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My car was giving off white smoke after it overheated. What’s wrong?

When you experience car overheating and smoking together, it usually means your engine has a blown head gasket. This gasket seals the head to the block. If the engine overheats, the block and head can warp, damaging this seal. Once the seal fails, coolant can leak into the cylinders. This liquid is turned into steam, and passes out through your exhaust. Unfortunately, this is an expensive repair, Removing the head is a complicated process, and both the head and engine block may need to be machined to flatten their surfaces.

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Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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