Automotive News

Exhaust Smoke Color Guide

When you’re done reading this post, scroll down a few entries and read our post about exhaust system problems. In this post, let’s talk about excessive exhaust and how its color can tell you what’s wrong. We here at Lucas Auto Care are going to warn you right now that excessive exhaust is never a sign of anything good. Still, we can fix the problem most likely or recommend the best course of action you should take if we can’t fix it. Here is an exhaust smoke color guide for your European automobile.

Little to No Exhaust (Clear Exhaust)

If you see little to no exhaust coming out of your tailpipe, your vehicle is running as it should be. Clear exhaust is normal, unless it smells. You’ll see white puffs of exhaust in the winter when the weather is cold. You will also see condensation coming from your vehicle’s tailpipe. If you cannot see your vehicle’s exhaust, however, it’s clear and things should be a-okay with your exhaust system and engine.

Black Exhaust

Diesel engines release a little black exhaust but little is the operative word. Whether you drive a diesel or gasoline automobile, you should never see a ton of black exhaust. Black exhaust means your vehicle’s engine is burning excess gasoline. This could be because the fuel pump is pushing too much into the engine or the carburetor is mixing too much with air. It could also be something more serious.

Blue Exhaust

Blue exhaust means you have an oil problem. Oil is leaking somewhere in your automobile’s engine and the heat from the engine is burning it. With blue and black exhaust both, it’s wise to drive straight to an automotive service shop if you can do so safely. If you do have a serious oil leak, driving your vehicle will only damage it further. If the engine is burning gas, the excess fuel could ignite, and you don’t want that.

White Exhaust

White exhaust signals a cracked head gasket and, honestly, you don’t want to know what it will cost to repair this. When the head gasket cracks, it spews engine coolant onto the engine. White exhaust forms as the engine burns the coolant. Because coolant is spraying out of the head gasket, your engine will overheat and you will get some sort of dashboard warning, a rising temperature gauge at a minimum.

Call Lucas Auto Care if you have excess exhaust coming out of your tailpipe. We’ll talk options with you and set up an appointment for you to come into our Cypress, TX, shop.

Photo by Esther Kelleto from Getty Images Pro