I haven't drove my dodge Durango 2005 in 3 weeks. When I started car the car was blowing white smoke that smelled like coolant. The car doesn't sound any worse than before, is it possible im seeing the smoke because I haven't used the car in awhile? I was hoping it was just water from sitting so long. Any help would be appreciated

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    If the exhaust smelled like coolant and had a continuous white mist, then sadly yes, you probably do have a blown head gasket. You should let the engine cool off for a while, then check your oil to see if it's milky looking, and check the coolant to see if it has oil floating on it. If you have either it's a confirmation of the head gasket's demise. – the_storyteller May 14 '19 at 20:21

The blown head gasket has prominent symptoms of goo (mixture of engine oil and coolant/water) floating in the coolant overflow bottle.

If you visually detect such goo material floating in the radiator or overflow coolant bottle, first of all flush the coolant, refill the radiator and overflow bottle with normal water and idle your engine for 30-40 minutes. let it cool down for few hours and check for any goo floating. if the goo build-up has reasonably reduced, safely recycle with the coolant/water mix.

secondly, (with safety first, be cautious, wear pvc gloves and safety glasses, never ever touch or open the hot radiator, keep a bucket of water ready) with engine cold, open the radiator cap then start the engine. Idle the engine at normal rpm for few minutes. Safely keep adding water into the neck of the radiator, if needed. A small spill of hot water (with bubbles) from radiator is normal. If water level reduces while accelerating engine rpm and comes to the normal level when idling normal, the gasket is good.

Nonetheless, if unfortunately head gasket is blown, it will spill out volume of boiling water and steam, somewhat like in a case of pressure cooker opened abnormally, in the above experiment. Stop the engine immediately. In such a case ask the help of a qualified service engineer.

But, your problem just seems a normal incident, sometimes when we start engine after a long time. The fuel is a hydrocarbon which could easily react with oxygen in your gas tank and produces water H2O molecules. These water molecules in fuel mix with the engine oil and produce goo and/or smoke from tailpipe.

If all correct, add some fresh fuel and keep going.

Best of luck!


If you have a blown head gasket then it was almost certainly blown before you parked the car up for 3 weeks. Was it emitting clouds of white smoke before you parked up?

On a positive note it could just be moisture build up in the exhaust burning off as the engine gets warm, it's not uncommon to see some particularly when the climate gets a bit colder

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