Coolant Is Coming Out Of Exhaust: What To Do? (Explained!)

Many car drivers have been reporting that they are seeing coolant that is coming out of their exhaust. This is something that a lot of car drivers would be worried about. It is given that a coolant is essential to the engine of the vehicle. 

So what do you have to do if there is coolant coming out of your exhaust? The first thing that you have to do is that you have to test your compression. In testing your compression, you will have a basis on what to do next and on what the possible problems are. 

If the vehicle does not have coolant or enough coolant, the engine will be insignificantly damaged. This is why you should always maintain a sufficient amount of coolant in your vehicle. Too low coolant will not be able to protect your engine from damage. 

We have created this article for those car drives that have coolant coming out of their exhaust. If you see that there is coolant coming out of your exhaust, that is not good. Coolant should be inside the engine and it should be circulating in your engine and doing its job. 

In this article, we’ll discuss why coolant is coming out of the exhaust and what you can do about it. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

Coolant Is Coming Out Of Exhaust

Can Coolant Come Out Of Your Exhaust?

If you see water dripping or there is steam floating from your tailpipe, it can be that the coolant is entering the combustion chambers. The antifreeze or coolant will run through the engine block. This is to cool down the engine. So for this question, yes, the coolant can come out of your exhaust. 

If your coolant is coming out of your exhaust, there might be a leak or a crack. These are possible causes. There is the process of elimination, and it is the best way to know why your vehicle is leaking coolant. 

What Does It Mean If Coolant Is Coming Out Of The Exhaust?

If a coolant comes out of your exhaust, the most common cause can be coolant leaks. This is a good thing because it is the cheapest problem that can be fixed. If you have replaced the head gasket and the issue has been resolved, it means that you have fixed the issue. 

Your head gasket is a cheap component. It is between the head and the engine of the blocks, and it creates a seal. Your head gasket is a crucial component of your vehicle. If your head gasket is damaged, you will experience a lot of problems. 

If you consult a mechanic, the mechanic will confirm if the issue is a coolant leak. They will use a coolant system pressure test. If your cooling system will not hold the pressure, it means that you have an internal leak. 

It can also be the cause of an evil piston ring. This can cause a whitish blue smoke coming out of your exhaust, but an oil but a coolant does not make the cost. These rings are sitting in each of the pistons, and it is creating a seal against the cylinder wall, and it will work up and down into the cylinder.

All of these rings can wear over time. They can be excessively worn, and the rings will then allow the motor oil to seep into the combustion. You have to change these rings if you have confirmed that they are the issues. 

How Do You Know If Your Exhaust Is Leaking Coolant?

You can start your vehicle and then let it idle for just a few minutes. Observe and monitor the white smoke and the water that is coming and escaping from your tailpipe. If the white smoke starts to escape fast, the water will begin to drip, and the car will warm up. 

Your exhaust will then smell of antifreeze, which means there is a coolant leak inside your engine. You can perform two final checks. You can do this by opening up your radiator. 

Make sure that it is excellent, and then look for oil that is floating on the water. Pull your dipstick, and then look for a milky emulsion. Look also for a coolant that is mixed with oil. 

These are clear signs that there’s a coolant leak. If there is smoke escaping from your tailpipe, it is steam, and it will appear more gray than white if only you will examine it closely. 

If there is water, it results from an accumulation of the same steam and will make its way through the exhaust system and then out of the tailpipe. It will then condense from its gas and then go back into a liquid. 

What To Do When Coolant Is Coming Out Of Your Exhaust?

You have to test your engine compression. This is the logical step in the process of solving the problem. If your compression is very low, you can have one or more problems. 

For example, there can be a crack in the head or the block. Each of these causes can cost you a lot of repairs. Your mechanic will perform a battery of tests on your engine. 

This will then eliminate each of the causes and then settle on the sole cause. Next, have your mechanic test your engine block and then head for cracks. If there is a crack in the head or the block, it can be repaired, but you may also have to replace the engine. 

A fault causes cracks in the metals. This makes up the block and the head. These damages and problems in your metal can be undetected by you until the crack occurs.

Coolant In Exhaust But Not In Oil: What To Do?

You have to make sure that it is a coolant that is coming out of your exhaust pipe. It means that one or two combustion chambers are leaking. It can also get burned up. 

That is why it is emitting coolant out of the exhaust. It can be a problem of a blown head gasket or an intake manifold gasket. This means that one of the gaskets is working or damaged. 

Sometimes, the damage can be only in between the coolant channel and the combustion chambers. This means that the coolant is only leaking in the engine and not in the oil. 

So what you must do is take a pressure test. You should flush the mixture of standard and extended life coolant out of the system ultimately. 

Coolant Coming Out Of Exhaust Manifold: What To Do?

If it is because of a bad head gasket, you can temporarily fix the leak and add a sealer to the cooling system. If the leak is not extensive, then it will do the job. 

However, you might still need to replace the head gasket. If you have a cracked block or a cracked head, you can have it fixed by an expert.

Coolant Coming Out Of Exhaust Manifold Bolt: What To Do?

There might be blin holes or no coolant. You can check and make sure that the block is dry above the exhaust manifold. If it is a repaired bolt hole, you have to use a good sealer on the leaking bolts. 


In summary, coolant is a vital fluid in the engine. With that, if there are any leaks, you need to fix the issue right away.

If there is coolant coming out of your exhaust, you need to fix it the right way. You need to know the cause. Consult a mechanic if you have to so that you can fix the issue.



Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more