Up Owners Club banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ey up guys. Pulled up today, thinking I’d got an oil leak. When I pulled up, smoke was coming from the bonnet in the same way it does when you’ve got an oil leak.

Anyway - turns out it was the heat of the bonnet causing evaporation of the light rain we were having.

Anyone else had this occur? Worrying now that my engines running warm. Although doesn’t seem too bad with the bonnet open. I have a Mk1 Golf so I know what a warm engine feels and smells like if you get me 😂

Heatshields? Any nice aftermarket options about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Got worried earlier - not known a modern car to do it if I’m being honest. Would delete the post but can’t!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
I have not had that with my UP GTI, but i do get a puff of smoke from the exhaust every time i reverse onto my drive. It very rarely does it when driving forward unless the weather is very cold, then all cars are smoking, but it always does it when i reverse, no matter what the weather.

I have checked the oil level and its on full. The car has not used a drop since i bought it six months ago. Perhaps its back pressure that builds up and releases when i reverse.

The car runs perfectly. No rattles, no strange noises that other owners cars seem to have. The car is fantastic in every way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have not had that with my UP GTI, but i do get a puff of smoke from the exhaust every time i reverse onto my drive. It very rarely does it when driving forward unless the weather is very cold, then all cars are smoking, but it always does it when i reverse, no matter what the weather.

I have checked the oil level and its on full. The car has not used a drop since i bought it six months ago. Perhaps its back pressure that builds up and releases when i reverse.

The car runs perfectly. No rattles, no strange noises that other owners cars seem to have. The car is fantastic in every way.
Think it was just the weather - 100% humidity
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I have not had that with my UP GTI, but i do get a puff of smoke from the exhaust every time i reverse onto my drive. It very rarely does it when driving forward unless the weather is very cold, then all cars are smoking, but it always does it when i reverse, no matter what the weather.

I have checked the oil level and its on full. The car has not used a drop since i bought it six months ago. Perhaps its back pressure that builds up and releases when i reverse.

The car runs perfectly. No rattles, no strange noises that other owners cars seem to have. The car is fantastic in every way.
The cars aren’t smoking it’s steam.. 👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
The cars aren’t smoking it’s steam.. 👍

Does that mean what i thought was smoke from the exhaust when i reverse, is in fact steam?

Its strange as i have not had this from any of my cars in the past. Are other owners getting this when they reverse? If so i guess it is just a quirk of the UP GTI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Does that mean what i thought was smoke from the exhaust when i reverse, is in fact steam?

Its strange as i have not had this from any of my cars in the past. Are other owners getting this when they reverse? If so i guess it is just a quirk of the UP GTI.
All cars produce steam on a cold morning. The air coming out of the exhaust is warmer than the ambient temperature outside so it turns to steam.
The air coming out of your exhaust tips is likely cleaner than the same air when it goes into your engine via the air box. The catalytic converters see to that. Some Porsche’s actually clean the air as they run along the road.
I have a Toyota RAV4 here which I’ve had from new. It’s 7 years old now. Toyota use a very clever system called D Cat which removes all of the toxins from the fuel burn so the air or vapour is actually so clean the MOT testers get a zero reading when it’s hooked up to the gas analyser.... Not all cars polite 👍👍
F6E77D4E-27A2-47DF-A6BA-0F9DA43FD3C0.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
All cars have had cats fitted for years ! It has no effect on water vapour.

All engines produce steam as a combustion by-product in large amounts. You will see it mostly on a cold start when the air outside is cold and dry. The colder and dryer, the more obvious the steam, or actually it's water vapour as it cools, just like your own breath. As the exhaust system itself gets hotter, the steam gets hotter, (having cooled on its journey through the initially cold pipework) and condenses less readily to visible water vapour when it hits the outside air. If your exhaust system starts off cold enough, the steam will, at first, condense to actual water droplets which can be seen being blown out of the exhaust tailpipe - take a look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Thanks guys. I just find it strange that i only get the steam when i reverse not when driving forward.

On a typical journey, i could have driven for 10 miles to get my shopping etc, so the car has fully warmed up. I get home and reverse onto my drive and that is when i get the steam from the exhaust.

As i said i have not had this on other cars i have owned, but if this is normal on the UP GTI, then its nothing to worry about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Dont worry about it. My Elise does the same when stood in traffic in the rain. Water collects on the radiator and it gently steams away, with people around you pointing and trying to tell you that you are one fire.

Used to be most fun on my old daily London commute.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Thanks guys. I just find it strange that i only get the steam when i reverse not when driving forward.

On a typical journey, i could have driven for 10 miles to get my shopping etc, so the car has fully warmed up. I get home and reverse onto my drive and that is when i get the steam from the exhaust.

As i said i have not had this on other cars i have owned, but if this is normal on the UP GTI, then its nothing to worry about.

Hmmm, thinking again... After 10 miles (or even a mile) everything should be hot enough for exhaust to emerge and disperse before you see any of it condense into water vapour....

And then, if you only see it when you reverse, my new guess is that you have water gathering somehow under the bonnet and the act of reversing is launching the water onto the hot exhaust downpipe.... I'd check the following:

1) Drain holes in the scuttle are not blocked.
2) Washer bottle pipework is not leaking (under the washer jets)
3) That there is a not a slight coolant leak from somewhere (hopefully not head gasket) but maybe thermostat housing or a hose coupling. Check coolant level. Check oil for possible white/brown foam/froth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Dont worry about it. My Elise does the same when stood in traffic in the rain. Water collects on the radiator and it gently steams away, with people around you pointing and trying to tell you that you are one fire.

Used to be most fun on my old daily London commute.
Cheers for the reassurance! Was only worried because it’s how I found out my Mk1 had a small crack in the sump. When I came to a stop it smoked but when driving it was obviously hardly noticeable! Nice garage that; an Elise and GTI!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Hmmm, thinking again... After 10 miles (or even a mile) everything should be hot enough for exhaust to emerge and disperse before you see any of it condense into water vapour....

And then, if you only see it when you reverse, my new guess is that you have water gathering somehow under the bonnet and the act of reversing is launching the water onto the hot exhaust downpipe.... I'd check the following:

1) Drain holes in the scuttle are not blocked.
2) Washer bottle pipework is not leaking (under the washer jets)
3) That there is a not a slight coolant leak from somewhere (hopefully not head gasket) but maybe thermostat housing or a hose coupling. Check coolant level. Check oil for possible white/brown foam/froth.

Thanks Steve. I should say it is only a one off puff of steam NOT continuously belching out all the time i reverse. Just like someone clearing his throat once.

It is cold icy and frosty today so i am not going outside. I will check tomorrow when it should be milder according to the forecast, however.......

1. Will check tomorrow.
2. and 3. When i checked the oil level a couple of days ago i had a look round the engine and i could not see any leaks anywhere. The coolant level and washer level were ok and there was no foam or froth on the dipstick.

I am sure i would have seen if there were any water leaks around the engine when i was under the bonnet and surely i would hear if water was sloshing around when i reversed.

I will have another good look tomorrow, but i am sure the steam is due to the very cold weather we have in Manchester at the moment and all year. In Manchester we have one week of summer and fifty one weeks of winter, hence my problem with the heated seats.

Thanks again for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
I have checked under the bonnet this morning. There is no blockage under the scuttle. All fluids, oil, coolant, washers, brake are at the correct level. The outside of the engine all over is dry as a bone, no leaks. It is lovely and clean.

There is a walk round video on Auto trader of the latest model Mazda MX5. The engine is ticking over and steam is bellowing from the exhaust, unlike my UP GTI that only gives a puff of steam once.

I still think its to do with the weather. It did not do this in the summer when i bought the car, or it could be to do with the slow running in the Manchester traffic when the engine could get a little clogged and the car clears its throat as i reverse. My TR6 in the 70s used to clog up in traffic constantly and i had to take it for a motorway run to clear it.

I am sure i am making a fuss over nothing. The car is in warranty anyway until late summer 2022, so if any fault develops i will take it into the dealer. The car drives like a dream. Its brilliant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
There is no clearing of anything when you reverse, nor is it anything to do with slow running (which still makes everything hot).

Old cars got clogged in the sense that they had poor mixture control and the plugs could foul by rich running, but that's not a "steam thing".

It must just be the cold weather, and you are are only noticing the steam when reversing, but it may be there when going forward too - get someone to look.

If you are driving over snow or sleet, that can touch the exhaust pipe under the car, that could be enough to condense steam to water vapour a little more readily.

I assume you are certain it is just water vapour, and it does not not smell of fuel....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
I have not driven over snow or sleet in the car. I only drive it once a week at the moment usually in the cold and rain.

I cant smell any fumes from petrol, but i did notice the other day when i was stuck in traffic. When i moved forward again there was a puff of steam that i could see in the rear view mirror.

So it does do it on the odd occasion going forward as well as in reverse, which must be down to the cold damp weather. As i said it did not do this in the summer going forward or backwards.

My TR6 used to clog up due to the fuel injection and plug fouling. The car was only happy on the motorway. I also had a Jaguar XJ6 that constantly had steam coming from the exhaust as all Jaguars did at that time.

I would love to know if other UP GTI owners are noticing steam from the exhaust when reversing or going forward at this time of the year, but i am sure it is down to the weather.

Thanks again Steve for your help and advice.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top