Why Is Smoke Coming From My Exhaust?

Customers often come into Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane wondering why their car is sounding or behaving strange.

One system – the exhaust – seems to cause more concern than any other. Our experts are sometimes faced with the question, “Why is smoke coming from my exhaust?”

Much like your doctor can determine your health based on your output, our ASE-certified technicians can understand the health of your car based on the color of your exhaust smoke.

So, why is there smoke coming from your car? And what does the color of your exhaust smoke mean? Our professionals answer these questions, regularly heard at our car shop in Austin.

What causes black exhaust smoke?

Black exhaust smoke typically means one thing, and it can be an expensive issue until fixed. If your exhaust smoke is black, the engine is burning too much fuel.

There could be several reasons for this, including:

  • A clogged air filter
  • Clogged fuel injectors
  • Damaged fuel-pressure regulator
  • Clogged fuel return line

If your vehicle is burning too much gas, it’s wasting fuel and costing you money. Schedule a visit with Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane for a solution today.

Should my exhaust smoke be white?

Thin, white exhaust smoke, like water vapor, could be nothing to worry about. Often, condensation will build up inside of your car’s exhaust system and the heat heading through the pipes will create steam.

If your exhaust smoke is thick and white, you may have a problem. If your engine is burning coolant because of a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head or cracked engine block, you could be in trouble.

Thick white exhaust smoke indicates a coolant leak, which could cause overheating and put your engine at serious risk of damage. If this is the case, call our Austin auto repair shop for an inspection immediately.

Why is my exhaust smoke gray?

Gray exhaust smoke is similar to white smoke in that it can be difficult to diagnose directly. There are several possible reasons your car is sending gray smoke out of the exhaust system.

These reasons include:

  • An issue with the automatic transmission fluid
  • A stuck PCV valve
  • A faulty transmission vacuum modulator
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • A bad turbocharger

While these issues could be minor and inexpensive to fix, it’s important to call our shop in Austin for help if your car is releasing gray exhaust smoke.

What does blue exhaust smoke mean?

One reason your car has blue smoke coming from the exhaust could be your engine burning oil. If the valve guide seals or piston rings are worn out, oil will leak into the combustion chamber, where it will burn with the fuel.

When blue smoke is seen coming from the exhaust system, check your oil and continue to monitor your car’s consumption. If the damage is extensive, the problem could be complex and expensive to repair. However, a minimal leak could be handled by managing the oil and topping it off regularly.

The only other possible explanation, if your car is turbocharged, is that the blower needs to be rebuilt or replaced. Either way, blue exhaust smoke always requires immediate attention. If your car is releasing blue smoke, call for an appointment today.

Schedule exhaust system service with our Austin auto shop

If you ever see smoke coming from your car’s exhaust, it’s time to pay attention. Exhaust fumes are a clear signal that your car is not operating correctly. Ensure your car is running as it should by calling to schedule an exhaust system inspection at Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane in Austin, Texas today.