What Does the Color of Your Exhaust Smoke Indicate?

You don't have to be a trained automotive expert to know when something is going wrong with your vehicle. With the simple use of your eyes and nose, you can infer that you may need to take a trip to a mechanic. When it comes to your exhaust system, a thick cloud of emissions is typically a bad sign. Under normal conditions, a light cloud is fine. However, if the smoke is thick and unusual in color, it can mean trouble. Bad exhaust smoke usually appears as black, white, or blue depending on the nature of the problem.

Black Smoke

Black smoke means that there's an imbalance of fuel and air burning in the engine. Some examples of issues that can cause excess black fumes include failing fuel injectors, a clogged air filter, or even a bad pump.

White Smoke

White smoke is a sign that your head gasket is leaking and trickling coolant into the combustion chamber of the engine. Other ways coolant can drip into the chamber is a cracked engine block and faulty cylinder head.

Blue Smoke

If you notice blue or gray smoke spewing from your exhaust pipe, it is evident that your car is burning motor oil. Worn piston rings or old cylinder walls can cause oil to escape into the combustion chamber. Aging valve seals can also let oil get into the engine.


If you catch any of these off-colored exhaust smoke coming out of your car, it is vital that you bring your car to Brazzeal Automotive for an inspection. Our professional team will have your car, SUV, or truck checked right away. Ignoring such issues can cause a rough running engine, lower your gas mileage, and present many road hazards. 


For reliable and quality exhaust system repairs, please call or visit Brazzeal Automotive soon.

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