Your car’s exhaust is where leftover gas comes out as a result of the combustion process. Aside from directing the exhaust smoke from the engine to the area behind your car, your vehicle’s exhaust system can give you an idea of the engine’s condition.
If you have a healthy exhaust system, the smoke should be colorless or thin white on some occasions. But a thick heavy, white fume coming out of the pipe can mean a major problem in your exhaust system. It needs to be addressed as soon as possible, or it can lead to a more costly repair.
Causes Of White Smoke From Exhaust
In general, thick white smoke from the exhaust pipe should be a major concern and should be checked and fixed immediately. Listed below are some of the reasons for white exhaust smoke:
- Coolant leak.
Excessive white smoke coming out from your exhaust on startup suggests that coolant has leaked from the cooling system into the combustion chamber and mixed in with the engine oil. As the combination of coolant and engine oil burns, it consistently creates thick smoke.
A coolant leak could happen if either the cylinder head, engine block, or head gasket seal is damaged. Coolant leaking could lead to an extremely low coolant level, causing the cooling system to fail and your engine to overheat.
Overall, this could mean that you probably have a costly repair ahead of you.
- Faulty fuel injector.
Another possible cause of excessive white smoke from the exhaust pipe is a bad fuel injector.
The injector can leak or become stuck open and deliver too much liquid fuel into the combustion chamber. The excess fuel causes thick white smoke to be produced and released from the exhaust pipe.
Note that white smoke is not the problem here, but what goes inside the combustion chamber. When not fixed immediately, a faulty fuel injector can lead to excessive fuel consumption, engine overheating, and, eventually, an engine breakdown.
- A Leaking Valve Seal Or Worn Piston Ring
A faulty valve seal or piston ring can cause oil to drip into the combustion chamber. This fuel then mixes with other engine oil and burns, causing white (or even bluish) smoke to come out of the exhaust pipe.
A broken valve seal or piston ring is typically not a serious problem in itself and will require a quick fix. However, it can lead to serious problems over time if not dealt with properly.
How To Fix White Smoke From The Exhaust
Fixing the problem that’s causing the white smoke from the exhaust may require a quick part replacement, but most of the time, professional help is necessary to ensure that proper diagnosis and long-term solutions are performed. We recommend bringing your car to a trusted auto repair to avoid further damage and additional repair costs.
If you need a trusted auto repair in Northbrook, Evanston, and Wilmette, HEART Auto Care is here for you. We care for your vehicle the way you do and will ensure the best fix for any issues. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.