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

In some instances t's normal to see things come out of your car, like when you see water vapor coming out of the tailpipe. But if you're driving and you start to see smoke coming out of the tailpipe or out from under the hood, you may not know what's going on but you know it's not good. Don't worry, though -- we're going to go over what the problem might be.

Here is some information on what the cause is depending on what the smoke looks and smells like.

Black smoke/smells like burning plastic: this could point to burnt wires. There are several hundred feet of wires under the hood of your car. If there's a short circuit, the wires could get burned and cause smoke to billow out of your car.

It could also point to a defective fuel pressure regulator, a leaking fuel injector, or a failed engine sensor or causes incomplete combustion which can lead to unburned fuel leaking into the exhaust system and come out of the tailpipe.

Blue or grey smoke with a bitter smell: It could mean that transmission fluid has been sucked into the manifold by a defective transmission vacuum modulator. It could also mean that the engine is burning oil. Here are some of the possible causes:

  • leaking valve seals
  • overfilling the crankcase
  • worn piston rings
  • a plugged PVC valve
  • not changing the oil regularly
  • using the wrong type of oil

White smoke with a sweet smell and oily feel: It can come out of your tailpipe if coolant is burning in the combustion chamber, and the cause could be a bad head gasket.

If you see smoke coming out of your car, it may or may not be an emergency so it's important to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible to be safe. Take your car into our shop to get it inspected quickly and professionally. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry.

If you need engine repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!