This question is similar:
What does a water like drop coming out of the exhaust of the car signify?

But it sounds like the water should be in small amounts, and only when the car has not been driving long.

Even on a warm day, my car will drip a large amount of water from the exhaust pipes, even after driving for 15, 30 minutes or more. (I just got it recently so I haven't driven it longer than that). By a large amount I mean that all the way up my driveway there are large drops every few inches.

Still nothing to worry about?

This is in a 2002 Saab 9-5 Turbo.

  • Do you happen to be losing coolant? Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 9:47
  • Always wear UV protected sunglasses when tasting UV dye. 8-)
    – user26938
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 20:28
  • Well not to sure about all that if it's not running hot then really no worries Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 4:04

4 Answers 4


if water coming out from exhaust pipe during start up , it is normal. however, if it continuously dripping after several or during running, then check the cylinder head gasket for damage. take note, while water is dripping , white smoke is also noticed if head gasket is damaged.

  • 1
    By "white smoke" do you mean "steam"?
    – dlu
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 0:01
  • I almost forgot, about 5 months after this post, the head gasket was blown and there was white smoke coming out of the engine, just as you predicted
    – purpleACR
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 20:45

You need to figure out what the liquid is. When the exhaust is cold water vapor in the exhaust (a normal byproduct of combustion) can condense before it gets out and it will drip. That's normal and it should stop once the exhaust system is hot enough that the water vapor no longer condenses. I would think that 15 minutes of driving would be ample to heat the exhaust to the point where it would no longer condense – unless you live someplace quite cold.

The other possibilities aren't so good. If the liquid is coolant that means you've got a leak in the cooling system that is somehow finding its way into the exhaust. I suppose it could be another liquid as well, so it would be worth trying to catch some of those drips and identifying them.

I don't know this, but I would expect that a well designed exhaust system wouldn't accumulate too much condensate. But I suppose one possibility on short drives is that condensate is pooling in the exhaust someplace and, assuming that your driveway is really "up" perhaps it is draining accumulated water. You might try letting the car idle and watching to see if any drops come out (catch them on some clean white paper towel if you can).

  • 1
    check a sample under a "black light" (UV lamp) if it glows worry, if not it's condensation.
    – Jasen
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 23:51
  • 1
    of course if you just use pure water as coolant there'll be no dye, but the off-the-shelf stuff all has dye, using pure water is not reccomended.
    – Jasen
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 0:01
  • 2
    Silly me, I would just taste it. But only a very small amount. If it tastes like gutter water, it's mere condensate. If it tastes like an alien Jolly Rancher, it's coolant. And I'm not suggesting anyone ever do such a thing. Except me. Observe, lick, troubleshoot, repair, paid. (OLTRP). UV is dangerous; could give you cataracts...
    – SteveRacer
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 4:22
  • 4
    @dlu I care about your health. Please wear the yellow UV goggles when tasting automotive drippings.
    – SteveRacer
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 4:53
  • 3
    @SteveRacer – and ear protection!
    – dlu
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 4:54

If it is truly water then no problem but if it is antifreeze, you have a problem, Vehicles driven on short runs consistently will do this


Let us assume that it is water (H2O) only dripping out of your car exhaust!!

Good news is that, your engine is optimally tuned. So, it is able to combust almost each molecule of your car fuel, which is a hydro-carbon, Hydrogen and Carbon. The intake manifold is pumping the accurate mixture of fuel and oxygen into the combination unit and your car is burning this fuel and the hydrogen molecules are reacting with oxygen. So, this water is dripping out along with other exhaust gases through the exhaust unit.

Nevertheless, if your coolant/antifreeze/water level is not effected in your car. Then there is no need to worry. Otherwise, there might be some internal coolant leaks. In this case replace your intake manifold gasket, its very easy and also not very expensive. If that is not solving then you need to change your head gasket too.

Best of luck!!

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