What Causes White Smoke from Exhaust on Startup

Can Too Much Oil Cause White Smoke From Exhaust & How To Fix

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 08:34 pm

Have you noticed white smoke coming out of your exhaust? Then, there is no need to panic. Today, I will be going into details about this topic and what you can do about it. If you want to know the cause and fix it, continue reading this article to find out.

Can Too Much Oil Cause White Smoke From Exhaust?

In the case of blue-white smoke, the sump might have become filled (and over) with oil. In essence, the extra oil is being carried up the cylinder wall and into the combustion chamber by the overpressurizing of the crankcase.

Excess oil, or fluids like antifreeze, maybe burn within the engine block if you drive your car and observe a lot of thick, white exhaust smoke.

Note: It’s critical to get the automobile to a technician as soon as possible to avoid irreversible damage to the engine block. While it may not be oil, if the oil is spilling and churning into a foam, it may start to burn, causing the white smoke.

Because many of the sources of the smoke might be dangerous to the automobile, it is advisable to take it to a technician. How Much Does It Cost To Reprogram A TCM


Highlights of this article

  • can too much oil cause white smoke from the exhaust
  • Why is my car blowing white smoke but not overheating
  • Why is white smoke coming out of my exhaust after an oil change
  • how do I fix white smoke from the exhaust
  • Common causes of BMW white smoke from the exhaust

Why is my car blowing white smoke but not overheating?

The most likely cause is that fluid gets into the engine. This may also be anything from motor oil to fuel to transmission fluid to the coolant to condensate. Because the liquid in the engine is being burned off, it might cause your engine to smoke.

Here are a few of the most common reasons why your car is blowing white smoke but isn’t overheating:

1. Failed Head Gasket

When your functional head gasket gets faulty, it is likely as a result of a failing coolant. For example, when a car engine overheats, the engine block and cylinder head stretch further than they otherwise would, causing the head gasket to rupture or, in some cases, break.

2. Oil Leak

If you observe white smoke emanating from your tailpipe, you may have an oil leak. Burning oil covering different sections of the engine combustion chamber might be the source of the white smoke coming from the exhaust. If this is the case, your piston rings have failed and must be changed to halt the oil flow.

3. Water in Exhaust System

In a situation where water seeps from defective or filthy turbos into the coolant pipes of the tailpipe, which might weaken it. Even if you don’t notice any changes in how easily your car operates until far further down the road, this problem will cause engine efficiency to degrade.

4. Condensation

It might just be condensation if you start your car after a few hours of inactivity on a chilly day and observe a little amount of white smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

This, however, will not cause your engine to overheat, causing more serious problems that would require you to pull over and switch off your car.

The very first action you should take if you see your car spewing white smoke while driving is to pull over to the roadside and figure out where the smoke is coming from.

We’ve already discussed what may be the problem, so if you’re familiar with automobiles and engines, take a closer look.

Why is white smoke coming out of my exhaust after an oil change?  

After an oil change, smoke may be produced if the replacement oil used does not meet the original equipment manufacturer’s standards. In addition, if the oil isn’t the right viscosity or kind, it may circumvent the piston rings or valve seals and wind up in the combustion chamber.

The engine’s initial oil was mineral, but it was changed with synthetic oil, removing varnish and soot deposits. After the stakes have been wiped away, tolerances in the top end of the engine might open up, allowing oil to flow in places it couldn’t before because of the varnish and soot buildup.

Let’s take a look at some other causes why white smoke might come out of your exhaust after an oil change; some possible causes include;

  • During the Oil Change, oil splattered over the exhaust. It could be fresh oil from fill or old oil from a drain or filter change.
  • Burn-off can occur if replacement oil is overfilled.
  • During filling, a loose oil cover might spill oil into the exhaust system.
  • A leaking oil filter, or the drain stopper, will drip or spray under pressure.

How to fix it

Examine the engine if you believe the oil change is the source of the smoke. Make sure the dipstick is fully inserted. Examine the valve covers and the oil pan for any leakage. If the dipstick indicates that there is too much oil, drain it.

Loose bolts should be tightened. Look for oil seeping around the oil pan, drainage plug, or filter crawling underneath the car. Fasten the pan’s bolts, the plug, and the filter’s filter. 

How do I fix white smoke from the exhaust                 

The first thing to do is visit a workshop have your car diagnosed. In this section, I will be showing you how to fix the issues that might cause your car to smoke. So, without any further delay, let’s get right into the details.

1. Cracked Cylinder Head

When you find out that your car has a cracked cylinder head, the one feasible alternative for long-term care is to replace it. The fact is, the process can get pretty complicated; it does take some time.

When you include in the cost of parts, replacing a damaged cylinder head may cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, I guess it depends on if it’s aluminum or cast iron. Another alternative is to use a store-bought head gasket repair kit.

2. Condensation

A short drive in your automobile should suffice to reduce the white exhaust smoke based on how chilly it is outdoors. However, a good amount of time is required to remedy this white exhaust smoke cause. Furthermore, if left unattended, the remainder might cause significant engine issues.

3. Bad Fuel Injector

When a fuel injector breaks, it has hit the limit of its useable life, which means it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. However, rather than changing a single fuel injector, you should always replace the complete set. The engine will not operate evenly if this is not done.

4. Cracked Engine Block

Depending on your budget, you may repair your engine block in several methods. Rewelding, cold-metal stitching, and the use of a cold-metal patch are some of the procedures used. Each process works by welding, sewing, or patching the fracture, as the name implies.

5. Valve seals or piston rings

Corrosion or damage are common in piston rings and valve seals. Replacement is necessary if these fail.

However, as straightforward as buying components may appear, installing piston rings is highly pricey, costing anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500. Also, with the materials costing just $75-$200 and the rest being labor, due to the time and nature of the task.

Common causes of BMW white smoke from the exhaust

Lastly, if you own a BMW and notice white smoke from the exhaust, there are several reasons why this might happen. For your reference, I will be shortlisting them in this section.

Some of these reasons include the following:

  • Coolant tank that has stopped working
  • If the reservoir tank is broken or fractured, a coolant leak might occur.
  • It may happen when a mechanic is repairing other faults with the BMW and damages the tank inadvertently.
  • Oil spills that aren’t what you’d expect
  • Once oil leaks from your piston rings or valve seals, it will eventually mix with the gasoline and enter the internal combustion chamber.
  • When the gasoline and oil in your car are combined, the exhaust will emit white or blue smoke.
  • The cylinder head is damaged.


Smoke from a car’s exhaust isn’t something unusual for car owners. However, with the information I have provided in this article, you should handle your vehicle if something of such a nature happens. 7 Top Rated EVAP & Best Automotive Smoke Machines (Ultimate Guide)

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