Black, blue, white or grey smoke
from the tailpipe!
Black smoke is raw gasoline burning. A rich
condition can be the cause by a heavy or mis adjusted float, a choke stuck shut, a bad
oxygen sensor, a bad map sensor, a bad fuel pressure regulator, a plugged up air filter or
a bad injector. Typically, if you only get black smoke first thing in the morning, it has
to do with the choke or the fuel enrichment portion of your fuel injection system. If you
get black smoke all the time, get it fixed NOW. If you dont, you run the risk of
wiping out the catalytic convertor and doubling your repair bill.
Blue smoke is
oil burning. The tailpipe will either smoke all the time or just once, first thing in the
morning. If you get blue smoke all the time, that is a sign of impeding doom. That is the
first sign of the beginning of the end. Broken rings, bad pistons, damaged cylinder walls,
all high dollar items.
On the other hand, if all you get is a puff or two first thing in
the morning and never again throughout the day, then your problem is probably bad value
guides or value guide seals. It will cost between $350-800 to replace the seals,
$750-1,500 to replace the guides and seals. I always tell my customers, wait until you
begin to see other symptoms of this oil usage. Wait until you start fouling plugs, wait
until the oil consumption is greater than one quart every 1,000 miles. And never assume
that seals alone will totally fix this problem, if the engine has 100k miles plus.
Grey smoke can
really be black or blue. You can usually tell which is it by the smell or by matching
other symptoms you have to the color of the smoke is easier. Others will say blue is blue
and all other is really grey to black and I would agree.
White smoke is either the transmission shift
modulator is bad and allowing the engine to suck and burn transmission fluid (repair costs
under $200) or its really, really bad. White smoke could also be coolant or
antifreeze that is either leaking, or being forced into the combustion chambers and being
burned. The exhaust will look wet and have a sweet smell to it. A bad head gasket (75% of
the time), a broken head (15% of the time) or a broken cylinder wall (10% of the time)
will be the reason your engine is burning coolant or antifreeze. The repairs start at $850
and go to $8,000.
Copyright ©1997-2000, Mark Salem,
Salem Boys Auto, All Rights Reserved