Car Smoke: Different Smoke Colors Mean Different Things

August 31st, 2018 by

Pipe exhaust with a smoking car

Smoke coming out of your exhaust is normal, but sometimes the color or thickness of the smoke can indicate a problem. If you notice your exhaust smoke is abnormal, check out our guide to see what could be wrong and make sure to bring it to a mechanic to get it fixed if the problem is serious.

What Should Your Smoke Look Like?

First, let’s establish a baseline. Smoke coming out of your exhaust isn’t something to be worried about most of the time. If you have very thin, white smoke coming out of your exhaust, you have a normal car.

What you’re seeing here is water vapor and it’s especially noticeable on cold days. If the color of your smoke isn’t white and if the thickness is anything more than thin, that’s when there might be cause for concern.

Thick White Smoke

If the smoke coming out of your exhaust is white or gray and persistently thick, you may have a bad gasket. This is the most common reason you’d have this kind of smoke, but it could also mean your engine is overheating or you have something wrong with your engine block. These issues could lead to even bigger problems down the line, so if your smoke looks like this make sure to go to your mechanic as soon as possible.

Blue Smoke

Blue smoke isn’t a good sign, it means oil is burning in the engine due to a leak. You definitely don’t want this to happen because your engine needs oil to operate smoothly. If left unchecked, this could lead to serious engine damage. Make sure you bring your car to a mechanic as soon as you can, especially since you probably don’t know how long it’s been going on.

Black Smoke

Black smoke typically means your fuel isn’t burning properly. A clogged air filter is a common cause of black smoke, but it’s not the only issue that could be causing it. There are a variety of things that could be going wrong, so it’s best to bring it to a mechanic to narrow down the reasons and diagnose the problem. In the short term, inefficient fuel burning will drastically reduce your gas mileage and it will damage your engine in the long term.

Choose Thompson Sales

If you’re in need of parts or services, bring your vehicle to Thompson Sales. We have a dedicated service department to help get your vehicle performing its best. Time for a new vehicle? We can help with that too. We have plenty of new and used vehicles on our lot. Contact us today to schedule a service appointment, or come visit us to see what we have for sale!

Posted in Car Repair