Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine knocks, tailpipe blows white smoke

asked by on

When I turn the engine on, the tailpipe blows white smoke out. The car is also shuddering. After I turn the engine off, it starts making a knocking noise. Is my engine going out or is it something else causing this?

A: Hello. There are a few things that can caus...

Hello. There are a few things that can cause this. If the smoke is white then you may have a blown head gasket. This is a common failure on this vehicle, especially if it has ever overheated. If the smoke has a blue cast to it then it may have leaking valve stems seals.

I usually start by doing a compression test to see if there is an internal issue. If there is a compression problem then it is a head gasket problem. If the compression is fine then it will need new valve stem seals. Both cases will require some serious engine work be performed.

If you need to have this looked at, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to you home or office to diagnose the smoke and repair this.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: check engine light read mass air flow sensor

First of all, cleaning a mass air sensor may not have fixed the sensor and O2 sensors cannot be cleaned. The O2 sensors for bank 1 and bank 2 means that the left and right side of the engine. You...

Q: How to keep my car run well for years?

Hi, thanks for writing in. I would suggest following the preventative maintenance schedule located in your owner's manual. Vehicle manufactures provide these for owners to follow to ensure the longevity of each vehicle. Some basic preventative items include, but are...

Q: Two new xenon light bulbs burn out instantly as soon as they are turned out.

If the old bulb wasn't burnt out by the ballast, the new ones shouldn't either. The most likely cause of your woes are the cheap bulbs. I would strongly suggest only purchasing name brand bulbs. They may be much more...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...