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Hi Everyone...

RE: 2002 Sable, 3.0 Vulcan, 180,000 miles. Excellent runner. Does not burn oil, leak oil, or anti-freeze.

On particular mornings I will start my car and drive into town. When I stop at a red light, or idle in a parking lot I get a waft of white smoke coming from the grill of my Sable. The smoke/steam is white and has NO ODOR. My car leaves no drips or puddles underneath after it sets. Any idea what it could be? I open the hood and it appears to come from under the driver's side shrouding of the radiator but, again, it has no odor. I had thought maybe it's R134a? Or maybe water puddles from the road splashing on something hot?

I found an old thread where someone theorized it was a sign the transmission was going bad...generating high temperatures and burning off ambient moisture from the trans-cooler lines. My trans shifts excellent btw and I don't suspect it is failing.

Wonder if anyone has experienced this.

Thanks in advance

Joe
 

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I have that happen with a few Fords that I've owned. What happens is water gets behind the grille and what's sitting on/in the radiator fins is evaporating causing a 'smoke' that is only seen in the morning for a very short time till the water evaporates off.


If it doesn't smell like oil or antifreeze, I wouldn't worry at all.
 

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I have had the same thing for years..doesn't leak antifreeze


Always assumed it was water on the radiator that was evaporating when the thermostat opened
 

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I have had the same thing for years..doesn't leak antifreeze


Always assumed it was water on the radiator that was evaporating when the thermostat opened
This time of year it is snow, and the cold makes the evaporated moisture a cloud, like the exhaust when it is cold. And from advice I got in the flat lands of the Midwest, do not parking facing into the wind. Even old cows know better.

-chart-
 

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I have that happen with a few Fords that I've owned. What happens is water gets behind the grille and what's sitting on/in the radiator fins is evaporating causing a 'smoke' that is only seen in the morning for a very short time till the water evaporates off.


If it doesn't smell like oil or antifreeze, I wouldn't worry at all.

That's exactly what it is. The moisture is evaporating when the thermostat opens. The hot coolant is passing through the radiator, which heats the water that is in the fins. I've had this happen a number of times. Nothing to worry about.
 
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