Diesel Engine Knowhow: Do you see White Smoke coming out of your Tailpipe?

Categories: Diesel Engine

You may be waiting at a red light or you may have just started the engine and white smoke coming out of your tailpipe. Should you be alarmed? What should you do? You may want to ditch your truck for the day or you may want to ignore it. Neither is a wise approach. Get accustomed with the white smoke problem which is not normal but quite common with diesel engines.

Why the White Smoke?

There could be one or more reasons for your car exuding white smoke. The volume of white smoke will also vary. It could be insignificant or it could be voluminous. Let us get to the basics that can help you to understand the cause.

If coolant has entered the combustion chamber, then you will have white smoke emitting from the tailpipe. This could also happen if the engine has low compression. You can easily run a test to know for certain what the exact reason is. Pull the breather cap and look for smoke. If the engine is enduring excess blow-by then you would see white smoke emitting from the valve cover. You may need a technician to sort this out.

Worn out injectors can also cause white smoke. The injector may have a cracked tip, bad solenoid or harness. If the injector is damaged or worn out, then it may allow too much fuel in and that will affect the cylinder. If a cylinder goes down, then your diesel car or truck will emit white smoke.

Another common reason for white smoke is dropping coolant level. Some trucks have a perennial issue of dropping coolants. When coolants get into the engine, it can cause some severe damage over time. Don’t try to replenish the coolant and keep driving. Get your engine checked and fix the problem.

There are a few other causes of white smoke. The exact problem will depend on the vehicle and its specifications. In some models, the water and oil gets contaminated. Crankcases often get overwhelmed with water and radiators often have to endure excessive oil. You must try to steer clear from these issues. While these conditions are not entirely avertable, you must be quick to get them remedied. White smoke is just the symptom. You have to get to the root of the problem and fix it.