Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Starting problems with white smoke from the tailpipe

asked by on

My car wouldn't start the other day and it sounded bad. I had the battery checked and it is fine. Later that day, it had the same loud sound and it started but blew gray smoke out. Then, ther was a lot of white smoke coming from the tailpipe. The car doesn't burn oil. It has no leaks.The dipstick occasionally shows oil. What could be the problem?

Hi there. Typically when this engine does this, it is either because the timing chain and tensioner is failing, or it may have a more serious internal issue. The timing chain is by far the most common cause of this. The smoke is the most concerning part as that can mean a more serious issue. If you need to have this looked at, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose your car’s starting and smoke issues, and help you proceed towards a proper repair.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: There is a leak in the thermostat housing gasket of will it be okay to drive 325 miles before fixingfore f

There is no real way to give you a definitive answer unfortunately. A small leak can remain a small leak indefinitely but it can also turn into a major leak in a matter of moments with no warning. Because of...

Q: Issues with MAF sensor and P010B code

The vehicle's Engine Control Module (ECM) may need reprogramming, as to a technical bulletin ITB09-028 dated June 3, 2009. The reprogramming by the dealer will be needed to try and see if the code goes away, if not, further diagnosis...

Q: Windshield wipers don't work

Hi there. If the wipers stopped working on all speeds then the wiper motor may have failed. I typically start with checking the voltage at the motor to see if it is present. If it is not then there may...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.