Why Do I See a Ton of Exhaust in My Rearview Mirror?

If you see a ton of exhaust in your rearview mirror, Advanced Automotive advises that your tailpipe is releasing excess exhaust. Unfortunately, this is not a good sign. This means that there is a serious fluid leak in your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine. Consequently, if you continue to drive your automobile, you could seriously damage your engine. Let’s talk more about this below.


In the case of black exhaust, you can also open yourself up to the possibility of a fire if you keep driving your vehicle. This is because black exhaust is caused by burning fuel. Your engine is hemorrhaging fuel from somewhere if your tailpipe has turned into a smokestack that releases black exhaust. In severe cases, you may see signs of a fire in the exhaust such as flames. Don’t take chances with the combustible mix that is in your engine. Pull over and call for a tow to our shop.


Serious engine damage is the reason why you should pull over and call for a tow truck if you see a ton of blue exhaust in the rearview mirror. This means that the engine is hemorrhaging motor oil, and driving your automobile without oil circulating through it will damage the engine beyond repair. In most cases, you have a cracked engine gasket that is releasing the motor oil into the cylinders. This oil burn will damage the cylinder block and, again, damage your engine.


White exhaust in the rearview mirror means that your engine is burning coolant. You may also see white smoke wafting from underneath your hood. Depending on the severity of the leak, your engine will start to overheat. If you are losing enough coolant to generate exhaust, your engine is already running too hot. This type of exhaust can be caused by a fracture in the head gasket. When this happens, the coolant sprays all over the engine and is burned away by the engine’s heat.


Finally, if you don’t see any exhaust in your rearview mirror, this is an excellent sign. Barring any other problems, clear exhaust means that your exhaust system is working as it should be and that you don’t have any fluid leaking in the engine. This being said, a minor leak will not cause exhaust. Have your exhaust system inspected annually to make sure it’s okay.

Advanced Automotive in Stanwood, WA, can do this, so call us today to schedule a service appointment.

Photo by hirun from getty images via Canva Pro

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