While hearing a strange noise is an obvious sign that something is wrong with your car, paying attention to the things coming out of your car is important too. You should check your tailpipe on a regular basis to see if any smoke is coming out of it. If there is, it is important to determine what color the smoke is because the color will indicate whether something is wrong with your car. The guide that follows fills you in on the three most common colors of smoke that you may see coming out of your tailpipe and what they could mean.
If you see black smoke billowing out of your tailpipe, you first need to consider if your car operates on diesel fuel or not. If your car operates on diesel, black smoke is common and expected. If you do not have a car that operates on diesel, black smoke could be an indication that there is a problem with the fuel mixture in your car's engine. This issue can be easy for a mechanic to detect and repair, if you take the car in as soon as you notice the black smoke.
If you see white smoke coming out of your tailpipe when you park your car after driving it for a while, coolant may have leaked into your combustion chamber. This often occurs when the head gaskets are worn in a car and they can no longer keep the coolant from escaping. To determine if this is the issue, lift the hood of your car and look to see if the coolant level in the reservoir is low. If it is, add more coolant and then check it every few days to see if the coolant level drops significantly. If it does, you need to take your car to a mechanic to have the worn head gaskets replaced.
If you see smoke coming from your car's tailpipe that has a blueish tint to it, you may have oil leaking into your combustion chamber. There are many things that can cause this to happen, including a cracked head gasket, a damaged valve stem seal, or even a damaged piston ring. If you see smoke with a blue tint, you need to have a mechanic look at your car immediately.
When you take your car to the shop, a mechanic like those at Import Automotive will determine what is wrong with the car and let you know what issues he or she found before making the repairs. You can decide whether you want to do the repairs right away or wait, but know that waiting to have them done could lead to more costly repairs later on down the road.