Why Is Water Dripping From My Exhaust?

Water always drips from the exhaust pipe when the car is idling. Usually, this is not an issue but there are situations that could demand your attention. Let’s take a look:

The car’s internal combustion engine releases exhaust gases which is perfectly normal. If these gases remained in the engine, there could be dangerous consequences. So, should you be concerned if water is dripping from the exhaust?

In most cases, this is a normal process coming from the exhaust. Unfortunately, there are circumstances when you should pay attention to leaking fluids and have it checked out. Here are possible causes to look into:

The most common answer for water dripping from the exhaust pipe is perfectly normal, it’s simply water condensation. You should smell or taste the water, if it’s not sweet-smelling or tasting, there is nothing to worry about. If it smells or tastes sweet, it could be coolant.

Let’s take a closer look at the water dripping from the exhaust pipe and the reasons why.

Water Dripping From The Tailpipe Could Be

Exhaust Repair

Water Condensation

When you see water coming from the exhaust it’s caused by condensation. This is a perfectly normal process and happens for a number of reasons.

During internal combustion, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapors are formed. When the gases leave the combustion chamber, they mix with water molecules. As the engine starts to cool down, water condensation will become visible, especially coming from the tailpipe.

Under normal circumstances, after a few minutes, the water should stop dripping. If not, you should investigate and see if you have a serious problem to deal with.

Condensation From The Catalytic Converter

When you have condensation coming from the engine, you will also have water vapors from the catalytic converter. Keep in mind, the catalytic converter is changing the chemical structure of the gases, creating more water molecules.

During the conversion, water vapors will head toward the tailpipe. Like condensation, the process should stop within a few minutes which is a perfectly normal process of the exhaust system

Head Gasket Failure

Head Gasket Repair

The above situations are nothing to be concerned about but if your head gasket fails, you’ve got problems. If the water coming from the exhaust is caused by a blown head gasket you are looking at serious repairs.

A blown head gasket will cause white smoke coming from the tailpipe along with water droplets. You might also notice the coolant reservoir or your engine overheating. In either situation, you must resolve the problem as quickly as possible or you could end up replacing your engine.

Defective EGR Cooler

Newer cars have engines, especially diesel engines, that use an EGR cooler to cool down the gases before entering the intake. If the EGR cooler cracks, it will cause the coolant to come into the exhaust pipe and drip out of the tailpipe.

If you smell the water coming out of the tailpipe and it has a sweet smell, it could be caused by a broken EGR cooler, if the car is equipped with one.

Damaged Ring or Pistons

Damaged rings or pistons can cause water to emerge from the tailpipe if the head gasket is blown or there is condensation already present in the exhaust. Damaged pistons and/or rings can lead to other issues.

If your exhaust is sooty and you notice oily residue or blue smoke coming from the exhaust, stop driving until the pistons or rings are replaced.

As long as the condensation is normal, not to worry. However, if you have a blown head gasket and defective pistons and/or rings, you must have this taken care of immediately.

It will be expensive to repair the head gasket and the actual repair will take a good amount of time which will lead to expensive labour charges. Also, the cost to replace your defective pistons and/or rings will be labour intensive, leading to higher costs. You really don’t have any choice, if you don’t have these repairs done, you will end up replacing the engine.

If you believe your vehicle exhaust may be causing problems with your vehicle working correctly you can get your vehicle checked and your exhaust checked and/or repaired or changed by booking online today. For further information on our services you can browse the site or get in touch with us by calling 019253 30468 or alternatively, you can email us directly at service@lowtonmotorcompany.co.uk.

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