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Ross, Diagnostic and repair technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 1183
Experience:  Licensed diagnostic and repair technician
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Just had my vw beetle washed and now it's got white smoke

Customer Question

Hi just had my vw beetle washed and now it's got white smoke coming from exaust never happened before what's wrong
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Ross replied 2 years ago.
Hi my name is***** am a diagnostic technician and look forward to working with you.White smoke from the exhaust is a sign of water or condensation. Un-burnt fuel is black, and oil is blue. It is actually completely normal to get white steam from the exhaust depending on the engine/exhaust temperature and air temp. On a cold day with a cold engine there will be a large amount of steam visible which is simply a by product of combustion, as the exhaust gas temps increase the steam is vaporized and becomes invisible.The fact you say this happened after the car was washed would lead me to believe some water got into the exhaust back box where it will collect and burn off as steam, this is perfectly safe. The only other cause for white smoke like this is burning coolant due to head gasket failure etc... This would be visible by checking the coolant level in the bottle under the bonnet, if the coolant is lower than expected then investigation may be required. I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking. If you need more help, please use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my service. Thank you, Ross.