What Does the Color of My Exhaust Fumes Mean?

Not all exhaust fumes are bad. If you notice thin wispy smoke coming out of your tailpipe after starting your car, you shouldn’t worry about it. However, thick clouds of exhaust smoke can also mean that your vehicle’s internal systems are a cause for concern.

Exhaust smoke can be of different colors, white, black, and even blue. Depending on what color fumes you see, it can give you insight into what kind of problem you have on your hands.

What Does the Color of My Exhaust Fumes Mean?

White Smoke

Thick, white exhaust fumes mean that your vehicle is leaking coolant, usually caused by a blown head gasket or cylinder head. If coolant escapes your engine, it can put your vehicle at risk of a breakdown. Your engine can overheat and cause irreparable damage.

Black Smoke

If you see black smoke coming out of your vehicle, it is a tell-tale sign that your car is burning too much fuel. In most cases, it will smell strongly like gasoline. It means your engine is burning raw fuel. There can be many potential culprits, including bad fuel injectors, old filters, faulty  sensors, or other fuel system-related failures. 

Blue/Grey Exhaust Smoke

If you see blue-ish gray smoke from the tailpipe of your vehicle, it is likely that your motor oil is leaking and getting burned. This can be caused by old valves, piston rings, or gaskets.

What to Do If You Detect These Exhaust Fumes

If your car is releasing an excessive amount of exhaust smoke, please drive yourself to the closest auto repair shop. If it isn’t safe for you to do, feel free to call for roadside assistance. 

For all your automotive needs, please call or visit the local experts at Loyola Marina Auto Care.

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