The exhaust pipe jutting out from under your car's rear bumper helps to keep the engine from overheating, and most of the time the emissions coming from the tailpipe are pretty much undetectable to the human eye. However, you may sometimes see smoke coming from the pipe, and in certain cases this could indicate there is a serious issue. The appearance of the smoke can tell you a lot about what might be going on with your car.
White smoke typically indicates that water has gotten into the exhaust system. This could be due to condensation on a dewy morning or a coolant leak. It's important to inspect the coolant levels and add more fluid if necessary when you notice white smoke. You may also want to check the oil, as a coolant leak in the wrong spot can wind up getting into the oil, which can create a host of other problems.
If the engine is unable to burn off all the fuel during the combustion process, the gasoline can get into the exhaust system and create thick, black smoke. You may also notice that your car's fuel economy has dropped significantly.
If the smoke has a bluish appearance, chances are that somehow the motor oil has made its way into the exhaust system, likely due to a leak. The sooner this issue is addressed the better chances you have at preventing further damage.
Regardless of what color smoke is pouring from the tailpipe, it's important to visit a mechanic as soon as possible. The experts at New Jersey Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center can help you sort out the issues, keeping you safer on the road.