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Common Causes of Smoking Vehicle
Broward County > Pollution Prevention > Air Quality > Educational Programs > Common Causes of Smoking Vehicle

Diesel Engines Don't Have To Smoke

Although diesel engines emit some smoke on acceleration, they should not smoke constantly.  All vehicles, including diesels, are subject to the same smoking law as gasoline engines.

Prevention Is Key

While it is normal for smoke to appear during the first few seconds after engine startup only, a well-maintained vehicle should not emit visible exhaust. Preventing a vehicle from smoking often involves simple maintenance procedures.

Gasoline Engines

Visible Sign

Diagnosis

Probable Causes

White

Coolant and/or water leaking into combustion chamber

  • Bad head gasket (leaking)
  • Cracked block or cylinder head

Blue

Engine oil being burned

  • Oil leaking into combustion chamber
  • Worn piston rings, valves or cylinders
  • Bad exhaust manifold
  • Bad head gasket

Black or Gray

Incomplete fuel combustion

  • Clogged air filter
  • Carburetor, choke, fuel injection, or  emission system malfunction
  • Ignition timing off
  • Blocked manifold
  • Low compression due to engine wear

Diesel Engines

Visible Sign

Diagnosis

Probable Causes

White

Improper air/fuel mixture. Fuel is not burning

  • Faulty fuel injection system
  • Incorrect fuel injection and valve timing
  • Engine overheating
  • Faulty fuel pump and/or injection pump

Blue

Engine oil being burned or atomized

  • Engine oil level too high
  • Worn piston rings, valves, or cylinders

Black or Gray

Incomplete fuel combustion

  • Damaged air filter
  • Faulty fuel injection system
  • Clogged air filter
  • Wrong grade of fuel
  • Incorrect fuel injection pump timing
  • Engine overheating
  • Low compression ratio

Report Smoking Vehicles!
954-519-1499

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