Why Is My Car Spewing Black Exhaust Smoke?

If everything is running a-okay, your vehicle’s exhaust should be invisible. If your car, truck, or utility vehicle is spewing a ton of black exhaust smoke, your engine is burning fuel somewhere and this can become a very dangerous situation quickly. Stringer Auto Repair advises that exhaust smoke is a sign of your engine’s health. Let’s talk more about vehicle exhaust, what you should see, and what you shouldn’t see.

Vehicle Exhaust 101

As you may already know, your automobile’s engine is a combustion engine that burns air and fuel to start and run. A natural byproduct of the combustion process is exhaust gases. These gases must be drawn out of the combustion chamber to make room for more air and fuel, which is why they are drawn through the exhaust system and pushed out the tailpipe.

As we said above, you really shouldn’t see your vehicle’s exhaust even if you drive a diesel engine. You may see little puffs here and there, and you may see steam on a cold morning or evening, but most vehicle exhaust is invisible to the naked eye. If you see your automobile’s exhaust, this is a sign that you have a problem in the engine and the color of the exhaust can point to the problem more clearly.

Exhaust Colors

As previously mentioned, excess black exhaust means that your engine is burning too much fuel. In severe cases of this condition, you might even see sparks or flames coming out of your tailpipe. While this may look cool in the movies or at a monster truck show, it’s actually quite dangerous and you need to pull over immediately and cut the engine.

There are two other primary exhaust colors that can indicate a problem with your automobile. The first one is blue exhaust. If your engine is releasing blue exhaust, you likely have a breach in your engine block that is causing the motor oil to mix with the air and fuel in the cylinders. This is a serious problem that needs to be fixed right away, and, we won’t lie, it can be expensive to repair.

White exhaust means that your engine is burning coolant. This can happen if you have blown the head gasket and coolant is being released through the breach. Depending on how much coolant is spraying into the engine, you may also see white smoke coming out from underneath the hood. Again, it’s important to pull over right away and cut the engine.

In fact, you should pull over anytime you see excess exhaust no matter the color. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Give us a call here at Stringer Auto Repair. We are the best auto repair shop in Johnstown, OH.

Photo by Justin Smith from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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