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What Causes Water Dripping From a Muffler

What Causes Water Dripping From a Muffler

Yesterday morning, when Mr. Peterson was about to start the engine of his brand new car, parked in the basement, he suddenly noticed water dripping from the exhaust pipe. He started panicking immediately. I am sure many of us had similar experiences before. Well, before signaling an SOS to the local service station, do ponder over the following for a brief while.

 Water Leaking from Exhaust Pipe – Why?

Before we go into further details let me assure you water leaking from exhaust pipe could be an absolutely normal phenomenon.

When the engine of your car first heats up, condensation takes place inside the exhaust pipe. At that time you may notice water dripping from the exhaust pipe or tail pipe. On the other hand, this may also happen when the engine has sufficiently cooled down.

As the combustion starts, the hydrocarbon compound (in other words, fuel) comes in contact with oxygen. Eventually, after a complex chemical reaction, carbon monoxide and water are released. When the engine runs for a sufficient amount of time, you do not see water dripping because it gets converted into steam (due to the heat produced internally). This brings up the next question, i.e., what is the appropriate time of seeking expert assistance in case you see water leaking from the tail pipe.

 When is it Time to be Concerned?

When your engine has run for a sufficient amount of time yet you continue to see water dripping from the exhaust pipe or, worse still, both water and smoke are coming out then it is time to check your car’s health. If the exhaust smells oily then it could be a broken piston or an engine problem of a different sort. If huge amount of water comes out during any point of your journey, have a check if the head-gasket is leaking. Exhaust pipe smells sweet when burnt coolant drips through it. This could be an ominous sign for the health of your car’s engine.

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Sometimes, people tend to ignore continuous leakage of small amount of water, particularly for those cars that only travel short distances. But this may result in rusting of the exhaust pipe. So, it is better to have the issue rectified in time.

One more word of caution, carbon monoxide is a deadly poisonous gas which is also colorless and odorless. So if you find any trouble with the exhaust system it is time to seek expert opinion.