Car smoking and leaking

My car is leaking on both the inside, and the outside. The car was also smoking.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
If it’s coolant that is leaking inside and outside of the car, then the heater core in your dash likely has a leak. This would also account for the smoking from the vents or under the car. You should have the cooling system checked before driving, or engine overheating will occur. I recommend having a mechanic, like the ones from YourMechanic, come by and check your car, starting with a diagnosis of the source and cause of the smoke, and an inspection of your leaks.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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

Fluid Leak

White or Gray smoke is Indicative of water in your engine`s cylinders, which is a sign the coolant is leaking. Blue smoke is usually a sign that oil has leaked into the cylinders and is burning.

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.
White engine smoke is commonly caused by burning radiator fluid (also known as coolant or refrigerant). You might also notice a sickly sweet smell (often compared to that of butterscotch or maple syrup).
The most common reasons a Dodge Stratus is overheating are a coolant leak (water pump, radiator, hose etc.), the radiator fan, or a failed thermostat.
Signs of a Coolant Leak

Steam under hood: When you hear a hissing sound or spot steam billowing out from under the hood, your check engine light should turn on. You might even smell a hot and sweet aroma. If you see these signs, you should pull over to prevent the engine from further overheating.

Whether it`s a defective part or an overheating engine, coolant is somehow escaping your engine. The reason it typically escaped in the form of steam is that the system is pressurized, and very hot – if there`s a leak, the coolant that escapes vaporizes.
White Smoke

It usually means that coolant is being burned in the engine, which means that something is drastically wrong. The most common cause of this is a blown head gasket, which can quickly lead to an overheating engine.

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.

If you notice smoke coming out of the vehicle, do not keep driving. Pull over to the side of the road as soon as you can and shut the engine off.
Adding coolant does nothing to address the problem that caused your engine to overheat in the first place, but it often allows you to drive safely to the nearest repair station. “A professional will need to inspect your car`s cooling system,” says Reina. While driving, keep an eye on the temperature gauge.
In most cases, when your power steering goes out instantly and you see smoke and oil, it`s due to a power steering pump or power steering line braking. The oil inside power steering systems is hydraulic fluid, which can be very hard on electrical sensors and components.
The smoke is likely just the power steering fluid burning off on the hot engine. The steering is likely hard because you are low on power steering fluid from the leak. This means the fluid pressure can not build like it needs to in order to provide assistance with steering.
While driving with a coolant leak doesn`t pose an immediate threat to your well-being, we highly recommend that you avoid doing so. Driving a car that is leaking coolant can cause serious damage to your engine. Your engine can overheat, costing you big time.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Oil leaking from engine (not enough to leave driveway spots but still a leak) white/grayish smoke on startup only. No smoke while
ANSWER : External leaks could be from any of the oil seals on your engine and the cost to repair would depend on exactly where the leaks are located and how many seals need to be replaced. Certain seals are inaccessible unless the engine is removed, notably the rear crankshaft seal. Of course, as many leaks as possible should be repaired because leaking oil can damage external engine components such as rubber motor mounts. Oil leaking into the combustion chamber that is visible as smoke in the exhaust on start-up is typically due to failing valve stem oil seals. Those seals are replaceable. If you want the sources of the oil leaks identified and the repair estimated, simply request an oil leak diagnostic. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic.

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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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Oil leaking from under car and "remote control car" sound when car is first started for a few minutes until it warm up.
ANSWER : Hello,
There are a number of things that could make an engine noisy when starting up. Depending on the specific type of sound you are referring to, this will determine how to properly diagnose. If there is a bit of a hissing sound, this may be a sign of a vacuum leak. If this is more of a shrieking sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or out of adjustment serpentine belt. If there is a bit of a howling or growling sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or low on fluid power steering pump. A rattling or pinging sound may be caused by an ignition problem. An engine can ping (or knock) due to an improper combustion process. A "spark knock" is the result of combustion occurring too early. Early combustion can occur from carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber, a lean air/fuel mixture, and advanced ignition timing (spark plug firing too soon). A clattering type sound may be a result of improper lubrication in the valve train which could be a more serious problem and should be addressed as soon as possible. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle to ensure everything is in proper working order.

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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 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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My car is leaking coolant and telling me to stop the car and check coolant.
ANSWER : Going by your description and the age of the car, I’m going to guess you have a problem with your water pump. The water pump has a rotating seal that often doesn’t leak unless the engine is running. If your water pump is leaking you might be able to see a drip from the bottom of the engine front cover. Before jumping to any conclusions though, you should have a professional pressure test the system to be sure. If you contact Your Mechanic. they can send a technician to your home or office to check out your leak and tell you what it will take to solve it.

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My car has smoke damage inside somebody tried to steal it and try to burn the car how much does it cost to get a car cleaned out f
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. Your situation is incredibly unfortunate! Hopefully insurance will help pay for the damages. Pricing is going to vary greatly depending on your location. You are going to want to gather a couple of quotes and compare pricing. The damage done, and the kind of help you have in your area will all effect pricing. If the majority of the damage is inside of the cab, you are looking at having the interior redone. Seats, flooring, electrical components, door panels, window seals, and whatever else would have been damaged will be priced individually for the most part. If engine damage has been done, you will have to do a full diagnosis before obtaining a quote. For more help, or a quote from our technicians, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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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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My car is leaking oil i got an oil change for it last month but it is still leaking oil what will cause my car to leak oil ?
ANSWER : Most older cars have oil leaks. Sealing technology has just not kept up with mechanical improvements to engines so much so that leaks often kill engines rather than mechanical problems. So, it is not unexpected at all to have an, indeed many, oil leaks on a 23 year old car. Oil leaks vary hugely in terms of severity and priority of repair. Oil leaking onto a hot engine manifold is the worst case (the oil can start a fire; at best, you are left breathing oil fumes in the cabin, as the oil burns off of the manifold) while de minimus seepage of oil at the oil drain plug or oil pan gasket, while annoying and messy, if limited enough is not an emergency. Some leaks are easy to repair, while others literally require the engine to be removed just to get physical access to all the leak points. In your circumstance, if you smell burning oil, oil is probably leaking onto a hot engine part such as the exhaust manifold. A certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, can perform an oil leak diagnostic and then let you know of your repair options and costs.

As far as the check engine light, that is not related to the oil leak(s). If you request a check engine light diagnostic, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic would use a code scanner to retrieve the specific diagnostic trouble code(s) from your car’s PCM that have caused the check engine light to illuminate. Using those codes, the appropriate individual vehicle components or sub-systems (often a sensor, circuit, and the like) are then carefully tested, based on specifications set forth in your car’s Factory Service Manual, to pinpoint the cause of the fault or the reason why the check engine light has illuminated. Once the faulty part or component is identified, it is explained to your satisfaction and the mechanic will let you know of the cost to repair. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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