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Why Does the Color of My Car’s Exhaust Matter?

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The color of your car exhaust matters because the exhaust color can be a sign of serious engine damage. We’ve talked about engine rebuilds in a previous blog post, which is something we here at Meadows Automotive can do. Depending on the color and quantity of your vehicle’s engine exhaust, you might need an engine rebuild or replacement. Let’s dig a little deeper into this.

No Visible Exhaust Is Normal

You really should never see your vehicle’s exhaust. You’ll see steam coming out of the tailpipes in cold weather, but other than that, your engine’s exhaust should be invisible. If you drive a diesel, you might see puffs of black engine exhaust, but only in older makes and models. Today’s diesel engines do not expel exhaust the way they used to, which makes them more environmentally friendly, too.

Black Exhaust

If you see black exhaust escaping from your tailpipe, your vehicle’s engine is leaking gasoline. The problem is that if enough gasoline is making its way into areas of the engine where it doesn’t belong, you could end up with an engine fire. In fact, severe gas leaks can escape through the tailpipe in the form of flames. You don’t need us to tell you how dangerous this is. Stop driving your vehicle if it begins to release black exhaust and/or smoke from anywhere, including the tailpipe.

Blue Exhaust

When blue exhaust comes pouring out of the tailpipe, your engine is burning oil and running out of it at the same time. As the leaking oil burns, the engine parts will rub against each other without lubrication and seize up due to excess heat and friction. As the parts scrape against each other, they release metal shavings into what’s left of the motor oil. Once this happens, you won’t be driving for very long. Your engine will die within minutes, so stop immediately if you see excess blue exhaust.

White Exhaust

Excess white exhaust is accompanied by an overheating engine because your vehicle is burning coolant. In most cases, you will also see white smoke coming out from underneath the hood of your car, truck, or utility vehicle because you’ve blown the head gasket. As the coolant sprays out from the cracks in the head gasket, it burns on the hot engine, which causes white smoke and exhaust. As with motor oil, the cooling system loses precious coolant through the burning leak, and the engine overheats.

See too much exhaust coming out of your tailpipe? Is the color of your car exhaust concerning you? Call Meadows Automotive in Waterford Township, MI, right away.

Photo by fotojog from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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