How To Tell What's Wrong With Your Vehicle From The Exhaust System

Does it look like the exhaust coming out of your vehicle has changed and now you are a bit concerned? If so, it helps to know more about the type of smoke your car can make and if it should be a concern.

Black Exhaust

Does the smoke coming out of the exhaust seem a bit darker than usual? Exhaust smoke can become darker when there are rich fuel conditions in the engine. The engine can only combust so much fuel at a time, and having too much unburned fuel in the engine can cause it to be pushed out through the exhaust system. 

There are multiple reasons why this could be happening with your vehicle. Your fuel injector could be leaking, the fuel return pipe could be blocked, or you can even have an airflow or oxygen sensor that is broken. 

Blue Exhaust

If the exhaust smoke looks a bit blue in color, this means that oil is getting into the mixture of air and fuel during the combustion process. A common reason why this could be happening is due to normal wear and tear to the engine's valves, pistons, and cylinders. You can also have seals within the engine that have failed and are causing the oil to leak into places where it should not be going.

Oil can also be getting into the engine from other parts. If you have a turbo charger that has failed, it can cause oil to get pushed into the engine and cause the blue tinted smoke to come out of the exhaust. 

White Exhaust

Having white exhaust is typically not smoke at all, but steam that you are seeing in the air. It's not usually something bad and is nothing to worry about, since it is just vapor caused by combustion. However, if the car has been running for a while and the outside temperature is warm, then white exhaust should be a bigger concern.

A common reason for white exhaust is a head gasket failure, which is designed to keep the coolant and oil systems apart from each other. The gasket being damaged can cause liquids to go into parts of the engine where those liquids should not go, which can produce the white looking exhaust. If the engine tries to combust water, it can create some major engine damage and will cause steam to come out of the exhaust system as a result. Contact your local auto repair shop for exhaust system repair.