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Blue Smoke From Exhaust – What Are The Common Causes?

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Have you ever been driving along your normal route and suddenly see blue smoke coming from your exhaust? If so, this is nothing you want to ignore. Blue smoke is never a good sign and it can indicate many different problems with your car. The good news is if you spot it early and act upon it right away, these problems can be fixed. It is important to understand what blue smoke is, why you see it coming from your exhaust and the most effective ways on how you can fix this problem. You want to take care of this issue as soon as possible so no further damages occur. If you continue to drive your car, these damages will get worse it will cost your more money in the long run.  

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The Most Common Causes Of Blue Smoke


There are a few different reasons why blue smoke could be coming out of your exhaust. There are a few different scenarios on when blue smoke could come out of the exhaust. The first one is blue smoke coming from the exhaust when starting your car. The other scenario is when blue smoke comes from your exhaust from accelerating. You should be aware of the causes behind both scenarios. 


Let’s say you just started your car and blue smoke comes from the exhaust. Why does this happen? You could have bad valve seals. Every engine has valves that open and close to help the engine function properly. These valves are supposed to open mechanically by pressure from a rocker arm. They open up so air and gas can get into the engine. They also are used to let exhaust gas out of the engine after it has been burned. 


To help with the proper function of these valves, oil is used for lubrication. The valve seals are used to prevent this oil from getting into the engine. The only purpose of the oil is to keep the parts working properly without friction occurring. Oil is not supposed to travel down to the engine. If these valves are worn down or broken, the oil will get into the engine. When this happens, the air, oil, and gas will all burn together causing the blue smoke to appear. 


If you have a diesel engine, you will need to use a glow plug to ignite the diesel fuel. If your glow plug is not working properly, it will create that blue smoke during the startup. 


Now let’s say you are accelerating and you start to see blue smoke from your exhaust. The first thing you should check is the positive crankcase ventilation valve. This valve is responsible for releasing the pressure into the intake manifold. If the positive crankcase ventilation valve gets stuck, the oil, air, and gas will continue to mix inside the engine. This is very bad and will cause blue smoke to come out of the exhaust. 


Worn Engine: Another common cause of blue smoke is a worn engine. Every engine has pistons that move up and down the cylinder. Every individual piston has metal rings around it. You might be wondering what the function of these rings are. These rings help the piston form a tight seal around the cylinder. As you can imagine, if these rings start to wear out, oil will come up and start to leak into the engine. The mixture of fuel and oil in the engine will cause blue smoke to come out of the exhaust. 


Transmission Fluid Loss: There is a particular device that will control the transmission shift in older cars. If there are any problems with this device, it will mess up the entire system. The engine will start to suck in the transmission fluid. This is very bad. The engine is not supposed to take in any transmission fluid. This fluid is specific for the transmission system. When the transmission fluid gets into the engine, it will start to burn like oil. This process will create that blue smoke coming out of the exhaust. 


Blown Turbo: If your car has a turbo, you should definitely check them to see if they are blown out. If they are, then there is a good chance that this is why blue smoke is coming out of the exhaust. The definition of a blown turbo is one that has been completely damaged or one that has a broken oil seal. It doesn’t matter which issue you have, both situations will let oil into the engine. Once this happens, the engine will mix the fuel and oil and burn it. This will create blue smoke. 


What Does It Mean If You See Blue Smoke?


You might be wondering to yourself, what does it mean when blue smoke starts coming out of my exhaust? It is important to understand what this means so you know how to fix the problem. Blue smoke is a sign that your car engine is burning oil. When this happens, blue smoke is created. How does your car start to burn oil? Well, the piston rings or valve seals start to wear down over time and that causes the oil to start leaking. If the oil starts to leak in places that it shouldn’t, bad things can happen.


The oil will continue to flow into the combustion chamber. When this happens, the oil will start to burn with the fuel. This process creates that blue smoke you see coming out of your exhaust. It will also create a strong smell that is not good for your health if you breathe it in. The moment you notice this blue smoke, you need to go to a mechanic who can help you fix this problem. You do not want to continue driving your car if you see blue smoke coming from the exhaust. 


How To Fix Blue Smoke From Exhaust


Mentioned above were the different causes of why blue smoke can come out to the exhaust. Now you are probably wondering how do I get rid of this smoke? You will need to fit the root problem first and then look to fix the issue as soon as possible. Listed below are some ways to fix these problems.


Clean The Engine: It is very common for dirt particles to get stuck in the engine. If you don’t clean your engine, these dirt particles and sludge will accumulate inside the engine. This will allow oil to get into the combustion chamber and cause blue smoke. This is why it is important to clean your engine. To do this, you will first want to remove the valve cover to clean all of the debris in your engine. Once you have done that, clean out the drain back holes. After all of that is done, you will want to clean all of the oil remains to ensure no oil is left in the engine. 


Fix Bad Glow Plug: If you notice that your car has a bad glow plug, you should just replace the entire thing and buy a new one. It is much easier to just replace these instead of repairing them. 


Fix Blown Turbo: You should stop driving your car if you have a blown turbo. Bad things will happen if you keep driving your car. Bits of metal will be created due to the lack of oil in the turbo. If you continue to drive, this metal will get into the engine and damage it. 


Before you fix the turbo, you will want to investigate your engine. If your turbo did not break into small pieces, then your engine should still be okay. If there are metal pieces in your engine, you will probably need to rebuild it or replace it. Either way, you will want to purchase new turbos and replace them. 


Fix PCV Valve: The good news for you is fixing the PCV valve is pretty simple and cheap. If you are trying to fix your PCV valve, you will first need to look for a tube that links to the intake manifold. Once you have found this tube, follow it all the way back to the PCV valve. Now that you have located where this valve is, take it out. All you have to do is replace it with a brand new one. Make sure you put it back in the same location so that everything will work properly when you turn your car on. 


Fix Valve Seals: Fixing valve seals is also another easy fix. This task can be done at home. The most important thing to keep in mind is to not drop the valve into the engine. This does happen so you want to make sure you don’t do this. You will want to first remove the spring from the valve and the rocker arm. Once you accomplish that, you will need to lift the old valve stem up and then replace it entirely with a new one. There are special tools you can use to compress the valve spring if you need to. Sometimes this can get in the way. 


Fix Transmission Modulator: If you need to fix the transmission modulator, you will first need to locate where this is at. Once you have found it, all you will need to do is remove the entire thing and then replace it with a new one. Make sure you are replacing it with the exact same part so not issues will occur. If the vacuum line is damage by the transmission fluid, you will need to replace that as well. 


Things You Should Know About Blue Smoke


You should always be aware of anytime your car makes a strange noise or if blue smoke starts coming out of your exhaust. Often blue smoke will be seen when you first start your engine in the morning. Pay attention to how your car acts when you first start it for the day. If you don’t properly maintain your car, you will likely see blue smoke come from the exhaust. 


If you let this problem go for too long, you could seriously damage the engine past repair. If you have done this, you could try to rebuild the engine or just purchase a completely new one. Either way, this is going to be very expensive. The moment you notice blue smoke coming from your exhaust, you should take your car to a mechanic to get it checked out. The quicker you get a diagnosis for the car, the sooner you can get it fixed and start driving again. Remember if you see blue smoke coming from your exhaust, you should stop driving your car. 




It can take time for you to find the root problem of why blue smoke is coming from your exhaust. After you have found the problem, you might start to wonder if it is worth your time and money to fix it. If you don’t want to fix it, you do have options to think about.


You don’t want to spend the money to fix your car? That’s fine because you have plenty of options. You can sell your car to us and will pay you cash for it. You don’t need to fix your car before you sell it to us either. We sell refurbished cars and parts so we will take your can in any condition. We will either fix it ourselves or use it for the working parts. 


If you are interested in this option, head over to our website and get a quote or call us at any time. Our process is very simple. You don’t have to worry about getting your car to us, we will come pick it up and tow it back to our place. No need to worry about tow costs because we will cover those. Once we have your car we will pay cash for it. 


We know that repairing a car can get expensive. If you don’t want to hassle with fixing your car, come get cash from us. You can put this money towards buying a new car. Contact us today to get a quote!


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