What Does the Color of My Vehicle Exhaust Smoke Mean?

Exhaust system problems are not as expected, but they can occur in older cars. The system is responsible for pumping out emissions produced by the engine. If you see some smoke from your car, it can indicate a problem with your vehicle’s internal systems. If it continues to get smoky, you should look further into the issue.

Not all exhaust smoke is bad. However, it is best to have it checked by a professional to be sure. You can learn a lot about your car, depending on the color of the exhaust smoke. 

Thin and White Exhaust Smoke 

Thin and white “smoke” is typically just water vapor, and it is the least concerning of the ones we will mention today. You might see this first thing in the morning when you start the car. Needless to say, condensation is common and not something to fret about.

Gray or Blue Exhaust Smoke

A blue-ish gray cloud coming from your exhaust is something more of concern. It is typically a sign of an oil leak, and it happens due to motor oil being burned with your fuel. To be certain, bring your vehicle by County Line Auto Service. Oil can leak in from the engine cylinder walls, old valve seals, or damaged piston rings.

Black Exhaust Smoke

Black exhaust smoke is a symptom that indicates your vehicle is burning excess fuel. Your car may have a faulty fuel injection system, a clogged air filter, or a blocked manifold, causing it to consume more fuel than it should. If your fuel efficiency has dropped, come by our shop to have your exhaust checked out.

White Exhaust Smoke

We know we mentioned that thin white smoke is nothing, but thick white smoke is a major cause for concern. It signifies your engine is overheating, typically due to a leaking head gasket.  When this occurs, coolant will leak in the combustion chamber and get burned along with fuel. You should immediately stop driving when your engine overheats and call for a tow. 

If your vehicle is blowing out colored exhaust smoke, please follow the steps necessary to stay safe. At County Line Auto Service, we can take care of your exhaust, engine, fuel system, or other related repairs and minimize vehicle emissions. Feel free to call or visit our shop!

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