08 Outback smokes under hood when started

I purchased an 08 Outback (standard) in late May. It had about 3750 miles on it when I drove it through the White Mountains a couple of weeks ago. Two days later when I went to start it, a toxic smoke poured out from under the hood. I turned the car off and had it towed to the Subaru dealership. When they started it, nothing happened. They ran every test they could think of and nothing happened. There was no evidence of any damage under the hood. They had no iea what happened. Any ideas? Two other observations about the car: when it was new and came to a stop, the engine would surge a bit before idling at a normal rate. The mechanics said it was probably the adaptive memory and it only happens on rare occasions now. The clutch on the car is what I would call very tight making it very easy to stall in first. I have adapted and it rarely stalls now.

My wild guess is that something in the rhodent family left something on the top of the exhaust manifold. The little bugger was probably starting its winter food stores in your engine compartment.

Next time open the hood and look to see where the smoke is coming from.

Is it possible that you ran over a plastic bag and it stuck to your exhaust manifold or something?

I concur that a piece of debris may have burned up on the manifold or other hot engine part. I would not worry too much but if it does occur again carefully open the hood and peek.

Thanks! My only question is, if there was “something” on the top of the exaust manifold, would it have started smoking right after the car started?

It sounds to me more as if some electrical component burned out. I would check to see if everything still works–lights, radiator cooling fans, wipers, heater blower on all speeds, horn, etc. I don’t think that a plastic bag on the exhaust manifold would put out the smoke right awayh.

If it were berries it just might. Especially if it was on the head pipe just aft of the manifold.

It was a wild guess. Perhaps if you check with a good work light you can find residue of something.