Why a Car Engine Blows Smoke

When your motor vehicle suddenly blows smoke there is NO need to panic. Why? Because as bad as it may seem it may not necessarily indicate that there is any real significant problem with you vehicle. Here is why a car will blow excessive exhaust smoke.

Smoke from your car engine usually occurs because it may be worn. There is a possibility for a worn engine to blow smoke because oil leaks into the cylinders and around worn valve guides. Or, it could be because of worn oil rings and/or both. Where there is white smoke coming from your car tailpipe it is usually associated with oil burning. This is totally different from fuel burning which produces black smoke.

In some cases it could be caused by internal engine damage. An experienced mechanic can always run a compression test on the vehicle cylinders and find out if it is only one cylinder that is damaged. It is also a good idea to also run a complete cooling system pressure test. Watch for these colors of smoke that could billow out from your car tailpipe:

Watch for these colors of smoke

* Black exhaust smoke.

* Grey exhaust smoke.

* White exhaust smoke.

Sometimes white smoke can be caused by your vehicle coolant finding its way inside the engine combustion chamber. If this is the case, then you can rule out any chance of a blown head gasket.

Head gaskets are cheaper to fix

However, a blown head gasket is much cheaper to repair than overhauling the entire automobile engine. So, if your vehicle engine compression is excellent, then you are probably just looking at a blown head gasket. To reduce costs it is best to remove the cylinder head yourself, and take it to a local automotive machine shop for them to do a valve job on the head before you go ahead and replace the head gasket. This basically "overhauls" the complete top half of your car engine.

Black smoke is a rich fuel problem

However, if a shop mechanic believes there is damage to the lower part of your vehicle engine (i.e. to the crankshaft, main bearings or the piston and the rings) then it is probably is going to be more cost effective to actually replace the whole engine instead of pouring lots of money into trying to overhaul it. When you start your car after the engine has been at rest for hours you drag white smoke, and the problem could be worn valve guides.

Worn engine valve guides

Here is what happens... when the motor car is at rest; oil that lies on the cylinder leads leaks into the engine cylinders.

Since the engine is at rest, the oil sufficiently gathers and causes momentarily smoke as soon as the engine is again started. There is NO need to get worried over this because as long as the smoking engine does not affect your cars spark plugs there is a good chance you will still pass emission tests.

The only downside is you probably can not use your car safety reasons and to avoid getting a fine for excessive smoke coming from your car. Under these circumstances, it is probably best to take your automobile to a reputable mechanic to fix the problem.

Check your muffler system

Sometimes, the problem may be caused by other parts like the cars muffler. If this is the case you may only need to replace your muffler which is relatively inexpensive. It is a good idea to always get a professional opinion when it comes to checking out your automobile exhaust system. Why? Because there are many components which make up the entire exhaust system and while some are relatively inexpensive a few of the parts can cost you big dollars. Shop around for the very best price and check online for comparison costs. Remember that it all depends on the make and model of your vehicle as to the actual cost and availability of the proper part(s) for your exhaust system. You can find helpful advice on why a car sometimes stalls.