Smoking Engine Worries?

Is your engine sending smoke signals? Discover your car engine complaints hidden in the smoke.


Does your car ignition greet you with an unusual cloud of smoke?  If it does, it could be an indicator of the state of your engine. Below we lay out some of the characteristics of engine smoke- and the action you may need to take if the fumes aren’t what you expect to see.



Black or Grey

Black smoke may not be the worst news- it means your car is burning too much fuel, or burning it incompletely. While this might hit your fuel economy, it isn’t a huge problem compared to some other ‘smoke signals’ your engine might send. You will want to get it checked out before it starts to cost you too much money. Likely it’s a problem with fuel injection, air filters, return line, or pressure regulation. If your car is a diesel, you may be burning the wrong kind of fuel or your engine may be overheating.



Generally, a little white smoke is to be expected on starting the engine. This is condensation evaporating, and as the engine heats this should disperse.  On a diesel, this might mean your fuel injection pump is not working properly, that the engine is overheating or that the timings in the engine motion are faulty.

On petrol cars, white smoke can be more serious- indicating that coolant is leaking into the engine and being burned, or that the gasket head or cylinder is cracked.



Blue smoke comes from burning oil- this means valves or piston rings might be worn out, allowing oil into the engine, or that you’re using too much oil.


This is isn’t a comprehensive list, but hopefully it can give you some idea of how to react to sudden smoking from your engine. If you have any concerns, doubts or questions about how best to respond to a sudden cloud from the depths of your engine, contact us & speak to a member of our team today.

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