How to Maintain Your Vehicle

How Exhaust Smoke Can Tell Its Own Story

It is often easy to forget important dates in such a busy world, and you may have overlooked a service visit or two in recent months. You may be tempted to just let this go and think that it's an inconvenience, but your car will soon let you know that this is a bad idea. How can you tell by looking at the colour of your exhaust that it's high time for you to reschedule?

Smoke Signals

When you first start your car up each morning, it is not unusual to see a little smoke emanate from the exhaust pipe. This is generally okay, and you don't need to worry, but if you can see a lot of smoke or it doesn't seem to subside, pay closer attention.

White and Blue

First, determine its colour. If it is white and you have a diesel-engined car, then you may have issues with the injection timing. Otherwise, you may need to get the cylinder head gasket checked out by a technician. Internal engine problems may be the cause of blueish smoke too. Generally, this means that your engine is using more oil than it should, and you may have to get the piston rings checked.

Tell-Tale Black

While these are fairly major issues and will have built up over time, black smoke is probably related to your lack of service. In a diesel-engined car, this could be due to certain parts being out of alignment or issues with the conversion and treatment pads along the exhaust pipe. In a petrol-engined car, you may find that the ignition timing is a little "off," or the mechanic may need to check the on-board computer for the appropriate information. This will help them make any adjustments along the way.

Other Implications

You need to take action whenever you see excessive smoke as this is not just a mechanical problem, but it could also get you into trouble over your emissions. Remember, your vehicle is only allowed to emit particles that are in line with strict guidelines, and you need to be careful so that you do not exceed at any time.

Service Checks

In the future, make any service visit a red-letter day and try not to miss out. Your car servicing provider will have a look at all the suspect areas and make the necessary alterations. In turn, you'll be able to remain in compliance and avoid any bigger problems down the road.