Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Dirty water dripping various spots

Hello everyone,

I’m finally getting my 2004 Ford Taurus (3.0 Vulcan Engine) back in running conditioner. Power steering problem has been solved.

But I do still have one remaining problem.

The first issue I had which led to my car running poorly was a broken valve spring which I was able to fix. I replaced the head gasket when I did this repair. That is just some background info.

However here is my new problem. I have a lot of white smoke coming from my exhaust. My first thought was the head gasket was not installed properly but I did everything correctly. But this smoke doesn’t smell sweet. Now that I have the power steering corrected I’ll be taking it for a longer drive but so far no coolant loss either.

But I looked under the car and here is what else I notice.

The very end of the exhaust on the back of the car is where the white smoke is coming from of course. However about 1 1/2 ft back from the end of the exhaust (towards the front of the car) there is dirty black water dripping from there. Also right where the catalytic converter mounts to the exhaust manifold there is dirty black water dripping from there as well some white steam. As far as the smell. No sweetness it pretty much just smells like what I would consider normal exhaust. If anything it might have a little hint of a burning rubbery smell?

What do I have going on here? Any guesses?

Did you replace the head gasket or the valve cover gasket? I only ask because replacing the head gasket requires a whole different level of skill, and opens up a whole can of worms. I’d be surprised if anyone who is qualified to do a head gasket job would need our advice.

I would run it some more…let it idle for a long while prior and then go for a drive if the smoke isn’t too obnoxious. If and when you are certain you have no coolant loss…you probably just got some coolant and or oil into your exhaust down pipe and perhaps filled the cat up with some liquid during the head removal. If you have no coolant loss this stuff should just burn off.

There is a possibility that you put the head gasket on upside down. This is a common mistake people make. Upside down and the water passages would not line up.

But, I don’t know where you are in the US, but up here in Wisconsin you will have white smoke until the end of march. This is just the moisture in the air turning to steam during the combustion process.
So a little dripping from the exhaust is common at the tail pipe and any joint in the exhaust that may be getting old and starting a small leak. If it is a steady stream of water…you have a problem.


1 Like