Q: white smoke after head gasket repair

asked by on

I had a blown head gasket repaired. I am no longer losing coolant. I changed the oil and filter twice to make sure all coolant and oil mixture is out of the engine. However, I still see intermittent white smoke from exhaust. I know this is coolant still burning. Is this normal and how long will it take to get all coolant out of the engine? Is there anything I can do to speed up the removal of remaining coolant from engine?

My car has 121000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

When ever an engine blows a head gasket and leaks coolant into one or more cylinders and pushes the coolant into the exhaust flooding the catalyst and muffler with coolant. After the repairs to the engine are made to fix the leaking head gaskets the engine can then be started. Once started the exhaust heat will now start to burn off the coolant and water that was pushed into the exhaust system. When this fluid is heated it will come out the exhaust as white smoke or steam. It may take a few days to a week to burn off all this fluid out of the exhaust. One of the quickest ways to burn off all the coolant quicker is to hold the throttle at about 2000 rpms when in park for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will get the exhaust to its hottest level and burn off excessive fluids out of the exhaust. Just a note that the coolant that got into the exhaust system may of contaminated the O2 sensors and the substrate of the catalyst. If you start having check engine codes for the O2 sensors or catalyst efficiency then you may need to test and replace the catalyst and O2 sensors to repair the codes.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. white smoke after head gasket repair

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: Vibration in the front end. When I turn left it does not vibrat. I looked at the cv joints the look fine. Any suggestions

Claimed by John Hege

Q: Car runs hot and antifreeze leaks

First we have to find out where the coolant is leaking. That could be the cause of the over-heating, or just another symptom. Engines that heat up and run hot very quickly is a common symptom of the head gasket...

Q: EOT 250 degrees normal driving while ECT is 194 degrees

Hi there. Check the turbo and make sure that its functioning correctly and you have good boost. If the turbo is working properly, then there may be a plugged catalytic converter on the exhaust system making the engine overheat. This...

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...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.