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2021 Cargo T350 EL High roof AWD Ecoboost
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Lately I noticed white smoke when starting the engine:

and another video where the gas pedal is pressed:

It is intensified when pressing on the gas pedal, and lasts for the first few miles. It might not look like much in daylight, but it was very visible when it was darker the first time I noticed it. Seems to me like a brand new engine should not be putting out anything that visible.

I wonder if it has anything to do with a recent oil change (to fully synthetic). Is it possible it is overfilled?

This is the oil gauge after about ~2 hours of cooling down after a drive. A bit worried about the bits of oil at the curved part above the top hole but maybe thats how its supposed to look? Engine has ~2400 miles.

I don't have a photo from the time I took this measurement of the back of the gauge, but it had oil all the way through.
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This is how it looks like this morning, after being parked for a few days:
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Thanks!
 

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It does look normal. Can you post a picture of the oil filler cap appearance? If there is water going into the oil, it will collect there as well. Is the coolant level stable, measured cold?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It does look normal. Can you post a picture of the oil filler cap appearance? If there is water going into the oil, it will collect there as well. Is the coolant level stable, measured cold?
I have not been paying attention to the coolant level. I will mark it to see if it changes, but unfortunately I have no idea how much coolant was there when I picked up the van.

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Is it steam or is it smoke?

Your radiator fluid level looks fine, at least at the moment.

"Catch" what is coming out of the tailpipe (bucket/coffee can turned sideways) and get it to condense and see if it is just water or something oilier. Do you live in a humid environment? It is not unusual for water to condense in the exhaust system when the engine cools down, and then is turned to steam as it heats back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is it steam or is it smoke?

Your radiator fluid level looks fine, at least at the moment.

"Catch" what is coming out of the tailpipe (bucket/coffee can turned sideways) and get it to condense and see if it is just water or something oilier. Do you live in a humid environment? It is not unusual for water to condense in the exhaust system when the engine cools down, and then is turned to steam as it heats back up.
I'll try doing the bucket idea, thank you. Current humidity is 68% according to weather.com, so not exceptionally humid I think?
 

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Looks like condensation to me completely normal.
+1 for water vapor. If it were smoke, it would linger in the air. Water vapor disappears quickly, just like exhaling on a cold day. Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, tends to linger in the air before it dilutes in the air.
 

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Serious question, have you never owned a modern vehicle???????? That's just normal dude, carry on. I mean i could explain it all, but why bother. Ethanol....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Serious question, have you never owned a modern vehicle???????? That's just normal dude, carry on. I mean i could explain it all, but why bother. Ethanol....
The last modern vehicle I owned was a 2008 (I think) Miata. Purchased new in 2008. Don't recall seeing anything come out of the exhaust.
There are two other modern vehicles in the driveway, I don't recall ever seeing anything come out of their exhaust either. A Subaru (Forester maybe?) and some Volvo.

I guess I'm surprised at the amount of water vapor. Where is it coming from / why is it only present when starting to drive?
 

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I would be inclined to believe there is water in your gas, There are weep holes built in to the Transit muffler just for that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would be inclined to believe there is water in your gas, There are weep holes built in to the Transit muffler just for that purpose.
I'll get the next tank at a different gas station and see what happens
 

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I guess I'm surprised at the amount of water vapor. Where is it coming from / why is it only present when starting to drive?
Certain cars collect more than others.

One of the old advices about the damage of doing only short trips in vehicles is that the exhaust system would never get hot enough to completely burn off what had collected inside of it.

With the side exiting exhaust pipe, badly aimed sprinklers can also contribute to your water intake, if you happen to park in the right spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Certain cars collect more than others.

One of the old advices about the damage of doing only short trips in vehicles is that the exhaust system would never get hot enough to completely burn off what had collected inside of it.

With the side exiting exhaust pipe, badly aimed sprinklers can also contribute to your water intake, if you happen to park in the right spot.
No sprinklers where I park... and most trips the van currently is doing are 17 miles each way, between my house and my workshop. Maybe thats not long enough?

Any thoughts about the oil level?
 

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No sprinklers where I park... and most trips the van currently is doing are 17 miles each way, between my house and my workshop. Maybe thats not long enough?

Any thoughts about the oil level?
What about the oil level? It's between the marks so what's to question.
 

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Hold your hand or a piece of glass over the exhaust. If you feel or see moisture then it is indeed water vapor. Keep a good eye on the coolant level for a while. If the coolant remains at the same level, don't worry about it. Do try switching gas stations just to see if that is it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hold your hand or a piece of glass over the exhaust. If you feel or see moisture then it is indeed water vapor. Keep a good eye on the coolant level for a while. If the coolant remains at the same level, don't worry about it. Do try switching gas stations just to see if that is it.
This was a good suggestion.

I did it, and it looks like water vapor. So its either from the gas or something seriously wrong and coolant making its way to places it shouldn't be?
 

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Coolant would be fruity smelling. PLAIN OLE water vapor for the condensation happening in the exhaust system. I doubt you have anything "seriously wrong" . If I drive in the garage with an at temp operating engine shut it off and restart it 10 hours later I get about a pint of water out of the muffler drain and tail pipe all the while an absolute obscuring cloud of vapor. Its been this way since 2018. 60 Degrees this am 85 degrees this pm 46% humidity. If you get h2o in the oil it will turn to mayonnaise. Your oil is clear/clean, level is normal your coolant is not disappearing. Looks ok to me.

The desired by product of combustion as defined by the EPA from your tail pipe is water vapor.
 

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It’s more visible on the van than the Miata because the larger motor take longer to warm up, and the longer exhaust allows it to cool down more before exhausting.

Water vapor is normal for any combustion motor during warmup. Also the biggest factor is relative humidity. Check on a warmer morning and you won’t see a thing. Watch cars in traffic on a cold morning and they all do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It’s more visible on the van than the Miata because the larger motor take longer to warm up, and the longer exhaust allows it to cool down more before exhausting.

Water vapor is normal for any combustion motor during warmup. Also the biggest factor is relative humidity. Check on a warmer morning and you won’t see a thing. Watch cars in traffic on a cold morning and they all do it.
How warm? It was around ~65-70 when I looked at it today, so not a particularly freezing day...
 
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