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What Does the Color of Your Exhaust Smoke Indicate?

You don't have to be a mechanic with special tools and equipment to know when something may be going wrong with your car. You can use your senses of sight and smell to know when there may be an issue with your car. One way is check with your car's "lungs," or exhaust system. Under normal conditions, you can see white vapor come out of your car's exhaust pipe, but this vapor quickly disappears. What happens when it doesn't dissipate quickly, or the color of the smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe is a different color? What issues could the different types of smoke indicate?

Reading Your Car's Smoke Signals

Smoke from the exhaust system can indicate an internal issue with your vehicle, and the color of smoke can help you pinpoint what that issue is. Smoke usually appears as black, white or blue depending on the root cause.

Black Smoke

Black smoke can indicate the balance between fuel and air in your engine is off balance. Issues that can cause black smoke include leaking fuel injectors or a clogged air filter. Other things that could be wrong include a faulty switch, or your timing is off.

White Smoke

White smoke can be an indication that your head gasket is leaking allowing coolant to get into the combustion chamber of the engine. Another cause could be a damaged cylinder head or a cracked engine block.

Blue Smoke

If you notice blue or gray smoke from your exhaust, it's an indication your car is burning oil. Worn piston rings or cylinder walls can allow oil to leak into the combustion chamber. Leaking valve seals can also allow oil to get into engine parts it was not intended for.

If you notice any of these three colors coming from your exhaust, get your car checked right away. Issues such as these can lead to a rough running engine, poor gas mileage and larger problems down the road. If you need exhaust system repair, bring your vehicle to Pro Drive today!

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7110 S Padre Island Dr Corpus Christi, TX 78412 (361) 225-1001
7110 Saratoga Blvd Corpus Christi, TX 78414 (361) 452-7155
15013 Northwest Blvd Corpus Christi, TX 78410 (361) 933-0322