Why Does My Volvo Exhaust Emit White Smoke?

It is common to see your Volvo emitting white smoke after starting the car especially on cold days.  This happens mostly because of condensed steam. The white smoke should disappear as soon as the car warms up. However, if you continue seeing the smoke even after the car has warmed up, you need to take the car for diagnosis. There are a host of issues that can lead to the emission of this type of smoke.

Common Causes Of White Smoke In Volvo Cars

It is only advisable to overlook white smoke emission only if it disappears after the car warms up.  Otherwise, if the smoke persists, you could be staring at a myriad of mechanical problems. Here are some of the common causes as to why your Volvo could be emitting white smoke:

  • Coolant Leak- It is the most common cause of white smoke in Volvo models. Cracks in the engine block or the cylinder head allow the coolant to leak and combine engine oil. This mixture when combusted produces a white smoke accompanied by a sweet odor.  If not fixed promptly, the problem can lead to overheating of the engine since the coolant level will be too low to cool the engine. Consequently, this may lead to the internal engine components getting damaged.
  • Valve Seal or Piston Ring Leaks – Leaking valve seals and piston rings are yet another cause of white smoke production in Volvo cars. The oil that leaks due to these vents sips into the combustion chamber and mixes with fuels then burns. This results in a light bluish or white smoke that is consistent.  Have the vehicle inspected in an auto shop for efficient repairs to be done.
  • Faulty fuel injectors- When a fuel injector becomes faulty, it delivers excess fuel that cannot burn properly. This results in formation of white or gray smoke. Replacing the injector will solve the white smoke problem. The complicated aspect about this task is identifying the faulty injector. For high mileage Volvo models, experts recommend replacing each injector with its corresponding O-ring.

Worn Out Fuel Pumps

Like many car components, fuel pumps wear out because of age. They can also wear out due to lack of proper maintenance. Missed filter replacement can for instance, cause fuel contamination. It can also force your car to run low on fuel. This will create a myriad of problems because the fuel inside the car is used to cool the fuel pump. As such, if you run the car on low fuel consistently, the pump will overheat and eventually fail. Before then though, you will notice white smoke emission from the exhaust which will worsen overtime till the smoke turns black or blue.

Remember that many Volvo owners may find it tempting to attempt fixing the white smoke issue on their own.  This can only worsen the problem. Ideally, White smoke may mean a serious mechanical hitch or nothing at all depending on its source.