Exhaust Smoke

Types of car exhaust smoke and what it means for your engine

As I was scrolling through social media, I saw someone comment that that if you see white exhaust smoke and some water dripping from your exhaust pipe it then means that your car is in very good condition.

This I came to find out was a common belief among many drivers. However, after doing some research I came to find out that this may not be necessarily true. If the white exhaust smoke is thin and vapor like, it is mostly as a result of normal condensation build up inside the exhaust system. However, this smoke should disappear once the engine warms up.

Check out the various types of smoke that could mean trouble for your car.

White Smoke

Thick white exhaust smoke can be caused by the engine burning coolant. This can be caused by the coolant leaking into the engine due to a leak in the head gasket, a damaged cylinder head or a cracked engine block. If you happen to see this kind of smoke take your car to the garage as soon as possible as the leaking coolant can lead to overheating which could cause damage to your engine. Not to mention chances of coolant mixing with the oil.

Black Smoke

If you see black exhaust smoke that means that your engine is burning too much fuel. This could be due to the fact that there is inadequate air getting into the engine due to a clogged air filter. It could also be due to other factors like damaged sensors, fuel injectors and the fuel pressure regulator. Another reason for the black smoke could also be a blocked clogged fuel line.

Blue Smoke

Blue exhaust smoke is an indication that the car is burning engine oil. This happens when the piston rings are worn out and oil is leaking to the combustion chamber where it is burned together with the fuel. For a turbocharged car, the smoke is a sign that the blower is in need of replacement. Burning oil can cause rough starts due to the fact that it can ruin a car’s spark plugs.

Gray Smoke

This kind of exhaust smoke can be due to the car burning oil or a bad turbo charger. It can also be due to automatic transmission fluid getting burned up in the engine. This would most probably be caused by a faulty transmission modulator leading to transmission fluid getting into the engine and subsequently burned up.

A perfectly tuned car should have colorless emission, if you see it emitting smoke in the colors highlighted above book a date with your mechanic asap.