Have you ever seen someone driving down the road at a good pace, while their tailpipe is belching smoke? Chances are, you have—in fact, it’s not all that uncommon. But, just because it’s something you might see on the regular doesn’t mean it’s something that’s okay. In fact, you shouldn’t be seeing much of anything coming from a tailpipe!
The fact of the matter is that in an ideal vehicle, exhaust will be invisible—you shouldn’t see anything issuing from a tailpipe. Smoke—whether it’s black, gray, white or blue—means that something is burning that’s not supposed to be. You might not realize it, but smoke from your exhaust pipe can yield quite a bit of information about what type of auto repair in Williston, ND you might be in for.
- White smoke: This is probably the most common type of smoke you’re going to see spewing from a tailpipe and, thankfully, it’s also usually the most harmless. White smoke or vapor means there’s water somewhere in your combustion chamber—usually from condensation. It’s not likely that you’ll need to do much in the way of white smoke, however it’s worth mentioning the next time you get your oil changed, just in case. In very, very rare cases, white smoke could signal a gasket head problem, but you’d usually see this problem in the form of other symptoms first.
- Gray smoke: If you see gray smoke, it’s important to start considering that there might be a problem in your vehicle’s engine environment. Clogged filters, botched ignition timing, a blocked manifold or an excess of blow-by engine gasses can all cause gray smoke to come streaming out of your tailpipe. It’s also important to consider that gray smoke is a precursor to black smoke, which, if you’ll read ahead, can be a symptom of some major fuel problems.
- Black smoke: Incomplete fuel combustion is a dead giveaway when you see black smoke, which means you’re dealing with a problem somewhere between your fuel injection system and your combustion chamber. Black smoke can also indicate issues with your carburetor or emissions processing system, which could lead to drastic issues with your fuel economy and an eventual failed emissions test when it comes time to renew your vehicle.
- Blue smoke: Blue smoke isn’t something you’ll see all too often with your vehicle’s emissions, however if you do happen to catch it, it’s important you seek auto repair in Williston, ND right away. Blue smoke means you’re burning oil, which in turn means you’ve got a major problem somewhere within your engine environment. It could also mean you have damaged piston rings, valves or cylinders. Any or all of these problems are going to require comprehensive repairs and will bring about tremendous damage to your engine if they’re left to fester.
Remember, no visible exhaust should ever be issuing from your tailpipe—if you’re seeing any of the colored smokes above, make sure you’re consulting with a professional mechanic right away to get to the bottom of the problem before it gets worse.