White smoke from exhaust

I recently changed my 2006 Kia Rio's engine valves and my mechanic told me my valve cover oil seal was bad and making the spark plugs get soaked with oil.
Since replacing the valves (including gasket and timing belt), the engine smokes a lot. Lots of white smoke everywhere when the engine is on. My mechanic says it has to do with "ringing" the engine which I do not fully understand.
My question is: is it possible that the oil that gets into the spark plug area is being burned with fuel from the injectors and therefore resulting in the white smoke or is it strictly a piston
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi there. Typically, white smoke is an indicator of oil escaping past combustion components. If the smoke comes out the tail pipe during acceleration, it’s commonly caused by piston rings that are worn out and not properly sealing. If the smoke comes out during deceleration, it’s usually the valve guides in the cylinder head that are worn out. You should have a professional mechanic complete a smoking coming from exhaust inspection to help you diagnose the issue and recommend the right repairs.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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

White smoke usually means coolant is getting into the combustion chambers of your vehicle. This generally happens because of a cracked or leaking head gasket, which allows coolant to seep into your cylinders. In extreme cases, you will need to replace your head gasket.
Two of the most common reasons for this are a malfunctioning fuel pressure regulator or leaky or clogged fuel injectors. Bad fuel pressure regulator: A vehicle`s fuel system is designed to work within a specific range of pressure, which is controlled by a fuel pressure regulator.
One possible reason for white smoke coming from your car`s exhaust is that the engine is burning oil. This can happen if the oil level in the engine is low or if the oil seal is leaking. If you notice that your car is burning oil, you should take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.
If the exhaust coming from your vehicle smells like gasoline, it`s often due to an overly rich air/fuel ratio. This means that either too much fuel or too little air is getting into your vehicle`s combustion chambers.
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.

SHOULD MY EXHAUST SMOKE BE WHITE? In general, thin white exhaust smoke (similar to water vapor) could be nothing to worry about. Depending on the outside temperature, condensation will build up inside of your car`s exhaust system and the heat heading through the pipes will create steam.
Smoke often leaves car engines as a result of overheating. This can be caused by faulty wire casings, heated residues on the engine block and overheated liquids including oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid. There may also be a fault in your coolant system, or your engine may not have enough lubricant.
Without enough oil, engine components will start to rub against each other and produce excess heat. Any oil that is left will start to burn up, producing the motor that you smell. The aroma is strong enough for you to notice even inside the passenger cabin. Smoke appears under the hood.
White smoke from your exhaust almost always indicates a blown head gasket, and just like there is coolant mixed with your engine oil, there will also be engine oil mixed with your coolant.
1: White Engine Smoke

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).

White exhaust smoke

If your exhaust smoke is white, this is a reason for concern in a diesel engine vehicle. White exhaust smoke means fuel is not burning properly. This could mean: The engine is too cold.

White smoke is a result of unburned fuel particles passing through your car`s combustion chamber and out of the exhaust pipe. As previously mentioned, white smoke is related to lower temperatures in the combustion chamber.
If there`s burnt fuel inside the engine, the oil filler cap can release a little bit of smoke but not cause the car to overheat. This could also happen if the piston rings are worn out or the PCV tube is clogged. These parts are used to drain off fuel into the cylinder, where it then burns and creates smoke.
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.

White Smoke in your exhaust indicates that coolant and or water is being vaporized in the combustion chamber and could mean the head gasket is leaking, the vehicle has a cracked block or cylinder or the engine is cold.
What Should I Do If I See White Smoke Coming From My Exhaust? Most importantly, you should not continue to run the car. If your engine has a gasket failure or a crack, it could lead to further contamination or overheating, which essentially means, “Goodbye, engine.”
The symptoms of too much car oil

If it is overfilled, the following may occur: Dense white smoke – If you drive your car and see plenty of thick, white exhaust smoke, excess oil may be burning within the engine block, although fluids such as antifreeze may also be the culprit.

Blue smoke isn`t a good sign, it means engine oil is burning in the engine due to a leak. You definitely don`t want this to happen because your engine needs oil to operate smoothly. If left unchecked, this could lead to serious engine damage.
To fix blue or gray smoke: The easy way is to add a bottle of Motor Honey Oil Treatment to your motor oil with each oil change. It`s specially designed to reduce oil burning and stop smoky exhausts. The hard way is an engine overhaul, which is about a hundred times more expensive and a thousand times more work.
If you have low engine oil, one of the first signs your car is taking damage from it is when you start to smell smoke. This is caused by friction within the engine`s rods and pistons that aren`t receiving any lubrication. This smoke will smell very oily, almost as though something is burning.
You Have an Oil Leak

The result is white or bluish-white smoke. This is a problem because oil does not belong in the combustion chamber. It interferes with the process and corrodes spark plugs. Even worse, it reduces the amount of oil lubricating those moving parts.

There is a lot of white smoke, so it may just be burning coolant direct. The only way to know for sure is to do a pressure test and try to find the leak. If it`s in the intake manifold, you should be able to hear air coming out through the throttle body with the plate propped open.
If you notice smoke coming from your car`s engine, it could be a symptom of a failing water pump. The water pump is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the engine; if it fails, the coolant can overheat, causing the engine to smoke.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

I have white milk coming out of my exhaust pipe but I don’t see it mixing in my oil pan when I check my oil
ANSWER : In most cases, the white smoke is an indicator of coolant finding a way into the combustion chamber. This could happen through a damaged head gasket or a crack in the cylinder head or engine block. Most of the time, this would also be followed by milky oil or overheating problems. However, it could also be a problem with the EGR system, or an extremely rich fuel trim. The best thing to do is have a professional mobile mechanic complete a smoke coming from exhaust inspection, so they can pinpoint the source of your issues and recommend a repair.

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Hello, i had my head gasket repaired and after 8 months it has started making white smoke come from exhaust again and I can smell
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. With white smoke coming from the exhaust, the smell of coolant, and the (very likely although unmentioned) lowering of the coolant level, it is quite apparent that the coolant is making its way passed the head gasket and into the combustion chambers. Unless you have a cracked head, engine, or other serious damage, the head gasket is very likely the issue. Make sure you are adding coolant to compensate for the loss. Low coolant levels will not give you accurate temperature readings on your dashboard, as the sensor is located at the top and needs to be submerged in liquid to give you an accurate reading. As far as repairing the issue, replace the gasket again, and in the process inspect the old gasket for signs of failure or indications on what caused the leak the second time. If replacing the head gasket again does not solve the problem, you know you have a larger issue with the engine and can take further diagnostics from there. For more help from our technicians, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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Car exhaust is giving white smoke when I start the car everyday.
ANSWER : Hi there:

Typically white smoke is an indicator of coolant or liquid other than oil or fuel inside the combustion chambers. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (if you had an overheating issue recently) or simple air to fuel ratio issues caused by a mass air flow sensor or exhaust system sensors not working correctly. The best way to know for certain what’s causing these issues is to have a professional mechanic complete a smoke from engine or exhaust inspection.

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Thick white smoke from exhaust, change thermostat, fan doesn’t come on, top hose stays cold,
ANSWER : Hello, thanks for writing in about your Geo Storm. If you are getting white smoke from the exhaust then you have a blown head gasket or cracked head. I suggest having a certified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose the smoke firsthand by pressure testing the cooling system to see if the head gasket is blown.

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White smoke coming out from exhaust when throttled.
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. The lowering of the engine oil is a sign that the oil is being burned in the engine. For the oil to get into the combustion chamber it must pass through a bad piston ring, a bad valve cover gasket, or a failed valve seal. The hotter the engine gets, the oil becomes thinner. The new oil may be seeping through components in which the previous oil was not able to pass. There is also the fact that the different oils lubricate and condition differently, and the sudden change may have lead to a premature deterioration of these gaskets and seals. The engine may need to be pulled in order to perform some of the possible repairs. Further testing will tell if this is needed. For more help resolving the issue, or obtaining a quote, contact our service department.

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White smoke billows out of exhaust pipe
ANSWER : Hey there. White exhaust smoke is generally indicative of a blown head gasket or other conditions where water or water vapor is getting into the engine. Higher mileage vehicles are especially prone to this potential problem. Have a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect your engine to pinpoint the issue.

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heavy white smoke tailpipe
ANSWER : That sounds like steam coming out of the tailpipe. You may have noticed the coolant level being low. If coolant is getting into the cylinders, it makes steam come out of the exhaust. This is a classic sign of a failed head gasket. Removing and inspecting spark plugs can confirm this. You may also notice the oil on the dipstick looks like a foamy cappuccino. Don’t drive it until you have this checked or the engine may get destroyed. Have a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose the smoke problem and guide you with repairs.

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Car will turn over but won’t start after over heating. Coolant was boilng over, white smoke from exhaust.
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. Several things will need to be done, or can be done, to help diagnose the issue. Start by having the vehicle scanned for diagnostic codes, checking the oil, and checking the coolant. Both fluids are heavily effected by overheating, and the oil in particular can cause issues with the engine running and starting. Use any diagnostic codes to help direct you towards the issue. If none are present, you will want to inspect the coolant system. The white smoke that you have been seeing means the coolant had been leaking, or had been overheating prior. Check for leaks and other damages. Make sure the coolant is filled and the oil is fresh and full before you do any more work or testing. If the temperature got over 260 degrees major engine damage may have occurred, and repairs may be extensive. We must find the cause of the overheating and correct that issue first. From there we can work on making sure the engine is okay and getting it to start. For more help with this process, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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