Smoke originating from your car exhaust is a worrying sign because it could indicate multiple problems with your vehicle, especially when you consider the smoke colour. This guide aims to decipher the mystery of different smoke colours originating from your car exhaust. You will need to visit a car service mechanic immediately to ensure that the problem is contained.
Blue smoke emanating from your exhaust suggests that your engine is burning oil because it has likely leaked into the combustion chamber. Blue smoke typically arises when there is a defect in the valve stem seals or the piston rings. When these components wear out, oil tends to enter the engine's combustion chamber and triggers blue smoke. Burning oil may lead to contamination of the catalytic converter and oxygen sensor. A certified car service will need to check this problem to prevent it from damaging other parts of your engine.
In some instances, thin white smoke could simply mean condensation, which is hardly dangerous. But when the smoke starts to look thick, then it gets more dangerous because this could potentially be the result of burning coolant or transmission fluid. Coolant burns in the combustion chamber either because of a blustered head gasket, a dented cylinder head or a fractured engine block. Burning coolant will eventually also trigger engine overheating and other major car damage if left unchecked.
Black smoke from your car exhaust infers that you may have clogged air filters or a dirty fuel injection system. Black smoke is commonly seen in diesel engines, but it may also occur in petrol cars. Black smoke is caused when there isn't enough air to burn fuel or when your fuel sensors and pressure regulators are faulty. Black smoke may also indicate that your fuel is burnt unnecessarily, which reduces fuel efficiency. A car service will need to diagnose the exact source before offering a viable solution.
Grey smoke indicates that oil may be burning because of a damaged turbocharger. Grey smoke also originates because your auto transmission liquid burns inside the engine. Damaged transmission vacuum modulators may also trigger grey smoke from your car exhaust. As a layperson, it will be hard for you to identify the exact cause of grey smoke in your engine, so head to a car service immediately to avoid catastrophic trouble later.
Apart from thin white smoke, which is relatively normal, all other colours indicate that something is wrong with your engine. Head to a qualified car service mechanic immediately to handle smaller problems before they turn into major expenses.