Why is there smoke/steam coming from the hood of my car?

I'm not a car expert, but I know a thing or two. But I can't figure out why this is happening. Every day I drive to work, and at the same spot (about a mile from my house) smoke/steam comes from the hood. It only lasts 10-15 seconds, then goes totally away. I'm pretty sure it is not overheating. I have been in a car when its engine overheated, and it isn't the same thing. Also, my engine heat meter is at normal readings when this happens. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? Is it a possible oil leak? Or is the mid-west USA humid weather reacting to the heating engine first thing in the morning? This has been happening for about 2 weeks, and my car is performing totally fine. Thanks!

4 Answers

  • Andy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you're not losing coolant (keep checking the coolant level when it's cold), it's probably just overnight moisture evaporating from the *outside* of the radiator and engine, as the thermostat opens and the radiator warms up after the engine has been running for a few minutes. I had a car that did the exact same thing on cold, wet or damp mornings: water droplets would blow back from the grille into the engine compartment as I started driving, then would steam for just a few seconds at the stop light about a mile along my way to work.

    • Connor4 years agoReport

      Thanks! That sounds exactly like what is happening. I live in Ohio, and the past couple weeks have been cooler with significant dew in the mornings.

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  • Dave
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    It is condensation on the radiator from the engine not being warmed up all the way. Its just steam. If you would let it run 5 more minutes that would not happen.

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  • 4 years ago

    At a mile from your house the thermostat is opening.You may have a leak in the radiator. Get the cooling system pressure tested. Have you checked the coolant level in the radiator yet?

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
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  • syl
    Lv 6
    4 years ago

    You potentially have a leak somewhere in your cooling system. Probably a small hole or crack in one of the radiator hoses, or a loose clamp connection. The seals in the water pump might also be leaking, thus letting off steam.

    Does the "smoke" smell like burning rubber/plastic, or does it smell like anti-freeze?

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