Even if you drive a diesel automobile, you should not see excess vehicle exhaust. You might see a puff here and there and steam when the weather’s cold, but exhaust pouring out of your tailpipe(s) is a bad sign. Even today’s diesel engines do not put out a ton of exhaust, especially with tighter emissions regulations. So, what does it mean if you see a lot of engine exhaust? Well, Accurate Auto explains below that it depends on the color of the exhaust. This said, generally, it means you’ve got serious car trouble.
Excess Exhaust That Is Charcoal or Black
Charcoal or black exhaust smoke is caused by gasoline. When you see a ton of it coming out of your vehicle’s tailpipe, your engine is burning fuel. If you just shuddered, you did so rightfully. This is not only dangerous, as it could mean that your engine is on fire, especially if you see smoke coming out from underneath the hood as well, but it is also an indication of a serious problem with your fuel system, engine combustion, or vacuum pressure. Pull over to safety and shut off your car, truck, or C/SUV.
Excess Exhaust That Looks Blue or Blue-Gray
If the exhaust pouring out of your tailpipe is blue or bluish-gray, you’ve got an oil problem that could lead to engine seizure. When oil burns, it releases blue smoke. If your vehicle’s engine is burning excess oil, enough to generate blue exhaust, you probably have worn piston rings or cracked valve seals. There could be even more serious trouble going on underneath the hood, and the more oil you burn the lower the oil level. If you keep driving with blue exhaust, you’ll destroy the cylinders, valves, and pistons.
Excess Exhaust That Is White and Steamy
Finally, white exhaust that looks like puffs of clouds or steam is produced by engine coolant. You might breathe a sigh of relief but don’t; you’ve probably just blown the head gasket. As the coolant sprays out of the head gasket all over your hot engine, white smoke or steam is produced. Some of the white smoke will come out of your tailpipe, but you’ll also likely see white smoke coming out from underneath your hood. Your automobile will also overheat immediately as the coolant escapes through the gasket.
The bottom line is have the cause of excess exhaust identified by automotive service professionals right away because, as you can see, it means something is seriously wrong. Accurate Auto has three auto service shops in Oregon. Set up an appointment with the one closest to you by clicking on the “Appointment Request” button at the top of the page.