White smoke as engine warms up.


Daily Driver
Hello All,
I have just gotten the engine in my x running after it had been sitting for years. I have replaced the spark plugs fixed the ignition timing, changed the oil and coolant, rebuild the carb and hot wired the starter. The engine starts easy first time and idles solid if a little low. There is an occasional miss that goes away as the engine warms up.

What I am worried about at the moment is the car starts blowing white smoke after it has been running for a minute or two, the smoke also comes from the outside of the exhaust. I am not sure if there is an internal problem with the engine (piston rings) and the engine is slowly chewing itself apart. The smoke doesn't smell sweet so I don't think it is a blown head gasket. The smoke is not there when the engine first starts so I don't think it is valve guides. My guess is that it is oil/rubbish in the exhaust that is burning off as the engine warms up. But I am not sure and i am too scared I am doing damage to the engine to just let the engine run for a few minutes to wrm up and see if it clears. Does anybody have any ideas what could cause an engine to smoke after it has been running for a minute or two?


Kevin B (Asheville NC)

white smoke = water vapor
blue smoke = oil

What you are seeing is all the moisture on the motor and trapped in the exhaust vaporizing. You will have to get it good and hot once to rid youself of the excess moisture.


True Classic
It's summer down there no? Take a nice long road trip. I did up here yesterday, it was 35 degrees (F) and beautiful blue sky so I had the top off all day.


Tony Natoli
Go for it Dishy...

I think you just have a bit of water boiling off as well. It doesn't sound like you've taken it for a good spin for a couple of hours.

If you are nervous... just don't go too far or beyond the limits of your Auto Club tow-card. If its gonna breakdown, don't ya want it to do it on YOUR schedule?

You'll probably prove the car GOOD and then what ever happens after that is just LIFE screwin' with ya!


True Classic
Level of confidence

If you are very unsure of the engine and want to be cautious about it, try letting it idle for a few minutes to fully warm up (with no load on the engine). Then recheck all of the engine's vitals; look for signs of water in the oil, contaminant in the coolant, check the color of the plugs, do a compression check, verify the oil level, etc. If it all appears normal then you can be confident to take that road test.