Smoking Exhaust? Your problem may be…

A common question many drivers ask is “Why is my exhaust releasing smoke?”. This is a very valid and important question. The exhaust is meant for your vehicle to release smoke, but the everyday smoke being released should not be noticeable. If you have been noticing an excess amount of smoke, or a funny color smoke being released through the exhaust, you may have a problem.

A smoking exhaust is usually one for four colors:

  1. White
  2. Blue
  3. Grey
  4. Black

First thing you should know is, the darker the smoke, the more serious the problem usually is.

White Smoke

If you start your car in the morning and notice there is white smoke being released through the exhaust, give it a few minutes. After the car heats up, the smoke may stop; in this case there shouldn’t be a problem. This small amount of white smoke is usually the cause of a cold engine. Once the engine warms up, the smoke will stop. If it doesn’t stop when the car is warmed up,  there could be one of two problems: there could be a leaking coolant or a cracked head gasket (causing the car to overheat). These problems are causing coolant or water to be vaporized in the combustion chambers.

Blue Smoke

Your exhaust can also release blue smoke, this is usually a tell-tale-sign that there is engine oil burning. This could be the cause of worn valve guides seals or faulty piston rings. These issues cause oil to leak past areas, which should be lubricating moving parts, through the combustion chambers which is burning with the fuel. If this is your issue, it can escalate and create a new problem with your spark plugs.

If you have a super charged car you may want to check if your blower may need replacing.

Grey/Black Smoke

Smoke being released through the exhaust can also be a bit darker, and appear grey or black. These colors may indicate a more sever problem. Black smoke can mean transmission fluid is burning in the engine, which is being caused by a faulty transmission vacuum modulator. This sucks transmission fluid in the engine. If this is not your problem, you should check (or have a mechanic check) if the return fuel line is being obstructed, check for damaged sensors, carburetor, chock fuel, clogged air filters, or if you have a blocked manifold.

Exhaust smoke. What do the colors mean?


So if you find you may need a new engine. Give us a call and we will find the one that fits your needs.


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