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Q: White smoke coming out of engine - 2000 Dodge Dakota

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I smelled something burning, not to long after white smoke started coming out of the hood of the engine and turned it off let it sit for a few minutes and did the same thing, after that I haven't started it since, I think this is a sign engine over heating very hot burning smell sort of like a burning plastic. Just got this vehicle and learning clutch don't know if it's from that, I checked the engine fluids,no leaks, the oil level was low but I don't know if that would cause that kind of issue. I'm just wondering what is wrong, if it's major? Should I not start my truck until it's fixed?

My car has 193000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hello and thank you for contacting YourMech...

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. If the clutch was not working very well, then the clutch could have burned up the disks. This will cause white smoke from the engine compartment and smell like plastic burning. If you suspect that the clutch was fine, then open the hood and look all over the engine compartment for any burnt wires, any burnt plastic molds from the engine (for instance, intake and plastic parts), and for any melted plastic bags that could have gotten stuck to the exhaust.

If you need further assistance with your vehicle, then seek out a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who can come to your location to determine why there is smoke and what needs to be repaired.

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