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Thick smoke from the exhaust pipe: what can its color mean?

Thick smoke from the exhaust pipe: what can its color mean? 1
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Thick smoke from the exhaust pipe: what can its color say?

It happens that a man got to work, got behind the wheel, started a car, and some strange smoke poured out of the exhaust pipe. Should this be considered a cause for concern? Does this machine behavior speak of any serious problem? Let’s try to figure it out.

So, if white smoke fell off after starting an unheated engine in frost at least 15 degrees, then this is not smoke at all, but real steam. This happens when the air temperature is low and humidity, on the contrary, is high. This smoke quickly dissipates and ceases to form after the engine has warmed up. However, if the car is operated in more severe frost (from -25 degrees Celsius), then thick white steam will be released even after warming up. A threat of malfunction hangs over the machine when white smoke falls from the exhaust pipe in the summer, in dry and hot weather. There is a breakdown in the cooling system.

Perhaps the thermostat has broken, or maybe the problem is a violation of the tightness of the radiator. Such malfunctions cannot be ignored – they quickly lead to even more serious breakdowns and significantly accelerate the wear of car parts. A couple of hundred kilometers – and the car will have to be handed over for a long-term and expensive repair. Such a problem can be caused by low-grade fuel, poor antifreeze, driving a car in hard frost with an unheated engine.

It also happens that the water does not get into the cylinders, but the oil, then not white, but gray smoke is coming from the exhaust pipe of the car. Unlike white, it does not dissipate quickly, but freezes like a cloud for a while. What consistency – watery or oily – fumes from the pipe, can be checked by covering the exhaust pipe with a sheet of paper. If the smoke is oily, greasy spots will remain on the sheet, if watery, the sheet will simply get slightly wet, and after drying it will not leave any traces. Gray smoke often indicates that the details of the cylinder-piston group have worn out. The problem is that oil enters the cylinders through piston rings or valve stem seals, the result is that oil consumption is greatly increased, and its level must be checked at least once a week. If you do not keep track of and do not make up for its shortcoming on time – everything can result in engine breakdown and repair.

Black smoke from the exhaust pipe of the car indicates a malfunction in its fuel system. If we are talking about carburetor engines, the reason may be in their incorrect adjustment or malfunction of the needle in the float chamber. If about injector ones – injuries of nozzles, sensors or the control unit are possible. It is very difficult to determine the root of the problem yourself – computer diagnostics of the engine is necessary. When black smoke comes from the exhaust pipe, problems of poor starting, poor traction and, most unpleasantly, a significant increase in fuel consumption are observed. If you don’t want to spend most of the money on gasoline and fear to aggravate problems with the car, you should immediately contact a car service.

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