Avoid neglecting your car’s smoking engine and facing a total loss and no transportation. There are many reasons why your engine is smoking, each of which will require your immediate attention.
autobahn-performance.com gathered information about why an engine may start to smoke, what the color of the smoke may indicate, and why it is urgent to have your car fixed as quickly as possible.
My Car Is Smoking
There are several reasons that your car’s engine is smoking. It is a common assumption that an engine starts smoking because it is overheating. If your car is overheating, the smoke may be caused by any or a combination of the following:
• Melting wire casings
• Shorts caused by bare wires in contact with each other
• Superheated built-up residues on the engine block
• Overheated oil, transmission fluid, or brake fluid
An overheating engine is a sign that the coolant system has failed. Other reasons may be that your engine or transmission is not lubricated or functioning properly, or that the belts or timing chain is not working in tandem.
If your engine is overheating under any operating condition, or the temperature light illuminates on the indicator panel, get the vehicle to a trusted mechanic as quickly as possible.
Watch this video to see five common reasons that cause engines to overheat.
There Is White Smoke Coming from My Engine
White smoke coming from your engine is a sign that you have a coolant leak. A coolant leak is frequently accompanied by an overheating engine and may be caused by the following:
• Defective, worn out, or damaged coolant/radiator hoses
• Cracked cylinder block or head
• Leaking head gasket
• Coolant leaking into the combustion chamber
When you see white smoke coming from your engine or exhaust, catastrophic engine failure is not far behind. Even if the engine is not overheating, any of the problems cited above can cause irreparable damages to your vehicle.
There Is Black Smoke Coming from My Engine
Black smoke coming from your engine or exhaust is a typical sign that too much fuel is being burned. Fuel consumption problems are relatively easy to handle when they are addressed promptly and may occur due to any of the following malfunctions:
• Faulty or leaking fuel injector
• Damaged fuel pressure regulator
• Dysfunctional carburetor
• Blocked manifold
• Ignition timing is off
A trusted mechanic must check your vehicle. Black smoke may also be caused by something as simple as a clogged air filter or other intake components.
NOTE: Operating a vehicle with malfunctions that allow fuel to escape onto or near the engine can result in the combustion of that fuel and total loss of the vehicle by fire.
There Is Blue Smoke Coming from My Engine
Blue smoke coming from your engine exhaust is a clear and unmistakable sign that your engine is burning oil. Blue or dark grey smoke occurs as oil leaks into the combustion chamber and is burned up with the fuel (known as blow-by). These leaks can be caused by:
• Piston wear
• Worn piston rings
• Worn valve seals
• A malfunctioning PCV valve
• Worn engine oil seals
• Intake or exhaust manifold gasket leaks
• Head gasket failure
Oil leaking into the combustion chamber can cause the vehicle to have a rough or shaky idle, misfire, or foul the spark plugs. As the situation worsens, so will the strain on your engine, ultimately leading to power loss, intense shaking, and eventual engine failure.
Read this for more information on shaking and loss of engine power autobahn-performance.com/audi-vw/why-is-my-car-shaking-engine-losing-power/
NOTE: The PCV valve routes air and fuel exiting the crankcase back to the intake manifold and the cylinders, stopping them from escaping into the atmosphere. When the PCV system on a vehicle fails, oil leaks and sludge buildup can occur.
Watch this video to see the different types of smoke your vehicle can produce.
Why Is My Car Smoking
In this article, you discovered potential reasons why a car may smoke, what the color of that smoke indicates, and the consequences for not taking immediate action to have the vehicle repaired.
When a car engine smokes, there is already damage to some components of the engine. Before blaming the smoking on an overheating engine, keep in mind that (if your car is overheating) the cause of the overheating may be causing the smoke as well.
Having your car diagnosed and repaired as quickly as possible will keep the problem from worsening, saving you valuable time and even more costly repairs. Smoking vehicles may be subject to being stopped by law enforcement, the vehicle operator fined, and can also have the vehicle impounded in states with strict emissions standards.