My 2004 Ford Tarus all of a sudden overheated multiple times in one day. Then I noticed minimal white smoke and excessive water out of the tailpipe while at idle. The white smoke stopped but not the water, engine was hot too. This is not the normal start up water drip. Please help.

1 Answer 1


Assuming you got the cause of the overheating resolved, then a warped cylinder head is, at this point, a likely problem causing water to be sucked from the cooling system into the combustion chamber. Other than excessive water vapor and condensate at the tailpipe, another symptom is that the coolant level will drop as you run the engine and you will not be seeing any coolant leaking out onto the ground. You can also often smell "coolant-like" odor while the engine is running.

To be sure, you can take the car to a shop that has an exhaust gas analyzer and the presence of coolant in the exhaust can be confirmed.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this problem. The usual procedure is to remove the cylinder head, check its warp, and either replace it or in some cases, machine it flat again.

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