Odd problem

The other day when I pulled into a gas station I noticed smoke coming from under my hood. It was coming from the back drivers side up near the wipers near the fire wall and not the engine. I took it to the shop and they did a pressure test and could not find anything and said it was running good. This morning I noticed it again in the same spot. It is not over heating and it does not seem to be coming from the engine and there is no smell and nothing from the tail pipe. They thought originally it was just water from the previous days rain but this time it has been dry for 3 days. I do not want to spend another 3 hours at the shop to be told it’s nothing. Any suggestions?

Well, for one, find a better repair shop. Second, is the car losing coolant? Is the car using oil?

Also, can you smell it? If so, what does it smell like? Did you open the hood when you saw the smoke? It’s unlikely to be generated in the cowling under the wipers. The vents allow some gases from the engine bay to escape.

If you had an oil change recently,the spilled oil could have found its way down the exhaust manifold.The hot manifold will burn it and that would explain why you see smoke in the cowling.

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No they can’t smell it.

All fluids are full including the coolant and levels are not changing. I check them daily. I did look and as I said it is coming from near the back fire wall under the wipers area. No I have not had a recent oil change and again there is no smell. Also it does not do it all the time. Just early in the morning after initial start up and 2 times now a few days apart.

Yes I did and it was wafting from near the back firewall on the drivers side and near where the wipers are.

How about brake fluid ?

Full. Power steering, trans, oil, coolant all full

Try turning your windshield wipers on. If they don’t run, you have a burned out wiper motor.

Some wild guesses . . .

Sheered-off exhaust manifold bolts

Exhaust manifold flange gaskets

Exhaust manifold gasket(s) leaking

I would check to see if a plastic bag may have been discarded on the road and somehow got affixed to the catalytic converter or some other part of the exhaust system. I would also check to see if the heat shield for the catalytic converter is in place.
My other guess is that the valve cover gasket is dripping a little oil on the exhaust system. I found this caused a similar problem in a car belonging to a colleague.

Did you open the hood to see where it might be coming from? How long does it smoke and under what conditions does it stop smoking? Color: white, black, gray?

It smokes for a few minutes once stopped. It is white. Like I said it comes from near the top driver side near fire wall all the way up just under where the wipers are under the hood. It seems to come up and just over those componets

I still think it’s a valve cover gasket leak. I saw the same problem in an Oldsmobile 88 owned by a colleague. The Oldsmobile was old enough that it was a rear wheel drive. I found the leak after a close inspection.

Should have asked… does it do that every time you stop and how long has it been doing this?

Since there is no smell associated with this I would guess it is plain water. Might be condensation water from the A/C that does not properly drain, but drip onto the hot engine.

If that’s the case it would do that all the time when the A/C is on, you just don’t notice it while driving. If possible, leave the A/C off for the next few drives and see if the smoking stops.

That’s not a fix,but might point you to the cause.