Steam from the tail pipe

Tiny
SNU188
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 11,600 MILES
I am looking into purchasing a used Toyota 4runner, and the previous owner says that there is steam that comes from the tailpipe, but he says that his mechanic says not to drive it long distances, and that worries me that it won't pass it smog or needs a lot of work done to it before it can run well. What should I do, and what is the average I am looking at to have it fixed?
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Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 AT 1:38 AM

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Tiny
SQM
  • EXPERT
Hello,

When there is white smoke or steam coming out of the tailpipes, it could mean that the head gasket is blown, it could also be due to a cracked cylinder head or engine block failure. Another possibility is intake manifold gasket leak.

Here is a helpful guide:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/white-smoke-or-steam-coming-from-the-exhaust-pipe

If you are looking to purchase a vehicle that has any of these issues, it could be troublesome. Also, since his mechanic says not to drive it long distances, it could be something serious.

Best option would be to have the vehicle inspected by your mechanic. That way you will know exactly what might be the issue.

But just from your explanation it sounds like the vehicle might need major repair before it can be roadworthy.

I have attached the head gasket replacement procedure below just to give you an idea.

Please let me know of any questions.
Thank you.
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 AT 1:53 PM

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