Catching a glimpse of smoke out of your rearview mirror is never a fun sight. Luckily, not all exhaust smoke is a signal of problems under the hood. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons our exhaust generates smoke, and when it’s time to do something about it!

White Smoke

Of all the various colors of smoke that could be emitted from our cars, white is the least likely to actually be problematic – especially when the weather is colder! In fact, it’s likely that this isn’t smoke at all, but rather steam. Do you notice white smoke shortly after starting your vehicle? This vapor is simply a product of combustion, and you have nothing to worry about.

Okay, but what if the white smoke persists after your car warms up and the ambient temperature is normal? That’s when you can start suspecting something is going wrong. Most likely, you are dealing with a head gasket failure or a cracked cylinder head which is causing coolant to enter your engine’s cylinders. The byproduct? LOTS of white smoke/ steam. If you notice this, be sure to pull over as soon as possible to avoid catastrophic damage.

Black Smoke

If you see black smoke coming out of your exhaust, it’s important to schedule a maintenance appointment to get it check out. Most likely, your vehicle is burning fuel excessively because of a leaking fuel injector, blocked fuel return pipe, or a broken oxygen/ airflow sensor. A dirty air filter can also keep clean air from making it through to the engine’s combustion chamber. Regardless of what is triggering black smoke to be emitted, you can expect suboptimal gas mileage to persist until the issue is resolved.

Blue Smoke

Blue smoke is usually a sign of oil related complications. More specifically, it means that for one reason or another, oil has entered your gas combustion cycle. This is certainly an issue, and one that ranges greatly in severity. It’s entirely possible that too much oil was put in during an oil change, meaning the issue can be resolved by draining the excess. However, if the smoke is being caused by oil mixing with your gas in the combustion chamber, then the issue is more serious and requires immediate attention to prevent the need for a complete engine replacement.

Is Smoke Coming from Your Car’s Exhaust? Service it with Churchill Auto Care

If your vehicle needs maintenance, give us a call! We offer excellent service at a fair price for all of your automotive maintenance and repair needs. To schedule an appointment, please visit our site, give us a call at (301) 620-7620 or text us at (301)-804-6035!

Churchill Auto Care