You’re driving along and you see a ton of exhaust behind you. Boy! The driver next to you really needs to take his car in for service. Wait a minute! It’s you! Your car is spewing out a ton of exhaust from the tailpipe. What does this mean? We here at Auto Fix don’t really want to say this but, unfortunately, excess engine exhaust usually means you’ve got serious engine trouble brewing underneath the hood. Rarely, is it a sign of something minor. Here’s why you’re seeing a ton of smoke behind your car.
Black Engine Exhaust
When fuel burns, it releases black smoke. This is why the smoke is black during a car fire. If your automobile is releasing a ton of black exhaust, you’ve got fuel burning somewhere in the engine or through the exhaust system. Here’s the scary part: If the fuel is burning in the exhaust system, you might also see flames shooting out of the tailpipe. Cool in the movies; not in real life. Pull over immediately at the first sign of excess black exhaust or smoke. Your automobile could be on fire. Yes, we’re serious!
Blue Engine Exhaust
Blue or gray or grayish-blue smoke means you’ve got oil burning and this, too, is catastrophic. Usually, a vehicle has to be really old before it will burn oil. The reason why is that oil is enclosed tightly in the engine and as it circulates through it. If your vehicle is releasing blue engine exhaust, it leaking out of broken valve seals or worn piston rings. In other words, you’ve got piston and valve problems that are causing the oil leak. You are also driving without oil if enough out is leaking to cause the excess exhaust.
White Engine Exhaust
White engine exhaust is caused by burning coolant. The most common reason why your engine burns coolant is a blown head gasket. This is a serious auto repair that will not only spew the pressurized coolant out the gasket all over the engine but will also overheat your engine as the coolant drains out of the cooling system. Once the engine gets too hot, you run the risk of even more engine damage, including a cracked exhaust manifold and engine block. Don’t drive your car when it’s overheating.
Have your vehicle towed to Auto Fix in Franklin, TN, if you see excess engine exhaust. Don’t drive it and risk additional damage. We will find the source of the exhaust problem and fix it for you.