Car shook and quit running

My car was shaking and then white smoke poured out from underneath the hood. I opened it and the radiator looked fine, but the back of the hood and engine was breaking. I tried to drive the car a couple of feet to park it and it accelerated for a few seconds and then shut off after shaking heavily.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
White smoke is generally an indication of rapid coolant boil off and loss. Now this may something as minor as a coolant leak from a blown hose or gasket. but it could be something as major as a cracked block or cylinder head. One thing to consider also was how hot was the engine when the shaking and stall occurred. If the engine temperature was excessive other damage may be possible internally in the engine. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the training and expertise to diagnose the smoke coming from your engine and recommend the best course of repair.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

The most prevalent cause of vibration is problems with your wheels or tires. The potential problems include improper wheel and tire balance, uneven tire wear, separated tire tread, out of round tires, damaged wheels and even loose lug nuts.
Any unusual shaking or vibrating forces coming from the engine is cause for concern. It could be something as simple as old spark plugs producing an uneven power delivery, it could be something serious like worn or broken engine mounts, or it could be even more serious in the case of internal engine damage.
Engine misfiring (shaking) plus white smoke (steam) from exhaust is indicative of `antifreeze` entering the combustion chamber (cylinder) .. both are classic symptoms of blown head gasket! ..
Motor mounts keep the engine attached to the car. If the vehicle shakes or the engine shudders a lot when stopped at a stoplight, or when parked with the engine idling, it might indicate the motor mounts or transmission mounts are damaged or broken.
Low automatic transmission fluid can cause shaking. If the shaking is accompanied by the check engine light, it`s time to visit a mechanic. Drivers of manual cars might discover their clutch master cylinder is the source of the shaking.
Improperly functioning spark plugs cause an uneven burn of fuel in the engine, resulting in fluctuating RPMs and a louder noise. You might also experience increased vibrations of your vehicle while sitting idle or while traveling at low speeds. These vibrations originate from the engine and can shake the entire car.
The most common cause of the shaking most often happens near your tires and rims. The tires and wheels connect your vehicle to the road, and if anything is a bit wonky, will notice. It may be something like a broken transmission or a broken control arm.
The fuel pump, which is responsible for pulling fuel from the gas tank to the fuel injectors, can become clogged or defective. If this happens the engine will not get enough fuel, which can cause a rough idle, sputtering, stalling and even slow acceleration.
White smoke from your exhaust means coolant is exposed to your engine`s combustion process. In most cases, this is the result of a blown head gasket, but a cracked engine block or cylinder head could also be the cause.
Black exhaust smoke

When your exhaust pipe gives off black smoke, one of the things to get worried about are bad or worn out spark plugs. It means fuel burning in the combustion chamber is not being done 100 percent or burnt fully. It also means that air is not being well mixed with fuel to burn effectively.

Motor mounts: It`s the job of the motor and transmission mounts to dampen vibration. When they break, you`ll feel excessive vibration, especially at idle. You can diagnose this yourself by putting your car in neutral. If the shaking lessens, you very well could have broken mounts.
Automatic transmissions that shift hard, jerk or shake during a shift change may mean your transmission fluid needs changed or fluid level is low. In manual transmission vehicles, abnormal gear shifts could indicate damaged gear synchros, worn clutches or other, more severe issues.

When your transmission doesn`t have enough fluid, you may experience it stalling at red lights or stop signs. Though it should start right back up, taking your car to an auto shop for repair is key as your transmission lines may be leaking and may need to be replaced.

The most common signs of bad spark plugs include start-up trouble, rough idling, sluggish acceleration, declining fuel economy, engine misfiring, and engine knocking.
Worn suspension or steering system components can come loose and begin to shake or vibrate as you drive. And if you find your vehicle shakes particularly when accelerating hard or at highway speeds, that can even be caused by a worn rear suspension.
Potential causes of a vehicle shaking at idle include a loose gas cap, loose battery cables, a worn throttle sensor, a damaged engine mount, or bad spark plugs. Perform a general inspection of your engine bay to look for damage. If you can`t repair the problem yourself, take the vehicle to a mechanic.
If your spark plugs are dirty or worn, your vehicle will shake when you`re stopped. Dirty or worn plugs misfire because they cannot ignite the piston cylinder fuel properly. Thankfully, new plugs aren`t that expensive.
Oxygen (O2) sensor

An oxygen sensor monitors and analyzes the amount of oxygen in a vehicle`s exhaust system after combustion. A dirty, damaged or malfunctioning O2 sensor (or sensors) affects the air/fuel mixture, causing the engine to idle rough.

The most common reasons a Toyota Camry has rough idle are a vacuum leak, an issue with the spark plugs, or a problem with the ignition coil.
White Exhaust Smoke

White smoke billowing out of your exhaust means that coolant is likely leaking into the cylinders. This usually happens when there has been a breach in the head gasket, which makes the coolant create this white steam.

The most common answer to, “Why is my car smoking but not overheating?” is that there`s a type of fluid that`s landed on the engine. This can be motor oil, fuel, transmission fluid, coolant, or even condensation. It can cause your engine to smoke because it`s burning off that fluid from the engine.
The Wheels Are Out Of Balance

If they`re not perfectly balanced, they may begin to shake and bounce around as the wheel spins. Sometimes, unbalanced wheels will only become noticeable at freeway speeds and even then, it may go away if you go a little faster or slower.

Motor mounts: It`s the job of the motor and transmission mounts to dampen vibration. When they break, you`ll feel excessive vibration, especially at idle. You can diagnose this yourself by putting your car in neutral. If the shaking lessens, you very well could have broken mounts.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Replaced alternator on car 2 times each time shows it’s charging 14v let car run for a little bit then test drive and car voltage
ANSWER : There are reports that the replacement alternators will not communicate with the engine computer and will not charge correctly. I recommend using only the manufacturer approved replacement part. It can be new or remanufactured but approved for use in the vehicle. Some lower cost alternators on the aftermarket will have charging problems since they will not communicate with the ECM on the vehicle and will stop charging.

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Power steering loss, no belts are turning but the car is running fine. I also have a soft pedal. Whats wrong with my car?
ANSWER : I have only seen this situation once in my 30+ years and it turned out to be a broken crankshaft pulley. Belts are driven by the engine. The crankshaft pulley spins the belts, which in turn spin the air conditioner compressor, power steering and water pumps, and the alternator. The vehicle should be towed to your local repair shop and not driven. Without the water pump spinning to circulate the coolant, the engine will quickly overheat and result in more extensive damage.

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Fuel EVAP line that runs under car is kinked how do I know if it is leaking? Also can I drive it like that if it’s not leaking?
ANSWER : Hi Ricardo. We answered your question earlier. However, if you didn’t receive the reply, here is what we stated earlier. In most cases, an EVAP leak will create an OBD-II trouble code. The best way to detect an EVAP leak is by having a professional mobile mechanic complete a check engine light inspection, they will be able to download the code and determine the source of the leak. That’s the best advice we can offer you. Thanks.

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After you sit with the car running, the car starts smoking and eventually starts shaking
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. It all depends where the smoke is coming from. If it is from the exhaust then your engine be running rich and starting to foul out the spark plugs. Have the computer tested to see if any codes are present that could indicate what is causing the smoke. If you see smoke from the engine compartment then you may be running the engine hot due to low airflow over the radiator. Have the cooling fan checked to make sure it is running. If it is running and the vehicle has the AC running and the blower is on or near high then you may be using more energy than the alternator can keep up with. This can cause the radiator fan to not turn as fast as it should and let the temperature to rise if idled for long periods. If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

Read Full Q/A … : Car shook and quit running

Fuel EVAP line that runs under car is kinked how do I know if it is leaking? Also can I drive it like that if it’s not leaking?
ANSWER : Hi there. In most cases, an EVAP leak will create an OBD-II trouble code, which is the best way to detect an EVAP leak. By having a professional mobile mechanic complete a check engine light inspection, they will be able to download the code and determine the source of the leak. In most cases, it’s an EVAP purge solenoid that is faulty.

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I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you

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I have a mini r53 s (supercharged) runs fine but when car stop and AC is on for a wile car overheat
ANSWER : Your question makes me think of a case I ran into a few years ago. The owner had modified his car but when he installed his fans, one of them was wired backwards so the fan ran in reverse. The two fans were fighting each other which was just like having no fan at all, so the car heated up while it was sitting still then it cooled off when moving. Check the rotation of both the fans before you check anything else. If that’s OK, you may be able to track down the problem with a non-contact thermometer, follow the course of the coolant with the beam. The radiator should be about 30 degrees or more cooler at the exit than at the entrance. If you need help with this, contact Your Mechanic. They can send a technician to your home to check out your overheating problem and let you know what can be done for it.

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Is this car typically a great running car? And what is usually the main issue with this particular car make and model?
ANSWER : In evaluating the wisdom of buying a particular model of car (used or new), consult the database of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA. The NHTSA database contains model specific consumer complaints, official recalls and factory service bulletins searchable by individual make, model, and model year. I encourage you to go to the NHTSA website and enter "1998 Mercedes Benz C230" into the search dialog box and simply review the existing reports. For the 1998 Mercedes Benz C230, I see that there is 1 recall, 2 investigations, 56 consumer complaints (that’s a relatively small number), and 10 Technical Service Bulletins (discussing post production problems unique to the vehicle). If you carefully review these reports you will gain an excellent overview of what has been experienced by other owners insofar as faults in the particular make, model and year you are interested in. I would post the text of the reports here, but they are detailed and voluminous so it will be more practical for you to view them online (it is free). An additional resource, "Consumer Reports", publishes system-by-system vehicle reliability data for all years, makes, and models. This data is available free in the library, or on-line if you are a paid subscriber. That reliability data will give you an excellent indication of the relative likelihood (probability) that key systems on the model (and year) of interest to you will fail at greater, or lesser, frequency compared to those rates reported for other vehicles. Obviously, what you want to be looking for in the "Consumer Reports" database is an indication that the vehicle "make and model year" of interest to you is not a "lemon" insofar as reliability. Finally, to protect yourself in any used car transaction, you should request a pre-purchase vehicle inspection. That inspection, carried out by a certified Mechanic, dispatched to your location by YourMechanic, will give you very specific data regarding any current problems with the actual car you want to buy. If you are unable to access any of these resources, or desire data of a different type, please do not hesitate for a moment to re-contact YourMechanic and we will assist you further in your attempts to make a wise used vehicle purchase.

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