Updated at: 27-07-2023 - By: Lucas

 A car exhaust pipe is an essential component. It helps get rid of the exhaust gases that are made when fuel is burned.

But sometimes water droplets might come out of the tailpipe. Even though that is normal, it can sometimes be a sign that something is wrong with the exhaust system.

So, you should learn to tell the difference between normal and strange droplets coming out of the tailpipe. Read on to find out what’s causing water to drip from your tailpipe.

Causes for water drip from the tailpipe

water comes out of exhaust

Water dripping from your car’s tailpipe is not something that usually happens. So, when it happens, it means that there is water in the exhaust system of your car. But you shouldn’t worry about it because it can happen sometimes.

Still, you need a professional mechanic to look into the problem and figure out what’s wrong. Even though this is normal sometimes, your exhaust system might be broken.

If the water is coming from inside, you should fix the problem as soon as possible. If you don’t, you might need to replace different parts of your engine. Some of these replacements could cost you a lot of money.

Normal causes for your vehicle dipping some water from the tailpipe

When your car’s engine burns fuel, it gives off water and carbon dioxide. So, after the chamber has cooled down, the gases that are still there find their way out. The gases leave the room through the pipe that lets them out.

But these gases leave when they condense, making drops of water. After the condensation process is done, you can see the water drips. In this case, you have nothing to worry about because your car is in great shape.

Catalytic converter

The exhaust system of your car needs a catalytic converter. It makes the carbon gases that come out of the tailpipe less dangerous by making them smaller. Because of this, gases hurt the environment less. Also, there is less chance that people will get hurt in the process.

But small amounts of water vapour might form during this process to cut down on toxic emissions. The vapour condenses into tiny droplets that escape through the tailpipe. In the same way, this water cause is nothing to worry about.

Engine heat

In colder places, it is normal for your car’s exhaust to drip a little water. When you turn on the car’s engine, it takes a little bit of time. During this time, the engine oil flows to other parts of the engine to keep them from getting too hot.

When you start your car’s engine, it makes a lot of heat. Because of this, the exhaust system heats up. During this process, water vapour is made when the temperature is cold.

Because of this, you might see a few drops of water coming out of the tailpipe. After a few minutes, these droplets of water disappear. But if the drops don’t go away, you should have a professional mechanic look at your car.

Abnormal causes for your vehicle dipping some water from the exhaust pipe

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Head gasket failure

When water droplets come out of your exhaust, it could be because your head gaskets have blown. This is a sign that something is wrong with your exhaust system. In this case, you might have to change out some parts.

It is easy to tell this problem apart from the natural things that cause water droplets to form. When the head gasket is blown, white smoke comes out of the tailpipe. Also, the car’s coolant reservoir will have bubbles of air in it.

Frequent overheating is another big sign that the head gasket is failing. A broken head gasket is a serious problem that needs to be fixed quickly. If you don’t, your car could get even worse.

For example, overheating is a direct cause of a broken engine. So, if you see any of these signs, you should talk to a mechanic right away.

Bad pistons or rings

If the pistons in your car are broken, water might leak out of the tailpipe. This problem needs to be fixed right away by a professional. It is easy to tell if something is wrong with the piston or its rings. Water on the tailpipe is the first sign, of course. You will also notice that your car is making a lot more smoke than usual.

Also, you might smell something burning inside the cabin. That’s not a nice thing to do. There might be something very wrong with your car. So, to keep it from getting worse, you should get it checked out as soon as you can.

Don’t drive the car while it looks like this. You should instead have it pulled to the garage. If the pistons or piston rings are broken, you should get new ones. If you drive your car like this, it will break down.

How to Fix Tailpipe Drippings

Your car might have more problems if its tailpipe leaks in strange ways. So, you should fix it early enough so that the ride is smooth and you don’t have to worry. But if you want a long-term solution, you need to figure out where the problem is coming from first.

The exhaust system is made up of different parts. The first part of this system is the catalytic converter. Hydrocarbons are taken out of the engine by this converter. Then it turns them into water and carbon dioxide.

But this system lets the gases in question escape into the air. So, the muffler is linked to the catalytic converter by a series of pipes.

But you shouldn’t touch any hot part of the exhaust system as you check it. When the exhaust is hot, it can burn you badly.

During the inspection, you should look for parts that are rusty or have connections that aren’t tight. Also, listen for any noise coming from the exhaust to find pipes that are leaking.

If there are no problems with the pipes, you should check the cooling system. But the solution depends on what colour the exhaust smoke is.

Intake Gasket Inspection

Your car may be putting out too much white smoke from its exhaust. That means that some of the coolant is getting into the combustion chambers. A gasket’s job is to keep the manifold sealed. So, when the seal is broken, the coolant leaks into the engine.

By taking off the intake manifold, you can get to the gasket. It makes it easy to check the gasket for leaks and cracks. If you notice something strange, you should fix the gasket. You should also look for rust.

But if there are no problems with the intake gasket, you should check the head gasket.

The Head Gasket Inspection

It seals the cylinder off from the engine block. Its job is to make sure that the coolant doesn’t get into the engine. So, when it breaks, the coolant can get into the chambers where the fuel is burned.

Because of this, white smoke comes out of the exhaust. If the head gasket has cracks or rust, you should change it.

The Cylinder Head Inspection

Aluminum is what was used to make this cylinder head. So, if the engine gets too hot, this aluminium block can break or crack. Because of this, the coolant might start to leak, which would cause water to come out of the tailpipe.

So, both the engine and the head gasket should be sealed well by the head.


When you start your car in the morning, there may be water droplets in the exhaust. You might also see a white cloud of smoke. But that is because the catalytic converter is collecting water. Water is made when an internal combustion engine burns.

Your car engine cools down at night. As a result, water condenses in the exhaust system. So, when the engine warms up, it turns into a vapour and gives off some white smoke. You shouldn’t be worried about such small amounts of white smoke and water droplets.

However, excessive white smoke and sweet smell indicate there is a problem. Besides, if the water dripping doesn’t clear after some time, your exhaust system has issues.

The issues emerge due to a cracked cylinder head, head gasket, or worn out piston rings. So, the coolant leaks into the combustion chamber, thus the water droplets and smoke. Failure to fix this problem immediately might cause more engine problems.