Q:

What can cause a car engine to smoke?

A:

Quick Answer

Reasons for a smoking engine include a clogged air filter, blocked manifold, oil leaking on to the exhaust system, leaking head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. Regardless of the reason, it is important to visit a mechanic if a car engine starts to smoke, or permanent damage can happen.

Know More
What can cause a car engine to smoke?
Credit: Getty Images AsiaPac Getty Images Sport Getty Images

Full Answer

If the engine is giving off white smoke in a gasoline engine, it is likelycoolant or water being vaporized in the combustion chamber. This can be caused by the head gasket leaking, a cracked engine block or cracked cylinder head. In a diesel vehicle, white smoke can mean that the fuel is not burning due to a faulty injection system, incorrect timing or the engine overheating. However, in both engine types, it could also be due to the engine not being warm enough.

Black or gray smoke in any engine can be caused by fuel combustion remaining incomplete. Causes for all engines include oil leaking onto the exhaust system, a clogged air filter or incorrectly timed ignition. In a gasoline engine, it can be caused by a blocked manifold or carburetor, choke, fuel injection or emission system malfunction. In a diesel engine, it can be caused by a faulty injection system, the wrong grade of fuel, incorrect timing or the engine overheating.

Blue smoke is due to engine oil being burned or atomized and can be caused by worn piston rings, valves or cylinders. In a gasoline engine, it can also be caused by oil leaking into the combustion chamber, and in a diesel engine, it can be caused by high levels of engine oil.

Learn more about Engine
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does a car engine work?

    A:

    As the piston in an engine moves down, a mixture of fuel and air gets drawn into the cylinder, which causes compression. This compression is ignited by the spark plugs, causing the exhaust valve to open to allow the burned fuel mixture to be sent to the exhaust system. An internal combustion engine needs a gasoline-to-air mixture of around 14.7 parts air to one part gasoline (by weight) in order to run efficiently.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens when a car engine blows?

    A:

    A blown car engine can be the result of several factors and often ends in a broken connecting rod or a broken valve. Although both scenarios result in an unusable engine, the engine does not really blow up.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How much does a car engine weigh?

    A:

    The average car engine (not including the transmission) weighs around 350 pounds, or 158 kilograms. To give an example of typical weights, a small car engine and transmission weighs around 333 pounds (151 kilograms) anda large car engine with transmission weighs around 600 pounds (272 kilograms).

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why won't a car engine turn over?

    A:

    Ignition, fuel and compression are the three primary reasons why a car might crank, but the engine does not turn over and start the vehicle. An engine that does not crank or cranks slowly is pointing at a starter- or battery-related problem.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore