Seeing Exhaust Smoke? Did you know the color will tell you what is wrong? : Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair Official Blog

Seeing Exhaust Smoke? Did you know the color will tell you what is wrong?

by Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair on 04/04/16

Do you see smoke billowing out of your car while you drive? When you see an unusual amount of smoke coming from your vehicle's exhaust, it's probably time to bring your car into a professional mechanic for inspection. Your car should emit minimal smoke; an engine producing smoke is a strong indicator of problems or impending issues with your vehicle. 

What type of car problems could be going on? Well, believe it or not, the color of the smoke can give you some clues. Different shades of smoke can represent separate problems within your vehicle; so we have put together a quick reference guide below:

Color of Smoke:
  • Black - A small amount of black smoke produced when your car starts up is normal but if the black smoke keeps being emitted your engine is burning a large amount of fuel. This may be due to a small issue with your air-filter or it can be an indication of a larger problem with the fuel regulator, injector or return.
  • Blue - When you notice an unusual amount of blue smoke your engine is burning oil. When your car is burning oil you may notice that the car is having a difficult time starting. Your engine burns oil when there is a leak into your engine’s combustion chamber. There may be a problem with your valve- either the valve seal or valve guides. Or your car may have damaged piston rings; or damaged cylinder walls.
  • Gray - Gray smoke can also be an indicator of burning oil or your car could be having problems with your transmission fluid or PCV system damage.
  • White - A small amount of thin white smoke is normal- especially if the weather is cold and the smoke dissipates quickly but the thicker white smoke represents car issues. This is usually due to coolant being burned in the combustion chamber. Unfortunately this symptom comes from problems with the engine. A blown or damaged head gasket, a block in the engine or a problem with the cylinder head are the common causes of this type of smoke.
When you see smoke or experience any unusual smells, sights or sounds coming from your vehicle, you will want to get them checked out right away. This helps you to avoid further damage to your car and more costly repairs. Ali’s Bellevue Auto Repair is ready to help you with any car repair, or maintenance that you may need—we even do body work and transmission repair. Give us a call today with your questions or to schedule an appointment to get your car inspected.

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