Why Is My Car Smoking? Question Answered With Solution


Hi, car lovers; welcome to another educative car review. Today we are looking at the question, “why is my car smoking.” For those that own a car, you can agree with me that seeing smoke from your vehicle spells damage, and it is something that demands all urgency to be dealt with. As such, I will answer the question and give you detailed knowledge about your car, why it smokes, and the causes.

Whys my car smoking
Whys is my car smoking

Short Answer on Why is Car Smoking?

Several reasons can prompt your car to smoke. Some of them are:

  • Faulty/ Overheated engine

A faulty/overheated engine is one major cause of smoking in the car. However, a faulty/overheated engine is caused by several factors and which are:

  • Faulty/leaking head gaskets
  • Bad electrical wires
  • Burnt fuel valves
  • Faulty coolant systems
  • Defective/worn pistons

Other Causes of Smoking in Car

Apart from an overheated engine, other factors cause your car to smoke, and they include:

  1. Faulty wires– If you notice that the cables in your car are emitting a strong smell, you should quickly check it out as it may be an indicator of burnt wires.  If this is not worked on quickly, it may result in your car smoking, which is very dangerous.
  2. Leaking coolant– If your coolant is faulty and it leaks. It can leak out fluid that burns and lets off steam. So check your coolant regularly.
  3. Oil spillage– it is pertinent to be cautious when infilling the car with engine oil. It is advisable to use a sound tunnel, as any spillage on any rubber or plastic parts can cause a stream of smoke.
  4. Faulty parts/Oil leaks– When defective parts fail to transport or store the fluid adequately, a leak can occur, resulting in flame.

You should take specific steps when you notice smoke coming out of your car to go further. They include:

  • Trace where the smoke is coming out from
  • When did the smoke appear, and
  • The color of the smoke.

Overheated Engine: A significant cause of smoking in cars

Overheating is regarded as the significant and most prevalent cause of car smoking. As a result, you need to take your car to a good mechanic shop when you notice a checkup and servicing symptoms.

However, this smoke comes in several colors. We will be looking at the different shades of overheated sponsored engine smoke.

Different Colors of Engine Smoke

  1. Black engine smoke

Black engine smoke signifies that your car is burning too much fuel than standard fuel. A clogged air filter usually causes this. However, this can be fixed if detected on time.

Causes of Black Engine Smoke

  •  Faulty fuel pressure regulator

The fuel pressure regulator regulates the pressure of both the petrol and diesel infilled into your car.

It is usually inside or outside the fuel tank, and any fault can disrupt the regulation, as such may cause it to allow too much oil into the car.

If these happen, quickly go to a car replacements store and ask for a replacement.

  • Dysfunctional fuel injector

Fuel injector serves as a delivery panel of petrol or diesel to the engine of a high-pressure mist. However, they can cause black engine smoke if clogged with dirt, contaminated fuel, or broken seals.

  • Faulty Carburettor

Some cars use carburetors to mix fuel and air. When it becomes faulty, it tends to be burning too much power and delivers too much energy to the engine, causing excessive dark emission of smoke.

  • Ignition timing (when it is off)

When your car’s ignition timing is off, your engine burns more fuel than usual, which makes it pump out excessive black smoke.

However, if you notice your car is taking in excessive fluids, with all urgency, go to a good mechanic or repair shop for thorough checking.

 2. White engine smoke

White engine smoke is a sign that your car has a coolant leak. The following are potential causes of a coolant leak.

  • Damaged radiator hoses

Most times, radiators do swell, collapse, and crack when used for a reasonable time. However, you can’t easily detect this dysfunctionality by just lifting the bonnet.  However, it would help an excellent car technician to check and replace the hoses when you notice any white smoke.

  • Faulty engine block 

Engine blocks help to hold the significant parts of the engine securely. As such, low temperatures/coolant freezing can cause cracks in the blocks. This may damage the engine if not treated early.

However, if the cracks are small, you can make use of an engine block. But in more severe cases, consult a car professional.

Note that this can be very expensive, and most times, it is usually cheaper to get a new car than to replace faulty engine blocks.

Whys my car smoking
Whys my car smoking

Smoking Exhaust: Types and Causes

Smoke from the exhaust is usually less severe than smoke leaving the engine.

1. White exhaust smoke

White exhaust does not pose serious problems if it usually disperses as it may be due to condensation build-up. However, if it persists over a long time and remains visible, it probably signifies that your coolant is leaking into the ion chamber. This occurs in three primary ways, namely:

Causes of White exhaust smoke

  • Faulty Blown head gasket

The head gasket seal helps to keep the coolant and oil from mixing. The coolant will flow into the combustion chamber if it becomes faulty, which burns as white smoke. Usually, a defective head gasket is caused by an overheated engine.

If the faulty is a minor one, let’s say a crack, you can use a head gasket sealer, but in more severe cases, contact a professional.

  • Cracked engine block

It is cheaper to get a new car than to repair a cracked engine block, as it is almost impossible to repair.

Coolant can leak through the cracks when faulty and escape as white smoke from the engine bay.

  • Damaged cylinder heads

The cylinder head is situated at the top of the engine block to form the combustion chamber. If it becomes wrapped from overheating, it may result in your engine misfiring.

In cases where they are faulty, Because the heads have to fit perfectly with connecting parts, you’ll typically have to replace cylinders rather than repair them.

2. Black exhaust smoke

It is usual for cars to pump out black smoke from the exhaust when the engine starts up; however, you don’t have anything to worry about if these disperse quickly. But if not, it may depict that your car is having any of the listed problems.

  • Faulty pressure regulator 

A faulty pressure regulator can lead to the persistent removal of black smoke from your exhaust. Primarily, this device is used to maintain pressure in the fuel system. When it is faulty, it can increase pressure in the car’s design, significantly affecting its fuel economy. So, these excess fuels burn as black smoke.

  • Clogged air filter

The air filter in the car functions as a preventive mechanism against allowing unwanted debris inside your car’s engine. However, when the filter is clogged, this unwanted debris can enter the engine, burn together with fuel, and escape black smoke.

  • Faulty fuel injector 

Fuel injectors help to regulate the amount of fuel that enters the combustion chamber. However, when it is faulty, you will be experiencing shakings in your car if your engine is idle. If the fuel that enters the combustion chamber is excess, it pumps out as black smoke through the exhaust.

3. Blue exhaust smoke

Blue exhaust smoke is a clear indicator that your engine is burning excess oil. The fluid can leak into the combustion chamber, where it is burned along with fuel.

It usually causes your car to misfire when you turn the ignition on. It also can be experienced when your vehicle shakes more than usual when idle.

Causes of Blue exhaust smoke

  • Faulty valve stem seals

Valves stem regulate the mixture of fuel and air mixture that is to be allowed into the cylinders for combustion. However, the valves seals are mostly made from quality rubber but can be cracked if exposed to low temperatures. To fix it, you need to compress the valve spring before replacing the valve seals. Better still, consult a professional.

  • Worn out pistons and piston rings

A piston ring helps to keep an airtight seal in the cylinders of a combustion engine. However, the rings can leak oil into fuel which escapes as blue smoke from both the exhaust and bonnet if it becomes faulty.

Faulty pistons and pistons rings are very complicated to repair, so you must consult a verified professional to handle them.

  • Dysfunctional PCV valve

A Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve functions as a releases agent for exhaust gas and unburned fuel from the engine block.

So if the PCV becomes dysfunctional, it will mix air, oil, and other gases inside the engine. This combustion can cause blue smoke.

Fixing a faulty PCV valve isn’t expensive as it just needs a replacement rather than a repair job.

  • Faulty engine oil seals

The Engine seal helps to transport oil to other areas of the car without it leaking. However, if these seals are worn or torn, it can lead to cracks and oil burning off as blue smoke.

However, if you notice any blue smoke from your car, do visit a car repair shop.

Watch Video | Why’s Your Car Smoking


I hope you loved and found this article, “why is my car smoking,” helpful. For additional information, you can check “How Long Do Kia Optima Last (Solved and Explained).”

2 thoughts on “Why Is My Car Smoking? Question Answered With Solution”

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