My Car Started Smoking And Then Died: How Do I Fix It Now

One of our readers posted this unique problem: “my car started smoking and then died.” We simply had to look into the issue, and here is what we found.

Has your car started smoking and then died? If yes, then there is a problem with the engine. The coolant or oil starts to flow inside the cylinder when there is a problem with the head gasket. It starts to burn along with petrol and air, resulting in smoke from the car’s hood. If the head gasket is excessively damaged, the engine can shut down, which can be especially dangerous if you are driving on the road.


My Car Started Smoking And Then Died: How Do I Fix It Now

Why Does Smoke Come From Engines?

#1. Coolant Leak

The smoke coming from the vehicle’s exhaust system is neither good for the engine nor the environment. The possible reason for the white smoke is a coolant leak. There are cylinders in the middle of the engine where the combustion of air and fuel takes. You will find passages on the outside of the cylinder where coolant flows, and its work is to prevent the cylinder from overheating.

The problem occurs when the head gasket of the cylinder blows out. When this happens, the coolant from the passages starts flowing inside the cylinder. It starts to burn with gasoline and air whenever you turn the engine. Consequently, you will see white smoke liberating from the vehicle’s exhaust. You should take your vehicle to the mechanic. He will inspect the cylinder and other components of the engine and correct them as required.

You need to replace the head gasket if there is a problem with it. The cost of replacing the head gasket is $150.

#2. Faulty Fuel Injector

The work of the fuel injector is to mix the correct amount of fuel with oxygen so that combustion can takes place properly. But when the fuel injector is faulty, more fuel starts to mix with the oxygen, resulting in smoke from the exhaust manifold of the car.

#3.Seal Or Valve Leak

When the piston seals or valves leak, the oil starts leaking. The oil begins to burn along with gasoline and air, resulting in smoke from the exhaust manifold.


My Car Started Smoking And Then Died: How Do I Fix It Now

What Do Different Colors of Smoke Signify?

The vehicle usually produces some vapor on the exhaust manifold. If you start your car on a chill winter day, you can observe it more appropriately. It looks more intense on a chill winter day. Most people think it is smoke and assume there are some issues in the engine. But if the smoke disappears after some time, your car has no problem.

But sometimes you may observe blue, black, or grey color smoke coming from the exhaust pipe of the vehicle. Let’s discuss the significance of the different colors of smoke.

#1.Black Or Grey Color Smoke

If you observe any color smoke, i.e., black or grey, you should immediately take the vehicle to the garage. It indicates that there is some problem with the engine which needs to be checked and corrected. The main reason for white or grey color smoke is a faulty fuel injection system or when the air filter is blocked.

A vehicle needs the proper amount of oxygen for the combustion process. But when the fuel injector and air filter do not function properly, more fuel and less oxygen start to burn in the combustion chamber. Consequently, you will find black or grey smoke from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe.

If you are running a diesel car and observe black or grey smoke, it can be because of the overheated engine or burning soot.

#2. Blue Smoke

If you observe blue smoke from the car, then take the vehicle immediately to the mechanic.

A blue color smoke is dangerous and needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Oil leaks whenever the engine block of the cylinder cracks or piston seals get damaged. If oil mixes with gasoline and air and starts to burn in the combustion chamber, you will observe blue smoke.

Light blue smoke is observed if slight oil mixes with the air gasoline mixture. But if more oil starts to mix with gasoline and air, you will observe deep blue smoke.

#3.White Smoke

If you are driving a diel car and observe white smoke, it can be because of an overheated engine, improper engine timing, or malfunctioning fuel injector. If you are driving a petrol car and observe white smoke, it can be because of a coolant leak, cracked cylinder block, or head leakage in the head gasket.

If you don’t fix it instantly, it can shut the engine, which is dangerous.


My Car Started Smoking And Then Died: How Do I Fix It Now

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Why did my car start smoking and shut off?

Smoke is usually liberated from the car because of an overheated engine. However, there are other reasons, too, like when the piston seals get damaged, the oil will flow inside the cylinder, resulting in smoke. Additionally, when the cylinder head blows, coolant flows inside the cylinder and burns, resulting in smoke. Malfunctioning of the fuel pumps can even result in smoke.

#2. What happens if your transmission starts smoking?

Shifting gears is quite hard. But because of transmission fluid, you can easily shift gears in a car. Simultaneously the fluid helps lubricate various components. But when there is low transmission fluid or incorrect fluid, it results in smoke from the hood.

The transmission system can even burn, which is dangerous. Take your car to the mechanic. Additionally, check the manual to put the proper transmission fluid in the vehicle.

#3. What does it mean when your car blows out smoke?

It means air and fuel need to be adequately mixed in the combustion chamber. When the fuel injector does not work effectively, more fuel and less air start to burn in the combustion chamber, which can result in smoke. Again, if the head gasket of the cylinder blows, it allows it to come inside the combustion chamber and burn, resulting in smoke.

#4. What does blown head gasket smoke look like?

The head gasket of the cylinder can blow out with time. It allows the coolant from the passages to enter the combustion chamber and burn with gasoline air. It results in white color smoke from the hood, which is dangerous.

Wrap Up

When smoke is released from the engine, it is not good for the health of human beings. Inhaling smoke can result in dizziness, headache, and lung problems. Simultaneously smoke from the hood indicates some engine issues that need to be corrected as soon as possible.

So whenever you observe smoke from the hood, take the car to the nearest automobile professional. He will inspect the engine components and correct them as required. Don’t try to mess around too much under the hood, it is best to leave this one to the professionals

Thank you for reading this article!


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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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