The short answer to whether you should worry about excess vehicle exhaust is yes, you should. Even if you drive a diesel engine, you should never see exhaust pouring out of the tailpipe. Excess car exhaust means there is something very wrong with the engine. In fact, in some cases, the engine may be irreparable and need to be replaced. Bring your automobile right over to Automotive Specialists, Inc., for an inspection if you see a ton of exhaust in any of the following colors.
Black or Charcoal Gray
If you’ve ever seen a gas fire, you know that the smoke is black. The same holds for your car, truck, or utility vehicle. Black exhaust is a sign that your engine is burning fuel. In severe cases, you may also see flames shooting out of your tailpipe, and, unfortunately, this isn’t a Hollywood special effect in an action movie. Black exhaust is dangerous, so park your vehicle in a safe space and kill the engine as soon as you can. Call 9-1-1 if you believe your car is on fire and call for a tow truck.
Blue or Bluish-Gray
If you’ve ever seen an oil fire, you know that the smoke is blue, and excess blue exhaust pouring out of the tailpipe is pretty much a sign of engine death. In this case, your engine has a serious oil leak somewhere, and the more oil that leaks out and burns, the hotter the engine gets. On top of the excessive heat, the engine parts are not being lubricated, and they will seize up, fail, and kill the engine. This, too, is serious enough to stop driving your car and call for a tow truck.
White and/or Cloudy
Finally, a ton of white exhaust pouring out of the tailpipe and possibly from underneath the hood means that you have coolant leaking from somewhere – likely the head gasket – and the engine heat is burning it and overheating at the same time. This, too, can signal engine death. If you’ve blown the head gasket, the problem can be repaired provided it hasn’t damaged other parts of the engine. Pull over at the first sign of trouble and cut the engine. Call for a tow truck to avoid further engine damage.
Get towed to Automotive Specialists, Inc., in Westminster, CO. We will find the source of your excess exhaust and be honest in our recommendations to fix the problem. Our repair estimates are detailed, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have.