car exhaust smoke

Have you ever started your car in the morning and noticed a different color of smoke coming from the exhaust? It is a sign that something is wrong with your engine or an indication that something needs to be cleaned. There is a lot you can learn from your vehicle’s exhaust smoke and as such, we created a quick guide to help you understand the signs and what they could mean. It is important to consider bringing your vehicle to a service center to have it properly checked, the color of the smoke coming from your vehicle is merely an indicator of a problem and not the be all end of diagnosis of it. It is still better to have a professional check your vehicle to see what is wrong with it.

car exhaust

Different colors mean different things especially when it comes to your engine’s exhaust. Here is a quick guide to the common smoke colors and what they are trying to tell you. These range from minor problems that can be fixed easily to more serious ones that require immediate attention to resolve. 

White exhaust smoke

When it comes to white smoke, the thicker it is the more concerned you should be. When it comes to lighter white smoke this could be a sign of moisture in your exhaust system. However, if the white smoke is thicker than normal, this could be a sign that something is wrong with your engine. It could be an indication that your coolant is being burned in the combustion chamber of your engine. It also could mean that your engine might have a damaged cylinder head, a blown gasket, or even a cracked engine block. This all means that your engine is overheating and will need immediate attention in order to prevent more damage from occurring.

Blue exhaust smoke

This is an indication that oil is being burned inside the combustion chamber of your engine. Not a good sign as this could indicate that something is being clogged or that one of your seals is on the way out. This will also mean that you will need to regularly check your car’s oil level if you are unable to bring it to a repair shop immediately. The burning of oil, if left unchecked, could also damage other parts of the engine such as the spark plugs. This will lead to other problems such as rough idling, an increase in fuel consumption, and a slower acceleration rate.

black exhaust smoke

While blue smoke is an indicator for burning oil, black smoke, on the other hand, is an indicator that too much fuel is being burnt. This could mean that your air filter is blocked or that some other factor is affecting the air-to-fuel ratio of the engine. It could also mean that a sensor or sensors are in need of cleaning or that a fuel injector is clogged. 

If black smoke is present during your vehicle’s initial start-up then it’s perfectly normal. It is a sign that your engine is trying to get itself up to its optimum operating temperature and is burning a little more fuel than normal. This will clear up as the motor warms up and the smoke will disappear. If, however, the smoke is still present after your vehicle has warmed up then it's an indicator that something is wrong. 

Knowing what could be wrong with your vehicle is just half the battle, fixing what is broken is the harder part. With that said we still highly recommend bringing your vehicle to a trust repair shop or to a service center to have whatever is broken fixed immediately. Knowing what the smoke colors mean is just a handy piece of information that can help you figure out what could be wrong with your vehicle. It isn’t the be-all-end-all solution and as such make sure to always consult with a professional.

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