Lots of water vapor coming from exhaust pipe...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by eldorado99, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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    I am pretty sure that somehow coolant is getting into some part of the engine and getting burnt because right when the car is started the exhaust is pretty much clear, and then after about a minute the exhaust gets more and more white and it gets pretty freakin foggy. I really hope it isnt a cracked block. Is there anything else that might cause this?
     
  2. IGBT

    IGBT Lifer

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    ..either it's a steam engine or it's head gasket time..
     
  3. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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    head gasket eh?
     
  4. Viperoni

    Viperoni Lifer

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    Or it could just be because it's cold outside...
     
  5. Evadman

    Evadman Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member

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    It may very well be because it is cold. If it never goes away, you likely have a blown head gasket. Check your oil, see if it looks like baby poop. You will know what I mean if you see it.
     
  6. sniperruff

    sniperruff Lifer

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    uh-oh does it mean that he needs a HEAD JOB???
     
  7. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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    The coolant level seems to go down when I idle the engine too, but there isnt any leaking out of the car (not anymore since a little hole has been repaired recently yay!) but that could also be because I just recently topped off the coolant levels and it has to circulate I suppose... But if it is a blown head, is that a lot of work to fix and does it usually cost a lot to buy the parts? (1984 Ford LTD 3.8L please don't laugh :))
     
  8. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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  9. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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  10. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Lifer

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    If it is a head gasket, they're not usually cheap. The parts aren't expensive (just the gaskets, and assuming something else isn't wrong like the head is warped) but since you have to disassemble a good deal of the intake system to pull the head off, it's a lot of labor.
     
  11. FoBoT

    FoBoT No Lifer

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    they told you, you need a HEAD job
     
  12. PaveHawk

    PaveHawk Member

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    Is the car running fine otherwise? If you have this much steam coming out of the exhaust, then the engine would be missing and sputtering. Now, if you only see this in cold temperatures, it is probably the normal condensation of water inside the exhaust system and it is just steaming out as the catalytic converter gets hot. Do you live in a metropolitan area where they require a smog check?
     
  13. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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    Yes the car does seem to be running fine otherwise, and it is cold outside it just seemed like an abnormal amount of steam, and there is a small amount (maybe 1 cup in 10 minutes) of water actually dripping from the exhaust. Where I live a smog check is needed. Unfortunately I have not had this car long enough to notice if this only happens in cold temperatures.
     
  14. Iron Woode

    Iron Woode Lifer

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    Dude, water is a normal by-product of combustion. Maybe you haven't noticed it before, but, water normally drips out of exhausts. The more complete the combustion, the more water is produced. That is how exhaust systems rot out from the inside.

    If you are concerned about head-gaskets, then take the car to your mechanic and have him test the coolant for combustion gases contamination. This will tell you if there is a major repair comming.
     
  15. ed21x

    ed21x Diamond Member

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    i was thinking this might have something to do with the catalytic converter, as thats usually the problem when stuff leaks out of the tailpipe.
     
  16. C'DaleRider

    C'DaleRider Guest

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    You do realize that when you shut off a car that's been run, the hot exhaust system cools.

    When that VERY hot exhaust manifold, cat, pipes, and muffler cool, the air inside the muffler, pipes, and cat cools........as the air cools, it condenses. Then the exhaust system draws in outside air and condenses that, too. The drawn in air condenses throughout the system and forms water which pools all in the ssytem, esp. in the muffler. And the muffler is the last piece of the exhaust system to fully heat and evaporate the built up pooled water. It's not unusual to see a cold car/truck with some "steam" and water dripping from the tailpipe when the exhaust system is heating up.

    (This condensing of the air into water and the water pooling in the muffler is the chief cause of mufflers rusting from the inside, which is the main rust problem for mufflers. This is why GOOD muffler manufacturers, like Walker, promote and trumpet their resistance to rust-through. Someone who drives nothing but in-town short trips never heats up the muffler fully to rid the exhaust system of all the water that's collected inside.)

    If, after 10 minutes of driving, you continue to see vapor being emitted from your tailpipe, you may have a problem. Watch your cooant level. Check your oil, too. Cracked heads sometimes allow the oil and coolant passages to communicate and your oil will become milky. Sometimes you'll find an oil sheen/dropplets floating in your coolant.

    Otherwise, if the symptoms disappear after some driving, it's probably normal. Water dripping from your tailpipe, esp. when it's just heating up, is pretty normal.