Is Your Tailpipe Exhaust Trying to Tell You Something?

You really shouldn’t see your tailpipe exhaust except on a cold day. If you do see a lot of exhaust coming out of your vehicle’s tailpipe, there’s something wrong. The color of the exhaust can help clue you in to the trouble, and Advanced Automotive can likely fix that trouble. Let’s talk about exhaust and what the different smoke colors mean. Armed with this knowledge, you can decide what to do next.

You Don’t See Exhaust

If you don’t see exhaust smoke coming out of your tailpipe you can breathe a sigh of relief and relax. Don’t be fooled, though. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean your vehicle isn’t releasing exhaust. It is. Usually, you’ll see it when it’s cold outside because the condensation coming out of the exhaust pipe turns into visible steam. Never assume there isn’t any exhaust, however, even if you don’t see smoke. This is dangerous and could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

You See Black Exhaust

Diesel engines release a little bit of black exhaust at times but you shouldn’t see the exhaust all the time and it shouldn’t be thick. If it is, your vehicle, whether diesel or gas-powered, is burning excess gasoline, which can be very dangerous if the fuel ignites. In severe cases, flames have been known to come out of the tailpipes in vehicles that are burning gasoline, so have the source of the black exhaust found and fixed right away. You don’t want to set your vehicle on fire.

You See Blue Exhaust

We’d love to say that blue exhaust isn’t a problem but it is. Black exhaust signals your automobile is burning gas; blue exhaust means your automobile is burning oil. As you know, oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and if it’s being burned by the engine it’s leaking from somewhere. Leaking oil means consistently low oil and this can damage your engine – seriously damage it. As with black exhaust, have the source of the blue exhaust found and fixed ASAP to avoid further damage.

You See White Exhaust

You’ve probably figured out by now that excess exhaust means trouble and white exhaust is no exception. In this case, if your vehicle is old and paid off, it might be time to think about buying a new one, because you have likely blown a head gasket. When the head gasket cracks, coolant sprays out of it and onto hot engine parts. This is what creates the white exhaust. You might also see white smoke coming out from underneath the hood and your car will overheat.

No visible exhaust? Good. Visible exhaust in any of the colors listed above? Bring your vehicle into Advanced Automotive in Stanwood, WA, for an inspection. Call us at 360-502-4606.

Photo by Hedgehog94 from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

Accessibility Toolbar