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 November 25, 2016

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.

Smoke from engine or exhaust Inspection $94.99 - $114.99 Get a Quote

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.

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