Smoke coming from under hood?

I’ve recently inherited my moms 1996 Nissan to take with me to college. Normally I drive to work and back, including the additional store trip if I feel up to it. As of recently, I was driving and started to smell an odd smell. I would describe the smell as dry, not necessarily a burning, and when I noticed light steam (not thick like smoke) that went away I pulled over to check. It was dark but what I could see was as if there was a small hole in a rubber tubing and the smoke was shooting out of it. My gas was fine, no engine check lights, and my car was not overheating. I’m confused as to what this could because I’ve been driving for a couple days with the Nissan and this never happened. What could be the problem? I’m not very car-savvy.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Apparently your father isn’t savvy also. This might be one of those have a real mechanic look at it. You don’t want a car fire while you are in heavy traffic or anywhere else.

Haha, the transmission fluid had nothing to do with me asking him about the problem, it was just a side tip he gave me when he was checking my fluids before I left. But thanks, I’ll definitely get this looked at!

How many miles on car?
You are at school, away from home.
How did you notice or see smoke at night?
Do you have a flashlight?

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Well sounds like you need a new hose if it has a hole in it. Lots of things happen to cars that never happened before. I developed a pin hole size leak in a radiator hose 150 miles from home at night. I stopped at Walmart and got some radiator hose tape to make it home on. Then ordered a new hose.


The problem might be that you have a small hole in a rubber tube. :grin:
Can’t tell which tube from here.

Since it’s smoking rather than spewing fluid, I’ll risk a wild guess that it was the tube that goes from the valve cover to the induction system as part of the Positive Crankcase ventilation (PCV) system and that smoke consists of crankcase gasses being blown up under the valve cover and leaking out the rubber tube. .

But it’s only a wild guess. I’m too far away to tell.

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That might be a hose involved w/the pcv system. Best to get that attended to w/due speed, b/c a pcv system problem can lead to damage to expensive to replace oil seals inside the engine.

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I was out getting food near campus when I noticed the smell, then when I parked in a well lit parking lot and opened the hood I noticed it. Yes, I used the flashlight on my phone and the car is a little over 250,000 miles.

Thanks, I’ll get it looked at ASAP! I wanted to avoid using my hands and trying to feel around for a specific hose.

Update: Turns out it was a coolant leak and it actually caused my car to overheat, which was the smoke and odd smell. Got everything fixed now though!

Glad you got your cooling system working again. Good for you.

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Glad to hear you’re good to go again.
Happy motoring.

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