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Large amount of white smoke

After my 2000 Camery has sat for a few hours or over night, there is a huge amount of white smoke that poofs out of my exhaust…any advice? It actually just passed CA smog 2 months ago…

How cold was it in the morning? If the exhaust system is cold and the outside air as well, most of the water vapor in the exhaust will condense on startup, showing white “smoke”. If it blows white smoke on a warm day with the engine warmed up, you have an internal leak and coolant is getting ito yoyur engine. Check for a leaking head gasket or intake manifold gasket in that case

Just encase Docnick is wrong, although I agree with what he said, I suggest you check the coolant level now. If it is low, I would have your local trusted mechanic check it. Try not to use a chain or a quick oil change place.

Good advice, Joseph. On older cars, transmission fluid could get sucked into the engine through a faulty modulator valve. That would also cause whitish smoke!

I agree that white clouds are usually water vapor and in cars with vacuum modulators occasionally (though rarely) tranny fluid burning. I can testify from experience that burning tranny fluid makes a horrible knocking sound.

In any event I’d get it checked to be on the safe side. I don’t know what the byproducts of burning tranny fluid are, but coolant being ingested will not fail an emissions test. It does not controbute to CO, HC, or NOx output.

If you live in a cold weather area it may be just normal condensation. I hope it is, but it never hurts to have a look-see. And I definitely agree with the advice to avoid quickie places.

I just went out and checked the coolant - there is none! Does this mean it leaked out somewhere, or is it normal - I am not sure I have ever added coolant, maybe once? ALso, weather doesn’t change it - It is a beautiful 60+ degrees and sunny currently –

Ummmm…that’s not good. Unscrew your oil cap and look at the bottom of it. Also pull the oil dipstick and look at the oil on there. If the oil looks milky - sort of like a milk shake, then the coolant that used to be in your radiator is now in your oil. That comes from a blown head gasket. (The oil should just look like something like honey, but thinner and can be pretty dark, even black if its been a while since an oil change).

If you want to keep the car don’t drive it a) unless you get coolant into it, and/or b) if you find the oil to be all milky. Have it towed to your mechanic. Driving it with the coolant that low is a good way to overheat and destroy the engine. Driving it with coolant/water in the oil is also a good way to destroy the engine. Of course, a head gasket fix isn’t all that cheap either.

Did you check the coolant in the plastic reservoir or in the radiator? If you only checked the reservoir and want to add coolant, make sure you check the radiator itself - but make sure the car is completely cool before you do that!