White smoke at exhaust manifold and tailpipe

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Apr 30, 2014
I've read several threads about this, but am confused about my situation.

Last weekend I started noticing lots of white smoke around the exhaust manifold where it mates with the exhaust pipe. There's also a lot of smoke out of the tailpipe at the rear of the car. At first I though it was steam caused by the low due point in the air. But now that it's warmed up I see that it's white smoke, although it feels steamy.

My first inclination was that it's a blown head gasket. What's weird is that my oil looks great and coolant level hasn't changed. It is possible to have steam with little water, so I'm thinking it still could be a head gasket. Also, the engine seems to sound and run just fine.

Any ideas on what I should check before I tear into the engine? Is it possible to get a lot of steam from a tiny leak in the gasket? Again, my coolant level hasn't really noticeably changed.
One component of exhaust gases is water/steam. Does the steam smell sweet ?
Check your radiator fluid level and oil. One of the two is likely the cause. Oil is blue smoke, water from the cooling system will be white, and it seems to be hard to tell the difference a lot of time. To much gas is usually obvious and grey to black. Like said do the compression test, check for bubbles in the radiator while it is running and warm. Might just need a new head gasket.
Look for water condensation on the interior bottom of the oil fill cap. when I had a cracked head I found green droplets there...that was the only clue I had other than a very very slow drop in coolant levels over a month or two. I did not have white smoke/steam.
Thanks Guys. I guess the smoke did smell kind do sweet, although it's hard to tell since it mostly smelled like exhaust. I do plan on running a compression test this weekend. Howvere, how do you know if the leak isn't across a piston ring, head gasket or valve?

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