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What Does Colored Exhaust Smoke Indicate?

Identifying car problems based on symptoms is a great skillset to have. One of the easiest signs to identify is colored exhaust smoke. You can diagnose many common car problems depending on the smoke color.

Black Smoke

If your car is emitting black smoke, this is a sign that the air-fuel mixture in your engine is running rich. Gas engines are designed to run on balanced amounts of air and gas, and improper amounts can cause problems. Your car runs rich when there is more gas than air.

Your car can run rich for many reasons, including a dirty or clogged air filter or leaking injectors. It's also worth checking if your ignition timing is proper, and to see if your sensors and fuel pressure switches are working.

Blue Smoke

If your car is emitting blue or grey smoke, this means that your car is burning oil. Having well oiled parts is important for your engine to function, but there's no circumstance in which oil should be burning in the combustion chamber.

Oil can leak into the combustion chamber as a result of excessive clearance around valve guides, 'blow-by' from worn cylinder walls or piston rings, or leaking valve seals.

White Smoke

If your car is emitting opaque white smoke, this means that coolant is burning in the combustion chamber. This issue should be addressed immediately. At best, your car has a blown head gasket, but there may be damage to the engine block or cylinder head.

If you see thick white smoke from your tailpipe while driving, you should immediately stop and contact an auto repair technician.

Making a diagnosis based on your car's exhaust smoke color is a great way to start addressing an issue, but solving many car problems still involves the assistance of a skilled mechanic. We can help! Bring your car to Hyland Auto Repair today, and we'll have you safely back on the road in no time.

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