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Do I Need To Worry About White Smoke From My Car Exhaust?

What White Smoke From My Car Exhaust Means

Do I Need To Worry About White Smoke From My Car Exhaust? 

While it’s pretty common for an exhaust to belch out white smoke when it’s first started (due to condensation) if this doesn’t stop once the engine warms then it could be a warning sign that all is not well.

So apart from that innocuous white puff that’s often more apparent in the winter months, let’s take a look at some other reasons behind such smoke making an unwanted appearance.

  1. A Faulty Fuel Injector

Without getting too technical, the injectors that deliver the fuel to the combustion chamber can leak or become stuck in the open position. This means too much fuel in the engine that needs to burn off and be expelled. This is seen as gray or white smoke from the exhaust.

This is quite a common problem and, thankfully, is an easy fix. Most mechanics will recommend changing all the injectors, as diagnosing the exact one usually proves more time consuming (and therefore expensive) than replacing them all.

  1. A Coolant Leak

A cracked cylinder head or engine block can allow the engine coolant to seep into the oil in the combustion chamber. When this burns it appears as white or milky colored exhaust fumes that continue to be apparent even when the engine is warm. If you’re unfortunate enough to get a whiff of it you might notice that it smells slightly sweet.

It’s essential to get such a leak sorted straight away. As the coolant level reduces the engine is liable to overheat. This can lead to a head gasket failure (not a good scenario) and other expensive maintenance problems.

  1. Mis-timing Of The Injector Pump

This is only relevant for diesel engines and is caused when the injector pump fails to deliver the correct fuel pressure. To do this satisfactorily requires absolute precision of the injector pump, so if it becomes even slightly out of kilter too much fuel will be delivered. This excess is then emitted from the engine in an inadequately burned state and will be seen as white or gray smoke.

  1. A Leaking Valve Seal Or Piston Ring

When this occurs, oil leaks into the combustion chamber mixes with the fuel and is burned in the combustion process. Such a leak tends to produce white smoke with a bluish tinge and can have quite an acrid smell.

While this is not an exhaustive list as to the reasons behind seeing white smoke, they’re the most common. For most of us, the problem will need to be investigated and rectified by an expert. In addition. the vehicle may well need a fuel system cleaning service to return to optimal performance.

A maintenance provider such as Jiffy Lube allows vehicle owners to get instant advice and a fast repair thanks to their drop-in customer model that’s designed for ultimate convenience. With thousands of centers around the country, there’s always one close by providing all the signature Jiffy Lube services that we’ve come to rely on. 

If you’re worried about white smoke from your car exhaust, a visit to your local Jiffy Lube is by far the most convenient and cost-effective solution to get it sorted once and for all. 


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