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Q: White smoke at idle, oil residue on engine

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When I drive in the stop-and-go traffic, and the car idles at the traffic light for a brief while, it start blowing out a huge amount of white smoke. This started happening after I took the car to the dealer in order to get the heater coil replaced. The antifreeze has to be changed each week now. Also, the engine has oil residue on it. What might be the problem with my car?

A: Hello. From the symptoms you describe, it w...

Hello. From the symptoms you describe, it would appear that the vehicle has some sort of issue with the cooling system. If the white smoke was coming from the tailpipe, the coolant has to be frequently replaced, and the there is residue in the oil, then it may be possible that the engine has suffered a blown head gasket. This is likely the case if the vehicle has experienced any severe overheating, or has accumulated a high number of miles. If the leak is small, it may not be enough to cause the vehicle to overheat, however it may cause white smoke to be produced from the tailpipe if any coolant is ingested and burned by the engine. A thorough inspection should be conducted in order to determine what exact problem it may be.

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