The Color of Your Vehicle’s Exhaust: What Does It Mean?

If you’re driving along and happen to notice that your vehicle’s emissions are smoky, this could be a bad sign regarding the wellbeing of your car, however it doesn’t always mean something bad is happening.

This is why it’s very important that you understand the types of smoke that can come out of your vehicle, and what exactly they indicate for your engine.

Check out the Types of Emission Smoke and What They Mean

Black Exhaust Smoke

If your car or truck is burning more fuel than it should be normally, your emissions will most likely have a black color. With the primary problem being that too much fuel is being burned, causing a rich combustion environment, there’s a number of underlying problems that could cause this to happen. An obstruction to the intake manifold, air intake filter, and faulty fuel injectors are the most common reasons a gas engine would have black emissions.

Grey Exhaust Smoke

Grey smoke coming from your car or truck’s exhaust is most likely a bad sign. To avoid major engine damage, you should pull over beside the road immediately and turn on your hazards as this could indicate a multitude of problems within your vehicle’s engine. A cracked engine block, leaking head gasket, or any type of crack that could cause the engine coolant to leak into the combustion chamber causing grey smoke to come from the exhaust.

If you believe your vehicle’s engine may have any of these problems indicated by grey smoke, you should contact a towing company in your local area to tow your vehicle to the nearest mechanic or auto shop. We’ve heard great things about Las Cruces Towing Company from the people in New Mexico, they focus primarily on towing Las Cruces people’s vehicles locally, however you can use any towing company that you prefer. The area that you reside would also be a factor regarding which towing service provider you should decide on working with in the transportation of your vehicle.

Blue Exhaust Smoke

Blue smoke is not to be confused with black smoke. If your engine’s emissions have a blue color or tint, then that would indicate that you have an oil leak internally (most likely). In a case like this, your vehicle isn’t in any critical state of emergency, but you should definitely contact your local mechanic to perform a more in depth analysis.

Since you most likely have an oil leak indicated by the blue smoke, you should pay extra close attention to your engine’s oil levels at all times. This will help lessen the risks of major engine damage or potential failure, and lengthen the life of your car or trucks motor overall.

White Exhaust Smoke

Lastly, we’re going to be addressing white smoke and what it could indicate within your engine. If your vehicle’s motor has white emissions exiting the exhaust pipe, then it’s most lilley not of major concern. This usually happens on a cold engine start, and because of the drastic change in overall temperature, a vapor is created. This can give your vehicle’s exhaust a white smokey color. This should be a rather temporary occurrence.

If the symptoms are persistent, then this could actually mean something is wrong with your vehicle engine. In a case like this, we would recommend contacting a towing company to have your car towed to an automotive mechanic of your preference.

Conclusion: How You Can Prevent Engine Oil Blow-By

The technical term for a few of the problems that we’ve addressed is actually called engine blow-by. This is when your vehicle engine leaks air/fuel mixture from the combustion chamber, into the crankcase. Some indicators of engine blow-by are cloudy or smoky exhaust emissions or even noisy sputtering sounds coming from the engine.

You can prevent engine blow-by follow the car or truck manufacturer instructions in the owner’s manual that was provided with your vehicle at the time of purchase. Usually this would mean that you should change the oil and coolant on a consistent basis for a set of allotted mileage, this is a recurring type of maintenance that can be done by you, a shop that offers affordable oil changes, or even the dealer if you have automotive warranty.

If you’ve done everything that you could to prevent your motor from having severe blow-by, but eventually time caught up with your car’s engine, then there’s no need to stress over the situation. You will most likely have to get the engine fixed, however you can do this yourself (aka DIY) if you prefer to work on your own vehicle. We only advise a solution like this if you’ve acquired a medium level of experience beforehand.