Is Your Diesel Engine Smoking? What It Means And What To Do About It

1 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog

While a small amount of smoke coming from the exhaust of your diesel-powered vehicle is nothing to worry about, if the smoke is continual or there is a lot of it, something is wrong. There are three main colors to diesel smoke that will give you clues as to what is wrong. You may not be aware there is a problem, but when you see smoke, it is always good to contact a diesel engine repair mechanic like JP's Truck Service and give the details. Here are a few things to check for each of the different smoke colors to give the mechanic a better idea of what is going on.

Black Smoke

A brief puff of black smoke as the engine starts or you accelerate is common in diesel engines. However, if the smoke continues it almost always indicates a problem with the fuel or combustion. Before contacting the mechanic, look inside the engine compartment. If you notice a lot of soot, there could be a leak somewhere keeping the fuel from compressing properly. You should also look at the air filter and clean or replace it if it is dirty or clogged. Go to a new gas station, fill the tank, and then go for a long drive. If there is still black smoke billowing from the engine or exhaust, it is time to call the mechanic.

Blue Smoke

Blue smoke means that engine oil is being burned. This could be something as simple as some oil spilled on the engine or it could mean the pistons are worn. The first thing to do is to check the oil level in the engine. If it is low, add more. Wipe down the engine and start the vehicle. Letting it run for a few minutes. Turn off the engine and check the engine compartment again. Tell the mechanic if you notice any new oil on the engine so he or she can determine where the leak is.

White Smoke

If you notice white smoke coming out of the exhaust of your vehicle, you are wasting fuel. White smoke indicates that fuel is being pushed through the system that is not being burned. This could be due to a lack of compression or a cold engine. If the smoking stops once the engine warms up, try adding a pre-heater to the gas tank. If this does not take care of the problem, have a mechanic check for a blown head gasket or cracked heads.

Regular maintenance on a diesel engine can prevent most of the problems that cause smoke from the engine or exhaust. While it may be something simple and easy to fix, ignoring it will only make the problem worse. Unless you are experienced in working on diesel engines, it is a good idea to talk with a professional and have him or her determine the best course of action.