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Old 19th October 2020, 16:17   #1
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Default Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

Hi everyone,
I'm facing the following issue in my 2004 Maruti Alto LX. What seems to be an abnormal amount of water is gushing out of the exhaust pipe when it is revved a little. I am attaching a video that my mother shot (so please forgive the quality ).

This was first seen a couple of weeks ago, and has happened a couple of times after that. I first asked my mother to ignore it, thinking it could be accumulated water due to condensation (and since the car had not been taken out on the road for six months) which got ejected when the engine was revved. However, this has happened twice after the video was taken, so I am now thinking that the problem is definitely more serious.
A few details about the car - It is in Bangalore under the care of my mother. For the past ten years, it has run very little - Once a week, my mother has a driver come over and takes the car for her weekly errands. It runs about ten km on that day.During the rest of the week, she unfailingly starts the car every morning until the engine warms up (she uses the temperature gauge as a reference).
The once a week run however, stopped ever since the lockdown began in March. Since then the car has not been driven, but the every day starting has continued except for a few days in between.The car stays in a covered car park, and is cleaned everyday with a damp cloth (no water is thrown on the car)
Today, we got the car towed to RNS motors, Yeshwantpur. RNS, after looking this same video told us not to take a chance getting the car driven over, and recommended towing. The SA refused (politely) to start any diagnostic work until I paid an advance, so I transferred Rs 10,000 to the service centre account. The car's annual service/engine oil/other fluids change is also due.The car has always gone to RNS motors for its annual service during these past ten years, but unfortunately the branch that it was going to has been closed during the lockdown, so this time we had to send the car to a service adivsor and branch with whom we have no prior relationship. For the record, RNS motors have been good to deal with, and they have not tried to take advantage of my mother's lack of 'car' knowledge.
The SA has asked us to be prepared for a bill of anywhere between 25 k to 70 k. I have taken that estimate with a big pinch of salt. I have asked him to first give me the exact diagnosis and only after approval, proceed with the next step.
Ideally, I would have liked to be there at the service centre, but I am based in Delhi and travelling just for this seems a little unjustified. I can take the help of my brother, who does live in Bangalore (in another area), but I do not want to ask too much of him, given the fact that his architecture firm is just getting back on its feet after the lockdown.
I would be grateful for the inputs of any Bhpians who experienced something like this before. My limited knowledge tells me this might be a leaking head gasket, but I could be very much off the mark. Any guidance would be appreciated!
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Old 19th October 2020, 16:46   #2
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Default re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
During the rest of the week, she unfailingly starts the car every morning until the engine warms up (she uses the temperature gauge as a reference)
I did watch the video and I think it’s just condensation, accumulated over a long time.

Since there’s no white smoke, and the colour seems like water, the chances are it’s accumulated water in the cat which is being blown away during to the high revs. I’m assuming your mother doesn’t rev the engine when she warms it up daily.

Was the black stuff that’s on the floor, come out of the exhaust or was that dirt on the floor already present beforehand?

Have you asked what does the exhaust smell like? Does it smell like fuel? Is there any sweet musty smell? Or any burning smell? If it smells like normal exhaust from a petrol car, I’m pretty confident about it just being water.

I’m happy to be proven wrong though.

RIDICULOUS that you have to pay an advance BEFORE the issue is diagnosed.

Last edited by ChoosetoCruze : 19th October 2020 at 16:49.
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Old 19th October 2020, 17:16   #3
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Default re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

I have a Honda City Automatic and this type of gush of water coming out from exhaust pipe has been a regular affair for me. Have got the vehicle checked at SC but they say its normal and there is not any problem with my vehicle.
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Old 19th October 2020, 19:32   #4
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Default re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

Was the car pressure washed recently and also are there any drain outlets in the building above or near the tailpipe ? Also what is the level of the coolant and its colour?

Many years back something similar happened with our Esteem. It was not regularly used and even though it had a covered parking, the rain water drainpipe was right over the tailpipe. Some days in the morning it used to throw out unreasonable amounts of water and it was definitely more than what could be caused by condensation or proper A/F ratio. But later we noticed that it used to happen only when there was heavy rains overnight.

On closer look, we saw that during heavy rains, the water from the rainwater drain pipe used to fall over some cement blocks directly under the pipe and splash a bit of it onto the tailpipe. Since the floor had a downward gradient, this water ran down into muffler. But this used to happen only during days when there was heavy rain and after parking the car in reverse it went away.

Also, before going ahead with any repair works, please check if the car is losing any fluids. If it isn't, then it surely something other than the car causing it. Collect the water from the exhaust and check for smell.

Last edited by --gKrish-- : 19th October 2020 at 19:44. Reason: typo
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Old 19th October 2020, 19:49   #5
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Default re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

I think there is nothing to worry. Since you mentioned your mother starts the car every morning till it heats up, I'm guessing she doesn't revv it. The idling keeps the water in the exhaust and when you revv it, it all comes out.

Question: Once this much water has come out, does it repeat immediately? Are you loosing engine coolant?
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Old 19th October 2020, 23:25   #6
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Default re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm facing the following issue in my 2004 Maruti Alto LX.
As we discussed over whatsapp, there is nothing to worry. It has happened due to low/insufficient running. It happened to my 800 as well during lockdown, when she was idled or driven around briefly around the neighborhood. Condensate had accumulated inside the end can, making such gargling noises and spurting water like this. Some videos:





Get your car on a long drive which heats the silencer sufficiently, and the issue will be resolved. Only issue which can arise due to this accumulation, is accelerated corrosion of silencer.

To be on the safer side, do check level and condition of coolant and engine oil. Although I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

Off-topic, but beware of your MASS and SA. They are trying to fleece you. Alto F8D engine, even if overhauled twice, cannot generate 70k bill.

Regards,
Shashi
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Old 19th October 2020, 23:42   #7
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Default re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

There are companies which will take the car from your door step, service it and return it to you for less than half of what you paid to the Maruti folks. Honestly, Alto engines last over 200k kilometers easily and you needn't worry about this. Some members have already pointed out the probable reasons.

Water from the exhaust is normal if the car is idle. I have seen it even in older carburetted cars.

But in the future, never pay anyone in an authorised center before they diagnose the issue. In fact you should complain to Maruti to get some voucher for 10k. An Alto service won't cost more than 2-3k. Use that voucher to get some other maintenance done on the car. Also, even my Nano gets picked up and dropped off to the service center, and they do not charge for diagnostics if they can't solve an issue. You should definitely complain to Maruti about this experience.
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Old 20th October 2020, 09:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by --gKrish-- View Post
On closer look, we saw that during heavy rains, the water from the rainwater drain pipe used to fall over some cement blocks directly under the pipe and splash a bit of it onto the tailpipe. Since the floor had a downward gradient, this water ran down into muffler. But this used to happen only during days when there was heavy rain and after parking the car in reverse it went away.
That's some good detective work! In my case though, I can confirm that there is no chance of this particular incident happening, since there is no drainpipe in the vicinity of the parking slot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
I think there is nothing to worry. Since you mentioned your mother starts the car every morning till it heats up, I'm guessing she doesn't revv it. The idling keeps the water in the exhaust and when you revv it, it all comes out.
Question: Once this much water has come out, does it repeat immediately? Are you loosing engine coolant?
Dhanush, your guess is spot on - my mother was not revving the engine until very recently, after which this gushing was noticed. Plus the water does significantly reduce the next day post the gushing. So it is very likely that what you are saying is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
As we discussed over whatsapp, there is nothing to worry. It has happened due to low/insufficient running. It happened to my 800 as well during lockdown, when she was idled or driven around briefly around the neighborhood.
Shashi
Shashi, it was really good of you to take the time to share your inputs. It really set my mind at ease. I have now decided to just the basic service done, check all the fluids and take it from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cessna182 View Post
But in the future, never pay anyone in an authorised center before they diagnose the issue. In fact you should complain to Maruti to get some voucher for 10k. An Alto service won't cost more than 2-3k. Use that voucher to get some other maintenance done on the car. Also, even my Nano gets picked up and dropped off to the service center, and they do not charge for diagnostics if they can't solve an issue. You should definitely complain to Maruti about this experience.
Thank you for your inputs Cessna182. You are right - today when I spoke to the service advisor about just doing the general service, he began to insist that sanitation was 'compulsory', as well as the old maruti favourite - "brake caliper greasing" not being part of regular service. I can now definitely confirm that there seems to be an attempt to tack on unnecessary items. I have spoken to the customer service manager, who said that he would ensure that these 'additional' unasked for services are not tacked onto the bill. My guard is now definitely up! Such a pity, we've been a loyal customer of RNS for a decade, and post this experience, I definitely won't be using them again.

Last edited by SDP : 20th October 2020 at 10:38. Reason: Merging back to back posts. Please use multi-quote
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Old 20th October 2020, 09:38   #9
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

As many have explained, water coming out of the exhaust pipes is normal. Scientific explanation is that when the exhaust gases from the engine passes through the catalytic converter they are converted into CO2 and Water. This is an emission norm requirement. When car is left standing for a long time this water gets accumulated in the pipes and when its restarted it just gushes down.

If your car is driving properly then i don't think there is any reason for concern. Your MASC knows this.

Last edited by srini1785 : 20th October 2020 at 09:42.
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Old 20th October 2020, 10:35   #10
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

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Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
Scientific explanation is that when the exhaust gases from the engine passes through the catalytic converter they are converted into CO2 and Water.
The function of Catalytic converter is different. It breaks down the harmful Nitrous oxides (NO and NO2 gases) into Nitrogen and Oxygen.

The main components of exhaust gases from the engine is water vapour and CO2. When the engine is only idling, the silencer pipe will remain cold and so the water vapour from the exhaust will condensate and settle as water. Mostly it will be collected in the muffler (drum). When the engine is revved this water comes gushing out.
If the car is running around, the pipe will be hot enough so the water vapour cannot condensate.

And water droplets coming out of the tail pipe normally is a sign of a healthy engine. As someone rightly said, this also accelerates corrosion of the pipe.

Last edited by fordday : 20th October 2020 at 10:38. Reason: added info
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Old 20th October 2020, 12:25   #11
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
The SA refused (politely) to start any diagnostic work until I paid an advance

The SA has asked us to be prepared for a bill of anywhere between 25 k to 70 k. I have taken that estimate with a big pinch of salt. I have asked him to first give me the exact diagnosis and only after approval, proceed with the next step.
Hello Lone Ranger,

Do not deal with service center anymore. You should also escalate the case to Maruti.
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Old 20th October 2020, 16:00   #12
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

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Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
Hello Lone Ranger,

Do not deal with service center anymore. You should also escalate the case to Maruti.
Yes, I am going to take this up with Maruti. The service centre was definitely trying to take me for a ride. If it hadn't been for the inputs from Bhpians here, I would have been an unwitting participant in the whole charade!
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Old 20th October 2020, 16:30   #13
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

If the car is not in use (as in regular running on the roads) and is only started and idled for few minutes while parked, it is indeed a risk - The exhaust pipes can develop rust.

It happened to my Palio when I was out of country. Wife used to start it up and idle it twice weekly. Water that got accumulated from petrol burn within the pipeline made the entire exhaust pipe system rust and subsequently it resulted in holes in several places along the pipe. I had to replace the entire exhaust pipeline.

If you're starting and idling the car, give it some time. Idle it for a good 15 minutes or more, rev it up a little, and make sure that all the water that was condensed in the pipeline has evaporated and has gone out. Or just drive the car for 15 minutes, much better. Basically make sure that you're stopping the engine only after the entire exhaust system has heated up to its typical operating temperature.

Last edited by clevermax : 20th October 2020 at 16:34.
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Old 22nd October 2020, 09:23   #14
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

Hi everyone,
just wanted to update you that I got the car back yesterday afternoon. There was a little bit of further drama- Day before yesterday evening, when I called the SA for an update, he had informed me that only the car cleaning was pending, and since the cleaning crew had left for the day, he would get the car cleaned and the delivered the next day morning. I waited until 11AM yesterday morning, and then called him for an update. He then informs me that the driver's side car window was not working and he was getting it fixed! This is a manual window winder mind you, and was working perfectly well. We know this for a fact because I always asked my mum to wind the window down before she starts the car (safety reasons).
I had to tell him (again!!!) to not perform these 'voluntary' services without telling me and speak to the customer service manager and request him to just release the car.
Bottom line, car is back home, and I narrowly managed getting completely swindled, thanks to Team Bhp. I sincerely hope this thread will help others getting scammed.
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Old 24th October 2020, 12:25   #15
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Default Re: Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!

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Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
I narrowly managed getting completely swindled
Happy to hear that the vehicle is back home, running well.

This SA seems to be a real piece of work. While I'm normally against it, in this case, I think you should name the person so that other unsuspecting owners do not fall for this. This will also be a wake up call for service centres attaching ridiculous targets to SAs who resort to fleecing loyal customers.

On a different note, since the car isn't being run regularly, see if you can park it on a slight incline so that water doesn't accumulate and instead just flows out. A small metal fabricated ramp is cheap and does exactly this. Just take precautions and place wedges on all four wheels.

Saying this because that SA has probably added an exhaust replacement to his future secret todo list for your car.
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