Mooresville Auto Repair

What Does the Color of My Exhaust Smoke Mean?

Your vehicle's exhaust smoke characteristics may be a huge indicator of what is going on in your emissions system. Most of the time, you should not see your vehicle's emissions at all. Maybe, you'll catch the condensation on a cold morning, but that's truly it. If you start seeing white, blue, or black/dark gray smoke coming out of your tailpipe, then it means there's something wrong. You should look at it closely for its color and communicate it with your mechanic when you bring your car in for an inspection.

What Does Dark or Black Smoke Mean?

If you see dark puffs coming out the tailpipe, it most likely means that your engine is burning excess fuel. Ignoring this problem for too long can even lead to a fire. It would be wise to pull over immediately, especially if there is smoke coming out from the front end of the car. Then, you should call for roadside assistance.

What Does Blue Exhaust Smoke Mean?

If your exhaust smoke almost looks blue, you should immediately stop driving the vehicle right away. More often than not, blue exhaust smoke is a sign that you have an oil leak. In other words, the motor oil is being burned with the air and fuel sitting in the combustion chamber. Without sufficient oil, your engine is very likely to overheat and undergo a lot of damage. 

What Does White Exhaust Smoke Mean?

Bright white exhaust smoke indicates that your engine has a coolant leak, and the coolant fluid is being burned along with the fuel and air. A cracked head gasket can also be the cause of the problem. In this instance, the best thing you can do is pull over, wait for your car to cool down, and check your coolant. If something looks off, take your vehicle to the auto repair shop.


If you're seeing unusual exhaust smoke or odd signs from your exhaust system, please take your car to the certified technicians at STR Automotive.

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