A car’s exhaust can tell you a lot about the state of your vehicle (and about its impact on the environment). Things can be running seemingly fine everywhere else, but smoke from the exhaust can tell a whole other story. Different coloured exhaust smoke is one of the biggest signs that you have a problem somewhere, but which colour relates to what problem and what exactly should you do about it?

This month we wrote up the three main culprits of smoke clouds. If you are having exhaust issues, just find your smoke colour below and click through to read why it is happening and how to fix it.

White Smoke

However, thick clouds of white smoke represent a real problem, and can be caused the engine burning coolant. This can be the result of a serious issue like a blown head gasket, a damaged cylinder head, or a cracked engine block – all of which are costly repairs.

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Blue Smoke

Blue smoke is a classic sign that oil is being burnt in the engine, which means there is an oil leak. This could be due to a reduction in the lubrication of moving parts of the engine. Over time,  as a result of this, the seals can wear out and need replacing in order to stop further leaking.

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Black Smoke

Black exhaust smoke means the engine is burning too much fuel. The first think you should check is your air-filter and other intake components like sensors, fuel injectors and the fuel-pressure regulator.

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