Lots Of White Smoke Coming Out Exhaust Pipe – Why?

Reader Question
Hi. I just saw your website and I really hope you can help. Sorry if I’m wasting your time. I have a 1969 Chevy Impala. Had around 150,000 when I bought it.

It blows out gray or white smoke when I hit the gas not sure if I’m at a standstill. Not a little smoke but not a lot. enough though that everyone notices it. Car dies at lights when I try to go mainly if the engine is cold once its hot no stalling or lagging whatsoever. One of my friends said it might be the piston rings. I have no idea. Thanks.

Hey there

You did not mention anything about overheating, coolant loss or your transmission shifting funny. I mention these because white smoke out the tailpipe usually means there is coolant leaking inside the combustion chamber inside the engine or there is automatic transmission fluid leaking inside the combustion chamber.

The first thing I would look for would be is your radiator low on coolant? If so, I would get a cooling system pressure test to determine if there is an internal coolant leak in your engine. Blown head gaskets are the first thing that comes to mind here and this pressure test should reveal this to you.

If you do find you have a blown head gasket or some other internal coolant leak I would recommend you try this over the counter product first before you spend any big bucks overhauling the engine.

If the pressure test determines the coolant is not leaking, then you might want to see if your transmission is equipped with a vacuum transmission modulator valve on the side of the transmission.

This valve will have a rubber vacuum line attached to it, if you remove the vacuum line from the valve and transmission fluid comes out you need to replace the transmission modulator valve.

If you suspect an internal coolant leak like a head gasket problem try doing this FIRST
Blown Head Gasket

Austin Davis

Posted in: Exhaust Smoke

6 Comments on "Lots Of White Smoke Coming Out Exhaust Pipe – Why?"

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  1. Perry Spencer says:

    I have a 2007 Mazda CX-7. Ever since I had the oil changed at Jiffy Lube I have had white smoke come out my exhaust. What would cause this and what could be an estimated cost of repair. Please note my check engine light never came on.
    Thanks, Perry

    • Austin says:

      hummmm, white smoke? Maybe you were low on antifreeze and they added some which is leaking internally in your engine (like from a head gasket leak) and that is why you see the smoke now.??? I would go back to them and ask them about it, and ask them to do a cooling system pressure test to determine if that is what is happening….coolant is leaking internally in the engine. if so, that is not good! I have an article on this site which helps people solve head gasket leak problems, so do a search on my site for K&W block sealer to read it if that is what is happening.

  2. jenny says:

    Hello I have 1983 Honda Interceptor. And I have white smoke coming out of the muffler. I did a oil change and cleaned out the coolant, spark plugs. What can I do to fix the problem? If any one can please help me.
    Thanks Jenny

    • Austin says:

      First thing to do is get a cooling system pressure test to determine if you have a coolant leak, either external like a radiator hose or internal like a head gasket leak. its not uncommon to see a small amount of steam from the tailpipe when the engine is cold or on initial start up. if you continue to see white smoke coming from the tailpipe after the engine has been warmed up and the vehicle driven around awhile you COULD have an internal coolant leak.

      If the pressure test does show a leak internally in the engine , I highly recommend you try using K&W Engine Block Sealer like I advise on this page (not as can instructs) http://www.myhonestmechanic.com/articles/engine-block-sealer-additive.shtml

      It is my opinion the best product out there for internal coolant leaks

  3. paula says:

    Hi I have a 2005 pt cruiser it has a lot of white smoke coming out of the tail pipe took it in and they replaced the head gasket but its still smoking what do u think it is now

    • Austin says:

      Did they do a cooling system pressure test to determine that there truly is an internal coolant leak, if not get this cheap while you wait test done first! Replacing a head gasket is a $1200 job….they did that? The proper way to do it is to remove the cylinder head and do a valve job, resurface the cylinder head and check it for cracks, then replace the headgasket. if they just replaced the gasket, they might have to re-do the job the right way. The engine would have to really overheat and you continued to drive the vehicle for the head gasket to fail.

      If for some reason you can not get the mechanic to fix this properly for you, you might want to try a headgasket sealer I have had great success with as a last resort. Follow my instructions on this page http://www.myhonestmechanic.com/articles/engine-block-sealer-additive.shtml

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