We just received an email from GM Authority reader, Noel, in Australia who recently purchased a ZB Holden Commodore with the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder LTG engine. Despite the fact that the car is basically brand new, our Australian friend noticed something a bit worrying: excess water dripping out of the exhaust pipes.
“Even when driven and reaching running temperature, the car spits water, not water vapor, but water from both exhaust pipes,” Noel says in his email. “The mufflers are starting to rust and the car has done only 2,800 km (1,740 miles).”
Granted, a little bit of water out of the exhaust is totally normal. Along with CO2, H2O is a naturally-occurring byproduct of an engine’s combustion process. However, looking over the pictures provided by our concerned reader, it does appear as though the amount of water dripping out of this particular Holden Commodore’s exhaust does seem to be excessive.
For example, this first picture is after the car was driven 12 km (7.5 miles), and the water drops seen on the ground were continuous throughout that 12 km drive.
This second picture is after the car was driven for 12 km, then left to idle for five minutes. It’s hard to tell from the picture without some frame of reference, but the water puddle does appear to be somewhat sizable.
If there is anything wrong with the car, it might be a head gasket issue, with coolant leaking into the cylinders. However, that would typically include a burning smell and thick smoke, as well as lost coolant from the tank, all of which Noel says isn’t occurring.
Nevertheless, our reader is still concerned about the health of the engine in his new Holden Commodore, particularly how all this excess water may affect internal engine hardware and associated systems, such as the exhaust system.
What’s more, if this is an issue with the turbocharged 2.0L LTG engine in the Holden Commodore, then it could also impact the U.S.-spec Buick Regal (2018 and newer), since both are essentially the same car with the same engine. Hence, it’s entirely possible that the issue – if there is one – will also turn up stateside.
“I have contacted GM Holden here in Australia, and they say the amount of water is ‘normal,’ even though five other 2.0L turbo cars do not produce water from the exhaust,” Noel’s email states.
So we leave it to you, dear readers – is this a reason for concern, or simply normal operation? Let us know by voting in the poll, and make sure to post your diagnosis in the comments section.