Driving a car is a pleasurable experience, but to keep your pleasure going on for a long time without a hitch it needs regular maintenance. It is important that you devote a bit of your time daily to see your car is in perfect working order and in case of any problematic sign, take it to the authorized service center for a checkup.
Generally, we check the engine, air filter, level of fuel and engine oil, but we are never bothered to check the colour of smoke that comes out of the exhaust. This is very important, for different smoke colors give different indications to the condition of the car engine. Let’s check them out:
A Thick Dark Smoke Swirling Around: Although a thick black smoke emanating out of the exhaust looks ominous, it is actually a case of the oil-air mixture ratio gone haywire. To ensure an optimum engine performance, the air to fuel ratio in a petrol engine should be around 14.7:1, whereas the same should be around 14.5:1 for a diesel engine. The moment this Stoichiometric ratio comes down, the color of the smoke gets darker, which means only a part of the fuel is burnt while the rest is thrown out through the exhaust system.
Who to blame: The problem can be attributed to a host of factors such as a leaking fuel injector, a blocked return fuel pipe, a malfunctioning airflow sensor or a closed fuel pressure regulator.
A Blue Colour Smoke Painting the Background: This smoke colour indicates the addition of impurities (engine oil or lubricants) to the mixture of air and fuel inside the combustion chamber. This signifies a major wear and tear to the internal engine parts, thus necessitating prompt servicing to avoid major damage to the car engine.
Where to pin the blame: The actual culprit can be a crack in any of the engine parts such as the cylinders, pistons or valves. The crack can lead to the leakage of engine oil or lubricant into a mixture of air and fuel inside the combustion chamber. This, when ignited, results in the emission of a blue-coloured smoke.
When White is Not Beautiful: The white colour emission can be of two types:
The thin wisp: This innocuous smoke is basically vapors of condensed water. that come out of the exhaust when the engine is heated.
The thick billowing white smoke: This type of white smoke is formed when the coolant comes in contact with the mixture of air and fuel inside the combustion chamber.
Where to pin the blame: There are three likely candidates for the foul up – a cracked cylinder in the engine, a broken gasket or a blocked fuel pump.
So, learn to read the smoke signals in order to keep the heart of your supercar beat in rhythm.