Is it Bad if I Have Engine Smoke?


engine smoke, tailpipeEngine smoke is often a sign that something is wrong with your car.  In the old days, it wasn’t unusual for engines to smoke but today’s vehicles run to efficiently that you really shouldn’t see anything coming out of your tailpipe.  The ONLY exception is on a cold day right when you start your car you may see some white smoke but it should go away as your car warms up.  This is especially true in humid climates.  So let’s talk about what could be wrong with your car:

Different Types of Engine Smoke

  • White Smoke
  • Blue Smoke
  • Black Smoke 

White smoke as we just talked about could be condensation as your engine starts up.  Pure water is actually one of the byproducts of combustion so it’s not surprising to see a little white smoke.  This is partly for the same reason you see your breath on a cold morning and the other part of it is due to your exhaust gas recirculation system.  Either way, as your car warms up this white smoke should go away due to higher exhaust gas temps and a closed EGR valve.  If you’ve still got white smoke from a warm car then you could have a blown head gasket.  Before you scrap your car, take some time to learn about the other symptoms of a blown head gasket to get a good diagnosis.

Blue Smoke is usually caused by a little bit of oil getting burned in your combustion chamber.  In a perfect world, no oil would get into the combustion chamber but it’s impossible to truly seal it off.  That’s why it’s normal for some cars to burn up to a quart of oil every 2000 miles even if everything is working correctly.  Oil can get into your combustion chamber either through the valve seals or the piston rings.  Bad valve seals often cause blue smoke right when you start your car up in the morning.  Bad piston rings usually cause blue smoke when accelerating from a stop.  If your car is burning oil you usually can smell it in the exhaust and your spark plug tip will look unusually black.

Black Smoke is an indication that your engine is running rich.  Just like a bonfire, black smoke indicates an overabundance of fuel and a lack of oxygen.  If you have a carbureted vehicle it could just be time for a tuneup or carb rebuild.  If you have a fuel-injected vehicle you may need a new oxygen sensor or airflow sensor to get things running right.  A rich condition often leads to poor fuel mileage and black spark plugs as well.

If you have blue smoke coming from your tailpipe, use BlueDevil Stop Smoke and Engine Repair to repair your engine and keep your vehicle on the road without a pricy engine rebuild.

You can pick up BlueDevil Stop Smoke and Engine Repair at one of your local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Canadian Tire
  • Walmart

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash


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