Water Dripping From Exhaust – Causes, Solution & Replacement Cost

Exhaust System Problem

The purpose of the exhaust is to release the gases that are a result of fuel combustion. When the fuel is ignited, the pressurized gases are released from the exhaust and are spread into the air.

The exhaust releases gases but at some point, it is possible for you to observe a leaking exhaust. The leaking exhaust means that water is dripping from the exhaust.

There are various causes of water dripping from the exhaust, however, some of them are normal and can be treated easily while there are some dangerous causes which can cause a lot of trouble if not inspected and treated at the right time.

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Normal Causes

Condensation of water

One of the most common causes of water dripping from the exhaust is condensation. The engine performs the combustion process, during the combustion process, Carbon Dioxide and water mixtures are produced.

When the engine cools down, these mixtures are released through the tailpipe in the form of water drippings. You will be able to notice the water drips once the condensation process is over.

Catalytic converter reducing the size of toxic gases

The gases released by the engine are a mixture of harmful particles and are not good for the environment. The catalytic converter has the ability to reduce the size of the toxic gases released by the engine.

The aim of this process is to ensure an environmentally friendly functioning of the vehicle. During this process of reducing the size of toxic gases, the catalytic converter does produce some water vapors.

These water vapors will be seen dripping out of the tailpipe in the form of droplets.

Dangerous Causes

The heat of the engine

As you start the engine, it generates a lot of heat while its other components are moving. If you are living in an area which is quite cold then you will notice droplets of water coming out of the tailpipe. This is because initially the engine of the vehicle is generally too hot and it leads to the formation of water droplets.

When the heat combines with the cold air of the surroundings, water is formed. When the engine cools down, the water should clear up. However, if it doesn’t clear then you need to get it inspected.

Faulty piston

One of the most dangerous water dripping is because of the faulty piston. You will be able to clearly identify that the water dripping is because of the faulty piston because you will see smoke along with the water coming out of the tailpipe.

Sometimes, you will also notice an unpleasant smell. When you observe these things, you don’t need to wait. You need to be as quick as possible to get the faulty pistons changed.

Otherwise, it can be very dangerous. Once you are done changing the old or faulty pistons, the water dripping will go away.

Exhaust System of Car


The water dripping can be observed by many and it is normal to observe in many vehicles. However, it is very important to get it treated so that you can have a smooth and worry-free ride.

The water dripping caused by condensation is the most common and you don’t need to worry about it much. However, it would be great if you could still get your vehicle inspected to make sure that everything is working properly.

The first thing that you need to do is to inspect any leakages in the pipes. The pipes may be hot so make sure that you inspect them carefully. You can even go to a professional to get the leaked pipes changed.

The drippings from the condensation and from the catalytic converter disappear on their own. However, the problem stands still with faulty pistons. You need to get the pistons replaced as soon as possible or otherwise, you will face problems such as corrosion.

The smoke coming out of the tailpipe will also have a negative impact on the overall performance of the engine.

If you see black smoke coming out of the tailpipe along with water drippings, then you will know that the fuel is not ignited properly. At this point, you need to get your vehicle inspected by a professional so he can guide you properly about what steps to take.

Solutions for the water drippings depend upon the type of the problem. You need to get your vehicle inspected so that the actual problem can be identified and then you can get it fixed.

Repair Cost of Water Drippings or Leakage of Exhaust

The cost of repair depends upon the identification of the actual problem but the average repair cost of water drippings from the exhaust is $190. However, it varies from different vehicle to vehicle, type of the problem, type of the engine and other various factors.

A repair of water drippings can sometimes take a few minutes while on the other hand, it can require hours and hours of work. The cost of the repair also depends upon the time taken to fix the problem.

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The cost also depends upon the difficulty of the problem. So, the repair cost cannot be predetermined because the professional will first inspect the vehicle and its different parts and will then identify the problem.

Once, the problem is identified, then the professional will be able to suggest suitable solutions for the specific problem.

The labor cost for fixing the water drippings or leakage of the exhaust can range from $120-300. Sometimes, it can be even more than that if the problem is worse and on the contrary, it can be quite less if the problem is not as bad.

Depending upon the problem, difficulty, time and effort, the professional will be able to give you the estimated cost of the repair.

Above all, the water drippings are normal and most of the times they can be treated easily. However, there are some dangerous causes of water drippings as well. It is really important to get your vehicle inspected on time to prevent any unwanted situations.

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