Q: White smoke from engine bay

asked by on February 06, 2017

I have wispy white smoke coming from the engine bay only, mainly from the front area. It starts almost immediately after starting the car, however there is no noticeable smell or odor. I've had minimal oil loss (and no leaks on ground) and since I topped it up a few days ago the level seems constant. It is not overheating, on the dial a least, and the radiator water level is fine, even after driving. Also there is no smoke coming out from the exhaust. I have driven it about 15 times like this and apart from the smoke, it drives OK. What might it be? And is it wise to continue to drive it? Many Thanks Paul

My car has 198000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Paul. Any smoke coming from the engine bay area is not a good sign. However, the positive is that you seem to have noticed it before it becomes a potential breakdown. White smoke is generally categorized as coolant being evaporated, steam, from contact with the hot engine components. There would be a leak that accompanies a low coolant level; the leak may not be severe enough to lower the coolant level where it would be noticeable. I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a smoke from engine area inspection.

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