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Why Is There Smoke Coming from Underneath My Car's Hood?

Undeniably, when you notice smoke billowing from under your vehicle's hood, something is wrong with your engine. This scenario could indicate a complex problem that requires expert intervention from your mechanic or a simple issue you can resolve.

Most people often mistake steam-like vapor to smoke emanating from the tailpipe. This type of vapor should not raise any alarm because it is due to condensation within the exhaust system.

However, you should understand the type of smoke by comprehending its color and smell before you panic. Stop immediately and peep or continue driving to the nearest repair shop.

Reasons Why a Car Smokes

Spill onto the Car Engine

A running car has its engine often hot. Besides, the exhaust also remains hot throughout the drive. A spill from fluids such as motor oil onto these hot areas can result in a cloud of smoke emanating from your hood. The main fluids that may leak from damaged seals or engine parts include the following:

  • Engine coolant
  • Transmission fluid
  • Window washer solvent
  • Power steering
  • Brake fluid

Fortunately, this type of smoke is often harmless, but you must take your car to the mechanic to fix these leaks as soon as possible. However, if you notice a cloud of smoke from the tailpipe or beneath the hood, indicate a serious electrical or mechanical problem requiring urgent attention.

Internal Combustion

Internal combustion in the combustion chamber is responsible for the small puff of small smoke you notice at the tailpipe. Such smoke is often seen in diesel-powered vehicles. Mostly, combustion is the process where the air mixes with engine fuel to power the engine. Whenever the compressed air and fuel burn in the combustion chamber, the unburnt mixture leaves the chamber through the tailpipe.

Type of Smoke You Should Watch-Out for And What They Mean

White Smoke - If you notice this type of smoke from the tailpipe, it indicates a problem with the internal engine component or coolant spill from a head gasket.

Wispy White Smoke - Indicates a blown radiator hose.

Blue or Grey Smoke - indicates a problem such as leaking valve seals, overfilling crankcase, or worn piston rings.

Thick Greyish Smoke - Indicates a defective transmission modular.

Black Smoke - Indicate the possibility of burned wires, leaking fuel injector, and failed engine sensor.

Remember, the tailpipe could be the place to help you determine the source, cause, and severity of the smoke to the car engine. If you see these signs and your engine needs repair, you can visit Import Auto Specialists for expert assistance today!

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