I have a van with a 350 engine. When I start the van in the morning there is white smoke. Why does my van vent so much smoke in the morning through the exhaust pipe?

Asked by Apr 08, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

3 Answers


Condensation builds up in your exhaust system during the night. When you start you engine, this condensation heats up and produce white smoke (steam). This is a normal thing, some cars produce more white smoke in the morning than others. If you do have a lot of white smoke, then it could be an head gasket. But it wouldn't be just in the morning.


My first guess would be headgaskets have blown, is your coolant level dropping? Does your radiator develop pressure really at startup? Do you see bubbles in the radiator at startup ? I suggest taking it to a shop that you trust and have a block check performed, that should tell you if the gaskets are blown.


It's usually normal to see some white exhaust when the engine is first started up until the exhaust system is warmed up to operating temperature. It's water in the exhaust (condensation) and it's a normal byproduct of combustion. The water condenses on the cold metal and sometimes water will drip out. --- If there is white smoke after the exhaust is fully heated, it could indicate a blown head gasket. If you are also seeing the coolant level drop and engine overheating, have the shop perform a compression test. http://www.carsdirect.com/car-repair/causes-of-white-exhaust-smoke

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