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Why Has My Tailpipe Turned Into a Smokestack?

If your tailpipe is turned into a smokestack, Primary Care Auto Repair needs to inspect your engine for a fluid leak. Generally, excess exhaust is caused by burning fluid in the engine, whether that be oil, gas, or coolant. This can make driving your automobile dangerous, so we recommend that you pull over and call for a tow truck. Whatever color the exhaust is designates the fluid that the engine is burning. Let’s talk more about this below so you can determine your engine’s fluid leak.

Black

Black exhaust means that your engine is leaking fuel. Depending on the severity of the fuel leak, you may also see strange things in the exhaust such as sparks. As you can imagine, you don’t want to drive your automobile in this condition because you could start an engine fire. It’s better to have your vehicle towed to our shop so we can find the source of the fuel leak and fix it. Leaking fuel and a hot engine do not mix well. They make for a combustible combination.

Blue

If the color of the smoke flowing out of your tailpipe is blue, the engine is leaking oil. It is also dangerous to drive your vehicle with a severe oil leak but not because it’s a fire risk. Rather, you could damage your engine beyond repair if the oil is leaking so bad that it isn’t circulating through the engine. Usually, an oil leak that causes blue smoke is coming from a cracked head gasket. The oil is dripping into the cylinders and is being burned along with the fuel and air.

White

The engine’s coolant will create white smoke. This can also be a sign that you have a cracked head gasket in the engine. Unfortunately, when the engine is losing coolant so much so that you end up with white exhaust, there is not enough coolant left in the engine to keep the temperature under 220 degrees. Consequently, your engine is going to overheat if you try to drive your automobile. As with the other two fluid leaks, it’s best to have your vehicle towed.

Clear

Finally, you don’t want your tailpipe to be a smokestack at all. Rather, you want clear exhaust to come out of the tailpipe; exhaust that you cannot see. This is an indication that the engine does not have a fluid leak and the exhaust is treated for the environment.

Call Primary Care Auto Repair in Warwick, RI, today if your tailpipe has turned into a smokestack.

Photo by algre from getty images via Canva Pro