Why Is My Car Blowing White Smoke?

Why Is My Car Blowing White Smoke?

When vehicles start to blow a visible smoke out of the tail pipe this is usually an indicator of a bigger issue going on with the vehicle. The color of the smoke is also very telling of what type of problem the car is having. White smoke generally means that the vehicle is burning coolant in the combustion chamber. A blue colored smoke is an indicator of oil being burned in the combustion chamber. Today were going to talk about white smoke, and how coolant ends up in the combustion chamber to begin with.

How Does Coolant Get Into The Combustion Chamber?

Every gasoline powered engine has coolant that circulates through the engine block and radiator to keep the engine cool and operating at a normal temperature. So how does it end up inside the combustion chamber when only fuel and air should be in the cylinder? There are multiple gaskets that keep the coolant sealed off from other areas of the engine compartment. However over time the seals and gaskets will break down and no longer seal properly. The most common way coolant ends up in the combustion chamber is through the head gasket. The head gasket is what seals the cylinder head to the engine block. Coolant is ran through the cylinder walls to cool the engine and the head gasket is used to keep the coolant inside the wall and prevents coolant getting into the combustion chamber. When a head gasket wears down enough that coolant can now pass between the cylinder walls and into the combustion chamber the coolant is then burned with the air and fuel inside the combustion chamber and is then pushed out the tail pipe causing a white smoke cloud.


How Do You Repair A Smoking Vehicle?

The most common cause of the white smoke is a failed head gasket. To stop the smoke its as simple as replacing the head gasket with a new one. However the actual repair process of changing a head gasket is not as simple. Head gasket replacement is a very complex and time consuming job and requires extensive training as well as specialty tools to complete the job. It is recommended that this type of repair is left to the professionals. There are many variables that must be taken into account when a cylinder head is removed and if you don’t know what to inspect and replace can cause more money and time in the future.

How Do I Get The Most Life Out Of My Vehicle?

There are multiple things that can be done to get the most life out of your vehicle, the primary thing that can be done is fluid maintenance. We all know how important it is to change your engine oil regularly to keep your vehicle running. Well the same applies to all fluids that your vehicle has. Coolant is one of the most important fluids to maintain next to engine oil. We change the oil in our car every 3-5,000 miles to keep it clean and all other fluids on a vehicle are the same. Coolant exchanges are recommended every 5 years or 100,000 miles whichever comes first. By maintaining a regular coolant exchange schedule you increase the life of the cooling system. With proper maintenance on todays vehicles we’ve seen cars reach 250,000 miles with very little repair work needed just by keeping up on the maintenance. It is hard to prevent every failure but repairing your vehicle is much less frequent when properly maintained.

Quality Repair From People Who Care!

At Dickerson Automotive we are equipped with state of the art tools and equipment, as well as access to factory vehicle information that is used to help develop a maintenance plan as well as properly repairing vehicles. We have found that creating a maintenance plan not only increases the life of your vehicle but also helps keep those expensive repairs to a minimum. If you have questions about white smoke coming from your vehicle, or questions about maintenance and what a good maintenance plan would cost give us a call today!