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​​What Do the Different Colors of Exhaust Smoke Mean?

Color can play a significant role in determining a problem within your engine or exhaust system. Your vehicle emissions should practically be invisible for the most part. If your car, SUV, or truck spews out an unusual color of exhaust smoke, it can indicate various problems ranging in severity. At Airpark Auto Pros, we want to keep you educated on what these colors of exhaust smoke mean and what kind of repairs you may need from us. 

Blue/Gray Smoke

When your exhaust smoke appears blue, it is an indication that engine oil is leaking into the combustion chamber and being burned. Sometimes, this can be caused by leaky valve seals, damaged piston rings, worn cylinder walls, leaking turbo seals or a stuck PCV system. Please get your vehicle to our auto repair shop for proper diagnosis and seamless engine repairs. We'll repair your leak and refill your car with fresh and clean oil.

White/Light Gray Smoke

If the smoke looks thin, wispy, and white, it can just be water vapor from condensation in the exhaust system. However, if the white or light gray smoke is a continuous stream of thick clouds, you could be facing a serious issue. White smoke is an indication that coolant is burning in the combustion chamber due to a cracked cylinder head, damaged engine block, or blown head gasket. Please bring your car to our shop, so we can pinpoint the issue for you.

Black Smoke

Dark black smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe is not a typical symptom. It means that your fuel mixture is too rich or your vehicle is burning too much fuel. This can be caused by various things, like a clogged air filter, malfunctioning fuel injection system, or blocked intake manifold. You can count on the experts at Airpark Auto Pros to get you accurate repairs and correct your fuel ratio.


If you have noticed a change in your exhaust system's behavior, call or visit the professionals at Airpark Auto Pros in Gaithersburg, MD. We are always here to help.