Engine Smoking? What’s the First Thing You Should Do?

How should you address the problem of engine smoking?
Written by Lisa Steuer McArdle
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Dec 18, 2021
Whether with regular or
luxury cars
, engine smoking can occur without warning. And something always triggers it. Under perfect conditions, there should be no smoking. If smokes come out of your engine exhaust, there's a fault in the
car parts
Your car moves because the engine is working. Gasoline burns in the engine compartments, creating energy that propels your car. As the piston moves, it compresses air and gas, causing an ignition. Of course, the ignited gas comes out as smoke from your exhaust.
But how should you address the
problem of engine smoking
? Well, let's work it out!
Engine smoking needs immediate attention because it could damage your car over time

What causes engine smoking?

A smoking engine usually occurs when small amounts of oil spill or leak from the gasket to the engine. It could be an engine coolant, transmission oil, or steering fluid.
A mechanical or electrical fault also causes smoking from your tailpipe. Though the problem may appear harmless because the car still starts, you shouldn't ignore it. 

What does each color smoke mean?

Engine smoke is either clear or colorful. If it's black, blue, or white, there's a problem that needs a quick fix, according to
The Family Handyman
. On the positive, knowing the color of the smoke is pretty helpful. So, let's see what the colors mean.
Black smoke usually comes out if a car is burning raw fuel. The black smoke could be the result of a leaking fuel injector, or a broken fuel pressure regulator, engine sensor or ignition component. It can also be caused by an electrical failure. 
White smoke
indicates the flow of coolant into the combustion cycle. It occurs when the head gasket or another internal part burns in the combustion chamber. When there's a leakage, coolants enter your cylinders. 
When the engine is
burning oil
, the smoke becomes blue or gray. It can be caused by leaky valve seals, worn piston rings, not changing the oil regularly or using the wrong kind of oil. Thick, gray smoke could also indicate a defective transmission vacuum modulator.

What should you do when your engine smokes?

There are ways to address the issue of engine smoking. 
If your car produces black soot, it's unsafe to keep driving. So, pull over when you're in a safe place and stop the engine. Take a look at the dashboard for oil gauge indicators.
Your car is at risk if the oil level drops. Wait for the engine to cool, then check for oil drips. If oil drops on the ground, you might need help. But, the color of smoke should suggest what might go wrong with your car. 
Depending on the situation, you should get help or use an oil treatment. Make sure you read the label on the oil container and follow the instructions. Once you get the oil, locate your vehicle's oil cap, open it, and pour in the oil.
Contact a licensed repairer if you notice an engine smoking but cannot locate the fault. Sometimes you won't find a safe place to park. Take your car home or drive straight to the mechanic shop.
Engine smoking needs immediate attention because it could damage your car over time. Once you notice the smoke from your tailpipe, act without hesitation. Taking positive steps to address the issue could save you from spending on heavy repairs.
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National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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