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Troubleshoot Car Exhaust Smoke

Different smoke comes out from the tail pipe. However you can tell if there is a problem with your car by noticing what smoke comes out the exhaust. There are three common variations of color of the exhaust smoke those are white, blue or black exhaust smoke, these color can tell whether there is a problem with the car.

White Smoke from Exhaust

White smoke does not often tell that the car is in good condition sometimes white smoke is an indication that there is something wrong with the car depending on when the smoke was detected.

When the white smoke is notice just before the engine has warmed up or during driving a few miles on a cold morning then it is normal. During the night while the car sat on the garage a condensation is formed and will come out the tail pipe when the engine is started and begun to disappear while the engine is getting warm. However, when the white smoke is notice even when the engine is warm or even hot, then there is something wrong with the engine.

Noticing white smoke from the tail pipe at any engine temperature is an indication of a damage head gasket. Head gasket is the one that keep the water jacket from entering the engine cylinder, if the head gasket is damage a small amount of water may enter the engine cylinder this water can become steam and will come out the exhaust as white smoke.

Blue Smoke from Exhaust

When a car is blowing blue smoke it always indicates burned oil from the engine. However there are various reasons why the engine burned oil. The following are the main reason:

First, when the blue smoke is accompanied by a loss of power especially while driving uphill the problem is bad ring.

When the blue smoke is noticeable while you accelerate, then this indicates a bad valve stem seals.

When the blue smoke is noticeable on the car with turbo charger, the possibility is that the turbo charger seal is leaking. Sometimes, turbo charger seals leak and this can cause the oil to get into the exhaust system which is hot and then it gets burned. The burned oil will create smoke and funneled through exhaust pipe and comes out the tailpipe.

Black Smoke from Exhaust


Black smoke that comes out the tail pipe indicates that there is too much gas that is being burned from the engine usually this happens when the air/fuel ratio is rich. Several reasons are also causing why there is too much gas burned on the system, and those reasons are:

Clogged air filter, when the air filter is clogged, the air that gets into the engine combustion chamber is restricted thereby causing an insufficient amount of air and too much fuel inside the chamber.

Another reason why a black smoke comes out the tail pipe has something to do with a fuel injection sensor. The fuel injection sensor is the one that feed data to calculate how much fuel must be injected into every cylinder, if the sensor goes bad a wrong data will be send into the system thus making the air fuel ratio to be out of standard thus black smoke will comes out the tail pipe. Usually those sensors are the throttle position sensor, mass air flow sensor and engine coolant temperature senor.

Finding what type of smoke that comes out the tailpipe of a car can determined if there is something wrong with the car, if you know to troubleshoot smoke that comes out the car then you can identify what causes the car problem which can lead you to a correct and efficient repair of the problem.