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What Does White Exhaust Smoke Mean for My Car?

Brian Bates

Exhaust Smoke

We understand that seeing excess smoke coming from your vehicle's exhaust pipe can be a cause for concern. Exhaust smoke definitely doesn't seem normal, and it could mean something way more severe depending on its color and amount.

Excessive white smoke doesn't necessarily always point to a significant issue, but it can be in some cases. Here are some reasons why your automobile may emit white smoke:

  • Condensation - As mentioned before, white smoke can be harmless. If it happens to be a chilly day and you only see the fumes upon starting your car, it may just be condensation. If this is the circumstance, it should go away quickly.
  • Coolant Leak - A coolant leak is the more concerning cause of white exhaust smoke. You may also pick up a sweet syrupy scent if you have a coolant leak. Running on too little coolant can damage your engine and cause it to overheat. Therefore, pinpointing the leak and repairing it as soon as possible is key to avoiding such damages.  
  • Cracked Engine Block, Cylinder Head, or Gasket - Any damages to your critical engine components can also cause white exhaust smoke. Likewise, coolant has to travel through these parts to keep your engine temperatures at bay. You should get engine repairs immediately to mitigate the damage.
  • Faulty or Worn Fuel Injector - In diesel automobiles, a malfunctioning fuel injector can prevent your engine from receiving a proper portion of fuel, which can lead to thick white smoke.

You can trust the auto experts at EAS Tire & Auto to help you truly understand the problem by bringing us your car for an inspection. Our skillful technicians can determine the exact cause and recommend suitable repairs to resolve the issue. If you're noticing white exhaust smoke, we welcome you to give us a call or stop by our Littleton auto repair shop today! 

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