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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Automotive Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6286
Experience:  30 years experience, Repairing, building, & designing, automobiles.
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2000 ford: 150.Noticed white smoke coming from exhaust pipe..sits

Customer Question

Have a 2000 ford f-150.Noticed white smoke coming from exhaust pipe when i start up in the morning or after the truck sits for about 6-8 hours.thank you Skip
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 9 years ago.

It is real easy to confuse white smoke with white steam. I will explain the difference.

When you turn off your truck the air inside your exhaust is very hot, and in a very "expanded" state because of the heat. As it cools the air, and exhaust gas contracts or shrinks. This slowly draws outside air into your exhaust system. Normal air has a little moisture most of the time, and lots of moisture the rest of the time. When you start your engine the water in the air drawn into your exhaust system vaporizes into steam. and puffs out the tail pipe. This is harmless and lots of vehicles do this.

Now white smoke when you start is bad. It means that some of your internal engine parts are getting worn. Parts like piston rings, valve seals and guides, cylinders, and pistons too. No this wouldn't mean your engine was bad it would be considered to be getting a little "Tired" . You will see increased oil consumption, and blow by. Eventually the engine would begin to smoke more and more until it would smoke a little while driving it down the road, and maybe start fouling spark plugs. This is the end for an smoking engine.

So steam is good smoke is Bad. Steam when you watch it comes out and kind of disappears as it drifts away. Smoke will not disappear after it travels a few feet, it may thin a little when it mixes with air. Smoke will stay visible like a cloud of dust as it drifts away.

Take a look at it again, to see if it is smoke or steam, I hope this helps, good luck and Thanks.