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Discussion Starter #1
On my regular 2 hour trip home from college yesterday morning, I was sitting at a stop sign and began smelling something burning, like I smell after I change my oil and the car burns the oil off of the header. Then, I saw thick white smoke coming out from under my hood right in the middle front. I pulled off the road, popped the hood, no more smoke. Checked all of my fluids, all are up where they should be. I got under the car and looked around, looked in the engine bay all over once I got home. I couldn't find anywhere that anything had leaked onto anything. What happened? The car is running fine and seems to be unaffected. Thanks in advance.
 

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On my regular 2 hour trip home from college yesterday morning, I was sitting at a stop sign and began smelling something burning, like I smell after I change my oil and the car burns the oil off of the header. Then, I saw thick white smoke coming out from under my hood right in the middle front. I pulled off the road, popped the hood, no more smoke. Checked all of my fluids, all are up where they should be. I got under the car and looked around, looked in the engine bay all over once I got home. I couldn't find anywhere that anything had leaked onto anything. What happened? The car is running fine and seems to be unaffected. Thanks in advance.
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You might have had a small anti-freeze leak dripping onto one of the hot pipes or engine parts. Check your driveway in the morning for leaks. Also check your driveshaft, as sometimes plastic bags get stuck on it while your driving, heat up immensely, and begin to cause a burning small and maybe some smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You might have had a small anti-freeze leak dripping onto one of the hot pipes or engine parts. Check your driveway in the morning for leaks. Also check your driveshaft, as sometimes plastic bags get stuck on it while your driving, heat up immensely, and begin to cause a burning small and maybe some smoke.
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there's nothing on the driveway, I checked it the today. My antifreeze level is in the same place, oil is fine, power steering is fine, and brake fluid is fine.

Was it wet out, perhaps something on the block? What's the coolant level?
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Yes, it was pouring rain out, but when it was smoking, i was sitting still, so I don't know if that could be a cause. Coolant level is right on the H level when it's hot



a small oil leak maybe? check the area near the oil filter or the oil drain.
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i specifically checked the oil filter as this is what I assumed it was. I thought maybe it was loose and leaked a little down on the header, but it was dry and clean and the oil plug was dry as well. I couldn't see ANYWHERE that had any signs of oil or foreign fluids on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Could you have just gone through a large puddle? Maybe what you were seeing wasn't smoke. Maybe it was steam.
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it may have been, but it lasted for a while and smelled like burning oil, so I don't think it was.

That's a good point, but I think he said he was standing still. Maybe it was your AC compressor or heater core?
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the a/c was on, so maybe. Any more details as to how to check for this?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PCV valve failure (see the sticky)?
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i know all about the pcv valve and have even put in the extra one inline. I thought that it might could have been that, but if it had stuck open, the smoke would have gone out the back of the car. If it had stuck closed, the it should have blown my oil dipstick out and unsealed it, but it was still where it belonged and all the way in, so I don't think it was that (THANKFULLY).

Please tell me that you also checked the oil LEVEL.
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yes, i checked the oil level. This is the first thing I checked as I consider it the MOST IMPORTANT engine fluid. The rest of them will let you know when they're out and you can add more, but when the oil is out, it's not as simple as just adding some more and continue on your way.
 

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I'm guessing steam.

After going through a touch-free car wash sometimes, I'll get the same exact thing when I stop the car. I've checked ALL my fluids repeatedly, and both a mechanic and I can't find anything wrong. The steam rolls out when I pull out of the wash, and after stopping and turning off the car for a few minutes (to dry it off), or driving out of the car wash and down a couple blocks, the steam goes away. I have no idea where it's coming from, but the car drives fine, and again, all my fluids are good.

If you've checked and ruled out any and all possible causes from what's mentioned above, then chances are it's just steam.
 

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on my old mazda it was windshield washer going on the motor cause my Y was broken so did you notice if it happened after you putted some windshield washer?
 

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theres no way that you would have alll of that "smoke" and did not lose any fluids what so ever, it is most deffinetly steam comming off the rotors after going through a puddle. it happens to me all the time it comes up from under the hood and the wheel wells and looks like the engine is on fire, so unless you have a head gasket blown and the smoke is commin through there (which happens on my 89 bronco) or you fluids are all gone, you have nothing to worry about,
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You didn't recently change your oil, like right before this happened?
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nope, it had been 2500 miles since my last change. That's the first thing I thought of, but then I remembered it had been a while since I had changed it.

or, your foglights could be on fire. mine did that. i thought i had set the engine bay on fire.
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my fogs weren't on, so I don't think it was those.

theres no way that you would have alll of that "smoke" and did not lose any fluids what so ever, it is most deffinetly steam comming off the rotors after going through a puddle. it happens to me all the time it comes up from under the hood and the wheel wells and looks like the engine is on fire, so unless you have a head gasket blown and the smoke is commin through there (which happens on my 89 bronco) or you fluids are all gone, you have nothing to worry about,
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good point. I had just braked from about 80 to a stop, so that's possible. The fluids are all fine so far, so I guess I'll just keep an eye out.
 
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