Types of Smoke From Your Car Exhaustpipe And What It Indicates

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Types of Smoke From Your Car Exhaustpipe And What It Indicates
Types of Smoke From Your Car Exhaustpipe And What It Indicates
Types of Smoke From Your Car Exhaustpipe And What It Indicates
Types of Smoke From Your Car Exhaustpipe And What It Indicates

As a car owner you expect something to come from the exhaustpipe.This is an emissions outlet for your vehicle,and so vapors will exit from there.Some of the small emissions are harmless and nothing to worry about.
Steam is normal,and may appear to as a white smoke on a cold morning due to condensation.But there are other types of smoke that can be signals of trouble from inside the car.

Before the 1970’s,thick black smoke coming from a vehicles exhaustpipe was a good sign that the vehicle was running fine.
But now,that type of smoke is usually not a good thing.Automakers cleaned up their act and made sure that vehicles did not spew out this horrible stuff.
Usually,when you see the smoke clouds,it means something is very wrong with the vehicle.However,you might not know what it is or what it means.
Here are some tips and ideas if you see smoke.

Blue/Gray Smoke:
Blue/gray exhaust smoke is an indication of oil burning in the combustion chamber.
These are possible symptoms and causes:

Valve Seals: Leaking valve seals will cause blue/gray exhaust smoke.

Valve Guides: Excessive clearance between the valve stem and the valve guide allows oil to leak past the gap into the cylinder.

Piston Rings: Worn or damaged piston rings will cause blow-by, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

Worn Cylinder Walls: Worn cylinder walls cause blow-by, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

PCV System: A stuck closed PCV valve causes excessive crankcase pressure, resulting in blue/gray smoke.
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.

Black Smoke:
It’s as dangerous as it looks.Black exhaust smoke is an indication of a rich fuel condition.
These are possible causes:

Fuel Injectors: A leaking or dripping fuel injector will cause a rich fuel condition.

Fuel Pressure Regulator: A stuck closed fuel pressure regulator will cause a rich fuel condition.

Fuel Return: A restricted fuel return line will cause a rich fuel condition.

White/Gray Smoke: White exhaust smoke is an indication that coolant is burning in the combustion chamber. These are possible causes:

Cylinder Head: A crack in the cylinder head (around the coolant jacket) will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

Engine Block: A crack in the deck of an engine block near the coolant jacket will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

Head Gasket: A damaged or blown head gasket will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber resulting in white/gray smoke coming from the tailpipe.
If you happen to see a White/Gray Smoke,take your car to the mechanic as soon as possible as the leaking coolant can lead to overheating which could cause damage to your engine.

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.

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