Tailpipe Smoke and What It Means For Your Diesel Vehicle

Blue, black, or white means it's time to visit the diesel repair pros for maintenance.There are three different colors of smoke which emitted from the tailpipe of diesel exhaust, but what could they possibly mean?

Black Smoke.

If your vehicle is emitting black smoke, it likely will mean one of the following things:

  • Incorrect fuel-injection timing
  • Fuel Injectors are dirty or old
  • Too much fuel
  • Faulty turbo or turbocharger lag
  • Dirty or old Exhaust Gas Recycling system
  • Fuel to Air ratio is off
  • Cool temperatures
  • Excessive carbon build up in exhaust

Hence, let’s take a closer look at what causes these problems.  Most black diesel smoke comes from parts lacking adequate maintenance and cleaning. With such an easy fix to it, if you have black smoke emitting from your tailpipe, visit a Diesel repair shop and get those parts cleaned up to keep Reno air clean!

Blue/Gray Smoke

If your diesel is releasing blue or gray smoke from the tailpipe, it is an indication that your vehicle is burning oil. Burning oil is a serious issue caused by several different reasons:

  • Valve guides or seals are worn
  • There is wear in the Power Assemblies (cylinders, piston rings, etc.)
  • Crankcase Ventilation system is stuck closed

Blue smoke is not acceptable at any time, including a cold start.  Subsequently, if your vehicle is emitting this, then take the proper measures to clean and replace any dirty and faulty parts. Furthermore, regular maintenance and cleaning will improve the overall functionality and performance of the engine and reduce the total smoke escaping your exhaust.  By the way, our diesel repair shop will fix this issue for you.

White Smoke

White smoke occurs when raw diesel fuel passes through the exhaust wholly unburned and intact, which can happen due to the following:

  • Faulty, damaged or dirty injectors
  • Incorrect Injection timing, caused by a worn timing gear
  • Low Cylinder Compression
  • Water entering the combustion space (caused by a broken or cracked head gasket, which is the most common issue)

If the vehicle is producing white smoke, it is likely you have a problem with your head gasket or cylinder heads, which means you will likely have to visit a diesel repair shop to have them dealt with professionally.

Finally, regular maintenance can help prevent any of these problems and save you from having to pay for costly engine repairs. Visit the friendly diesel repair professionals at Wayne’s Automotive Center if you have any of these issues.

Financing Available

Cars are complicated; financing shouldn’t be. Besides honoring all major credit cards, debit cards, and cash Wayne’s Automotive also offers a simple path to funding through Synchrony Bank. Applications are available.

Napa Warranty

Wayne’s Automotive Center is a NAPA AutoCare center. As a gold certified shop, all qualifying repair or service work comes with a FREE 3 year/36,000 mile “peace of mind” nationwide warranty through Napa AutoCare.

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(775) 356-6996


55 Coney Island Drive
Sparks, NV 89431

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Hours: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM




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