Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: White smoke from engine

asked by on

Hi I have white smoke that comes from the engine when I stop my car, it has a funny smell too. Kinda like burnt and sweet at the same time. Also when I drive it seems like the engine is a little louder then usually from the start,like its trying to hard to get going......

My car has 1250000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have an internal engine problem, such as a head gasket leaking coolant into a cylinder. If white smoke is blowing out from the exhaust during first 3 minutes of a cold start up in morning and has a sweet smell, stop driving it immediately. It is likely you have a blown head gasket or a cracked/warped head. Serious engine damage can occur if you continue to drive. Lots of white exhaust smoke on start up is usually a sign of a head gasket problem. If the leak is very small, or leaking into adjacent cylinders, there may not be much smoke upon starting up, and yet still enough coolant may be pulled into the combustion chamber(s) to produce a strong sweetish exhaust smell. Generally, over the long run, this particular problem will continue to produce more engine problems. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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: What causes an integrated supply module to burn out?

Congratulations - you have gotten 190K out of your module! This module is mounted under the passenger side cabin filter in the engine compartment - a very hot place to exist. The most common failure source on these modules is...

Q: I need to find a shop to get my head gasket replaced and cam the car

White smoke blowing out of the exhaust can be caused by multiple issues besides the head gasket being damaged. It may be a problem with the oil pump, a damaged sensor, issues with valve guides or the piston rings as...

Q: SUV no longer recognizes key

Hello. This is a common issue on this vehicle. The issue comes from the key either losing its programming or from the fob having a dead battery. I would typically start by trying a spare key if you have one....

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 to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.