Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car shut off while driving, smoking (or steam) from right side under hood, strong burn smell, check engine light on until next day

asked by on

The past week, my car has had a faint burn smell coming from the vents and lags on startup/acceleration. The other night, I was driving and after I parked my car, the hood was pretty hot and it was smoking a bit then stopped, so I figured I'd get myself and the car home quick. As I was driving home, about a mile from home, the car stopped moving, but did not cut completely off. I was able to move it to the side of the road, but it was smoking COMPLETELY from the right side of the hood and all the dashboard lights came on. I let it sit for a bit then I started the car, it started immediately and I got home quickly. It was still smoking. I hadn't been watching the temp gauge, so the next day, I added coolant/antifreeze. I haven't seen any leaks or anything, but by the tank coolant goes in, it looked wet, but after adding, there was no leakage. The next day, I took it to AutoZone and on the way, the check engine light went off- they say I need a Camshaft, but I think it's worse! Help!

My car has 189654 miles.
My car's transmission is unknown to me.

Hi there:

It’s very difficult to diagnose exactly what type of damage may have been done to your 2003 Honda Civic during the overheating issue without physically inspecting this onsite. It is possible that the head gasket may be damaged, which might be why you add coolant but don’t see a leak. If this has occurred, you most likely have suffered serious engine damage. To know for sure, you should have a professional mobile mechanic complete a car is smoking from engine or exhaust inspection; so they can trace what might be wrong with your car and recommend the right repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Car shut off while driving, smoking (or steam) from right side under hood, strong burn smell, check engine light on until next day

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: misfire and high idle when hot

You should have a compression test and cylinder leakage check done on the engine to see if one or more cylinders have low compression, or is leaking compression somewhere. Check that all of the spark plug wires and injector wires...

Q: Gears grinding at low RPMs.

I am going to go ahead and move forward with the assumption that your Honda Civic is equipped with a manual transmission. I have owned Honda’s most my life and I have encountered this problem with the sound of transmission...

Q: Van is not Starting

This may be related to many different possibilities, some of which may be related to a lack of spark and some of which may be related to a fuel delivery problem or a combination of both. For example, if the...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...