What To Know About Exhaust System Problems

Have you noticed that there is an odd problem with your exhaust system, and don't know why it's happening? Here is what you need to know about some common exhaust system related issues.

White Smoke

White smoke is an indication that you have coolant leaking somewhere in the engine. This is not a good sign, because you have a gasket or seal that has broken and is allowing coolant to get into the engine. You will need to have a mechanic figure out where the coolant is getting into the engine and fix the problem, or you will continue to lose coolant and the engine will overheat. 

Blue Smoke

A problem with blue smoke means that oil is somehow being burned within the engine. This is typically due to problems such as cylinder walls that are worn down, piston rings that have become damaged, or valve seals that have broken and allowing oil to seep through. In addition, you are going to be losing oil as you continue to drive, leading to the need to add oil more often or run the risk of driving with not enough motor oil.

Black Smoke

Any time you have black smoke leaving your exhaust system it means that the engine is burning excess fuel. These rich fuel conditions can sometimes trigger a service engine soon light that actually gives an error code of rich conditions. You could have a problem with your fuel injector being stuck in an open position, air filters that are dirty or clogged, or even a defective oxygen sensor. 

Gray Smoke

Gray looking smoke means that you have transmission fluid that is somehow getting into the exhaust system. This would only apply to a vehicle that has an automatic transmission, since a manual vehicle is not going to have transmission fluid that can cause this problem. Gray smoke can also be caused by a PCV valve failure.


It's also possible that your exhaust system is making some odd noises that are giving you a reason to be concerned. Rattling sounds are often due to parts of the exhaust system that are loose, and you may just need to have a bracket secured to keep things in place. Loud exhaust systems can be caused by damage to your muffler, with there often being a hole in it that causes the noise to escape. 

Reach out to a mechanic for more information on this type of auto repair.

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