What Causes Smoke to Come Out of the Exhaust?

Smoke is usually a major red flag. There’s an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Here are some of the common issues that can cause smoke to come from your exhaust.


Blue Exhaust Smoke

Blue smoke coming from the exhaust typically indicates burning oil. There’s a good chance motor oil has started to leak into the engine’s combustion chamber. The valve guide’s seals or piston rings may have worn out. You can continue to drive your vehicle until the necessary repairs are made. However, schedule an appointment with an Asheville mechanic as soon as possible.

There are quite a few issues that can stem from oil leaking into the combustion chamber. For starters, the vehicle’s rate of oil consumption will increase. This means you’ll need to check the oil level more often. The last thing you want is for the engine to seize up due to a lack of oil.

When dealing with an oil leak, other parts can become damaged. Once the spark plugs become contaminated, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to corrode. You should also be concerned about the exhaust system’s catalytic converter being damaged, which can be an expensive part to replace.

Although stop-leak products are available at your local auto parts store, stay far away from them. Not only are these additives ineffective, but they can also cause long-term damage to the engine. The only legitimate solution is to have your vehicle professionally repaired by a mechanic.


Black Exhaust Smoke

Black smoke coming from your exhaust should be just as concerning. It usually indicates that the engine is having trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio. Just a few of the potential culprits include a stuck EGR valve, a worn oxygen sensor, a clogged fuel injector, and a bad fuel pressure regulator.

Don’t wait to have the vehicle inspected by an auto repair shop. When the air-fuel ratio is incorrect, your gas mileage can decrease dramatically. Of course, performance is also likely to take a big hit. Don’t be surprised if your car feels sluggish when accelerating.


White Exhaust Smoke

Upon starting your vehicle on a cool morning, it’s perfectly normal to notice wispy smoke coming from the exhaust. It’s simply a result of condensation being vented while the engine is running. If you notice thicker white smoke along with the sweet smell of coolant, you could be dealing with a serious issue.

A blown head gasket can certainly cause heavy white smoke to be produced. While a lot of smoke may not be present while the vehicle is idling, it will be more obvious when you begin to accelerate. This is an issue that requires immediate attention. Continuing to drive with a blown head gasket makes engine damage more likely to occur.

Replacing a cracked head gasket is a big repair. The best approach is to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place. It’s especially important to keep the engine running at an ideal temperature. When overheating occurs, the increased thermal pressure naturally puts more strain on the head gasket.

Contact Cox Auto Service

Cox Auto Service is located in Asheville, NC, and covers the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own.

We are an ASE-certified auto repair shop specializing in both minor and major repairs and services. Our wide range of services includes check engine light diagnosis, engine and transmission rebuilds, emissions repairs, NC State Inspections, oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups and much more! Our experienced technicians offer quality and reliable auto care services that you can count on. Rely on our certified technicians to get you back on the road in no time.

Cox Auto Service