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Mar 26, 2015

What Does The Smoke From Your Exhaust Say About Your Car?

Posted By in Maintenance Tips | No Comments »

The smoke that comes out of your car’s exhaust can tell you a lot about the health of your vehicle so it is worth paying some attention the next time you turn your car on.

Reasons Behind Exhaust Smoke

As the engine burns fuel and creates exhaust, there are many things that can happen inside your engine that should not be taking place such as burning oil, leaving fuel unburnt in the exhaust, and evaporating coolant. Pay attention to what comes out of your car and you may be able to identify potential problems before they become more serious – and more costly.

Gray or Blue Smoke

Characteristics:

Characterized by a bluish-gray tint to the exhaust that occurs when turning on the car, this symptom may or may not disappear once the car has been running for a little while.

Possible Causes:

  • Worn piston rings
  • Worn or damaged valve seals
  • Worn or damaged valve guides

The Fix:

Bringing your car into a qualified and experience mechanic is the best way to solve any problems that are causing blue-tinted exhaust. Replacing these parts will require in-depth knowledge.

White Smoke or Water Vapor

Characteristics:

White smoke coming from your car’s exhaust in cold temperatures is usually not a cause for concern but this should not happen when it is warm out or once the engine has heated up.

Possible Causes:

  • Transmission fluid leaking into intake modulator
  • Cylinder head gasket requires replacement
  • Cracked or warped cylinder head(s)
  • Cracked engine block

The Fix:

Take your car into your mechanic and tell them to take a look at the cylinder heads and the engine block. Depending on which part needs replacing, you may be looking at a significant cost but these repairs should not be postponed.

Black Smoke

Characteristics:

Black smoke pouring from the car is an obvious sign of trouble but it does not have to be that severe to be a problem. Black smoke is often a sign your car is running roughly and may be accompanied with backfiring and unhappy engine noises.

Possible Causes:

  • Carburetor choke is stuck closed
  • Fuel injectors are leaking
  • Air filter needs replacing
  • Broken or bad ignition module

The Fix:

Check your manual to see if your car has a carburetor. Check your air filter to see if it needs replacing and then bring your car into the mechanic. Leaking fuel injectors can lead to serious complications down the road if left uncorrected.


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