast iron heads is common.
The entire cylinder head must be replaced if the crack cannot be fixed. While the job isn’t difficult, it is time-consuming because the engine head must be removed and then replaced, with labor accounting for a significant percentage of the replacement cost. Additionally, labor expenses vary substantially depending on your vehicle’s make and model. In order to access to the cylinder heads of luxury vehicles like BMWs and Audis, certain components must be removed.
The cost of replacing a cylinder head ranges from $2,800 to $3,200 on average. Labor costs are expected to range from $1,200 to $2,700, while parts will cost between $200 and $500.
Fourth Step: Check For Any Crack In The Engine Block
A cracked engine block can be repaired using one of three methods: cold-metal patching, cold-metal stitching, or re-welding. Professional assistance is required for these. Whichever path you choose, it will not be inexpensive.
An engine block repair could take anywhere from 12 to 35 hours of effort, depending on the type and model of your car, as getting to the engine block and disassembling it is significantly more difficult in some vehicles. For a temporary remedy, this can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000.
If you decide to save your current engine and replace the engine block, expect to pay between $600 and $1,000 for small block engines and between $1,550 and $2,500 for long block engines, depending on the type. Only the parts and machine costs are included in this estimate. When it comes to labor costs, hourly rates might range anywhere from $90 to $150 per hour. As a result, the labor cost for a typical engine block replacement might range from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the complexity of the job.
Fifth Step: Replace The Fuel Injector
It’s also possible that your fuel injectors are clogged and incapable of performing their duties. Carbon deposits and sludge buildup can clog them in most cases. The good news is that professional fuel injector cleaners can assist in cleaning a filthy fuel injector.
If the fuel injector breaks due to wear and tear rather than blockages, it has reached the end of its useful life and must be replaced. However, you should always replace the complete set of fuel injectors, not just the malfunctioning one, or the engine will not operate evenly.
Sixth Step: Inspect Valve Seals & Piston Rings
Wear and tear are common in piston rings and valve seals. Replacement is necessary if these fail. Unfortunately, as easy as the parts may appear, replacing piston rings is quite expensive, costing anywhere from $1,800 to $3,500, with the parts costing only $75-$200 and the rest being labor, due to the time-consuming nature of the process.
Valve seals are less expensive to replace, but they can still cost anywhere between $900 and $2,000. Valve seal replacement is similar to piston ring replacement in that it requires removing the complete engine until the valve spring can be reached. This implies that unless you’re a self-taught DIY mechanic with extensive experience removing an engine, you should leave it to the professionals.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on White Smoke From Exhaust: Causes & Solutions . You can now see what’s usually responsible for white smoke coming from exhaust and how to resolve the problem. If you can’t fix this yourself, we advise that you take it to a professional mechanic.