December 6, 2019

So' Cal's Most Trusted Tire Shop!

Here on Orozco’s Tires 101 Blog, we’ve covered several common car problems. This week, we’re going to go over what the color of your car’s exhaust smoke may mean.

If you notice a sudden difference in your car’s exhaust vapors, you should be very concerned. Even if there is no noticeable change in your vehicle’s performance or efficiency, and no warning lights light up, smoke coming from your exhaust is usually a sign that something is going wrong.

There are a few different common colors of smoke you may see that can point to issues which are relatively easy to diagnose.

Blue smoke most likely means that your engine has started to burn oil. The most common causes of this problem would be leaky valve guide seals or piston rings, which would allow oil to leak out of where it belongs into the combustion chamber, where it is ignited along with the gasoline.

If you see blue smoke, get your engine’s seals and gaskets checked and replaced as soon as possible to avoid further, possibly fatal, damage to your engine. Until the issue is fixed, you should check your oil regularly and refill it when necessary. Burning oil can cause your car to produce more pollution and run more roughly since it can damage your spark plugs.

In a turbocharged car, blue smoke may mean that your turbo needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

Gray smoke is somewhat more ambiguous than blue smoke. It can mean any of the things that blue smoke means, and you should get all of these checked as soon as possible, but it can also mean other things. For example, gray smoke can be a failed transmission vacuum modulator, leading to automatic transmission fluid leaking into the engine and getting burned up. It could also mean a stuck Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve, which can lead to a buildup of pressure and oil leaks.

Thick white smoke is perhaps the most serious. Thick white smoke is most likely caused by your engine burning coolant, which is almost certainly a serious issue such as a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head, or cracked engine block, any of which can quickly destroy your engine if you continue to drive with the damaged engine. Even a small coolant leak can lead to overheating and serious engine damage, or mix with oil and destroy its functionality.

Black smoke means that your engine is burning too much gas. This may be due to an air filter, oxygen sensor, or any other component of your intake and injection system. Usually this will not lead to any serious problems or damage, but will negatively affect your fuel economy and should be fixed as soon as possible.

Any smoke coming from your car is a sign that something is wrong. Pay attention to what your vehicle needs and take care of it to ensure that it lasts you as long as possible. Here at Orozco’s Tires & Wheels in Long Beach, we are happy to help figure out why your car is smoking and fix the problem. If you’ve noticed a change in your exhaust color, call our certified mechanics today at (844)-676-9267 to schedule an appointment. Our team of state certified, professionally trained mechanics can fix your car and keep it on the road, guaranteed!

Here at Orozco’s Tires & Wheels in Long Beach, we can take care of any of your oxygen sensor problems and keep your car running efficiently and performing to the best of its abilities. If you think that you may be having problems with your car’s oxygen sensors, call Orozco’s Tires & Wheels today at (844)-676-9267. Our team of state certified, professionally trained mechanics can fix any of your oxygen sensor problems guaranteed!

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