What Does the Color of Your Exhaust Smoke Mean?

Your automobile’s exhaust smoke can be very telling about your engine and exhaust system. When you smell or see something off about your car, it should never be ignored. If you ever catch excess exhaust smoke spewing out your vehicle’s rear end, it is clear that you need to see a mechanic. 


Depending on the color of the exhaust smoke, your car problem can mean different things. Exhaust smoke can be black, white, and blue. Read on to understand your car’s various smoke signals:

Black Smoke

Black smoke suggests the fuel and air mixture in your engine is too rich, meaning there’s too much gas or too little air. This can be caused by leaking fuel injectors or a filthy air filter. 

White Smoke

White smoke is a warning sign that your head gasket is leaking coolant. When this happens, it puts your engine at risk of overheating. If the coolant gets burnt, you will see thick white clouds coming out of your car. 

Blue Smoke

If you notice blue or light gray smoke shooting out of your exhaust pipe, it typically means that your car is burning engine oil. When you have an oil leak, it can get into the combustion chamber. You can check your oil levels with the dipstick to be sure. 


If you catch any of these three exhaust colors, it is important to have your car professional diagnosed by a professional technician. Unusual exhaust smoke colors can often pair with other warning symptoms like a rough running motor, poor fuel mileage, and larger problems down the line. 


For all your exhaust system service and repairs, please feel free to give us a call or visit Autobahn Auto Repair.