Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: White smoke issuing from tail pipe.

asked by on

I have white smoke coming out of my tail pipe. In addition, the engine rumbles and the car takes a while to start.

Hello. This tends to happen on most vehicles when they have an internal engine problem. Most of the time it is a blown head gasket. When this occurs coolant can get into the combustion chamber and burn off causing the smoke. This will also make it harder for the fuel to burn efficiently causing the rough running. A compression test should be done first to see if there are any variation per cylinder indicating a head gasket problem. This test is done with a compression tester. You should should have the smoke from your engine inspected by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic.

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: Flickering lights

If the idle fluctuates enough, you might see some flicker, because the engine of course drives the alternator. However, the roughness could be a separate issue - that is, the alternator could be failing, too. One diagnostic strategy is to...

Q: My temperature gauge goes up and down when driving. We just recently changed the thermostat. It even does it when the ac is off. I

Hi there. It is quite possible that the electrical harness to the thermostat is faulty or you have an obstruction of coolant inside the radiator or cooling system that is causing an actual temperature flux as you are describing. It...

Q: Front bumper has a medium size hole 2011 Kia Sorrento

Hello - unfortunately, this is not a repair YourMechanic can offer at this time. This task is best handled by a collision repair estimator at a reputable paint and body shop. S/he is trained to evaluate visible and not-so-visible damage,...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...