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White smoke exhaust, liquid dripping from exhaust pipe

macefamily

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
OK, I'm looking for some advice here. My VW recently started having trouble starting, but when it does start, I get a thick white smoke from the exhaust that smells like gasoline. There is also a liquid dripping from the exhaust that has an oily consistency. I checked the oil and it's clean, but I have noticed the coolant has gone down a bit. It's my second engine in this car, and I have 165k on it. Any ideas on what's going on ? Is it time to call the junk man ?
 

NormC

Premium Member
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Sounds like a blown head gasket. Could be an expensive repair depending on engine condition, if head is warped from previous overheating, etc.
Loss of coolant or coolant consumption with no obvious coolant leaks and white smoke billowing from the tailpipe of your vehicle are sure signs of a head gasket leak.
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks. The car hasn't overheated because it's our emergency vehicle for use when other vehicles are in the shop. I usually start it up every week and let it run for about a half hour. Didn't run long enough to heat up. This happened while it was setting there. It's already leaking oil from the main seal so this should be an easy decision. 165,000 miles and it's starting to nickle and dime me, although, this won't be nickles and dimes. I'm guessing $1500 - $2000. That's airfare, car rental, town house rental, and a few dinners at Disney !
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
If it is a gas engine, I would second the cracked or warped cylinder head and/or blown head gasket, but the smell of gas could mean something else. Typically burning coolant smells sort of sweet. The smell of unburnt fuel can be caused by the car running rich.

Get your car up to operating temperature and look at your catalytic converters. If they are glowing red it is an almost sure-fire indication that you are running very rich.

If it is a diesel, white smoke can be caused by faulty injection timing.
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
Check the oil if it starts to look milky in color another indication it may be a blown head gasket. Check the cylinder compression leaky head gasket you would have much lower compression in the one or more cylinders. Just replaced the head gasket in my 1956 John Deere tractor. Symptoms---pushing white smoke, coolant in the oil --milky colored oil-- ran like crap. low compression in one cylinder.
 
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Dad 2 M & M

Well-Known Member
Check the oil if it starts to look milky in color another indication it may be a blown head gasket. Check the cylinder compression leaky head gasket you would have much lower compression in the one or more cylinders. Just replaced the head gasket in my 1956 John Deere tractor. Symptoms---pushing white smoke, coolant in the oil --milky colored oil-- ran like crap. low compression in one cylinder.
I'd agree with checking the compression.....the cylinder compression(or cylinder misfire) could be the reason for the petro smell.

Definitely sounds like a head gasket issue
 
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