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Why My Car Emits Grey Smoke From Exhaust?

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A smokey tailpipe can be a great deal of cause of concern. Not only it can be embarrassing, but it can be a warning sign from your engine that something is wrong.

Grey smoke from exhaust can be due to a variety of reasons. from a clogged air filter to leaky valves, it has the potential to burn a hole in your pocket.  So let’s dive into various questions around it as it can be immensely helpful.

What Causes Grey Smoke From Exhaust?

The reasons for a smokey exhaust are many. engine runs on a combustion process and there are multiple conditions to achieve that perfect burn. A smokey exhaust basically tells that proper combustion is not happening in the cylinders. Now they can be a minor issue or major issues, some of them are-

1. Clogged Air Filter

dirty air filter for car, automotive spare part

As discussed above, an engine needs certain conditions to have a proper burn, but if it is starved of that precious oxygen, then incomplete combustion will happen. It will lead to the release of unburnt carbon or fuel through the tailpipe. Not only it will lead to smokey exhaust but reduced engine performance too.

2. Worn Out Turbo Seals

Today’s emission standard and performance parameters have necessitated the introduction of turbos in the car. while that kick-off pant feeling is great when the turn kicks in, when the turbo seals start to leak, they can be messy. A leaky turbo introduces oil into the combustion chamber and as a result, the oil starts to burn with fuel, giving it the mosquito repellent exhaust.

3. Worn Out Engine

The engine components run on a fine film of oil to fight friction. They need a tight amount of clearance to separate oil from the combustion chamber. When the engine wears out, the oil gets a chance to seep past piston rings, and the valve guides into the combustion chamber leading to the grey smoke from exhaust.

4. Blocked Emission Devices

Exhaust gas recirculation, DPF filters, catalytic converters all have been implemented in a car to take care of mother nature, but when these devices fail, they can lead to improper combustion or accumulation of carbon in the system, which they emit from the tailpipe.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dark Tailpipe Emission?

Grey smoke for exhaust is pretty obvious to notice as it can be easily observed from the back of the car. But other than that, it will lead to a lethargic engine making performance go downhill. Also, the engine oil, in some cases will start to reduce and might deplete completely if not taken care of in time.

What Are The Effects Of Grey Smoke From Tailpipe?

Grey smoke from exhaust mostly indicates that the engine is not efficiently burning the fuel. So it will lead to performance issues and a starved engine. Also, oil introduction into the combustion chamber of a diesel engine can cause a runaway condition, leading to its death. If the engine oil is being depleted, the engine will finally run out of it and size. A blocked catalytic converter can go beyond its designed temperature limits and melt into the core.

How To Fix Smokey Exhaust?

As many reasons are involved, fixing grey smoke from the exhaust can be a five-minute job to a labor extensive engine rebuild.  Understanding each step is very simple as it deals with the engine basics. Here are the ways to fix a grey or smokey exhaust.

1. Clean Airfilter

A clogged air filter can lead to blocked airflow into the engine, causing it to starve. Hence they must be cleaned or replaced according to the schedule provided by the manufacturer. The schedule can be easily found in the owner’s manual. The job is so simple that a common joe can do it in his driveway on weekends. If you are adhering to the regular maintenance service then the chances are that you might not face the problem at all.

2. Emission Device Maintenance

Emission devices include EGR valves, DPF filters, and other system peripheries such as vacuum lines. They also come under schedule maintenance and they should be attended to according to the required schedule prescribed by the manufacturer. In older cars, the job was very simple and could have been a DIY activity. But modern direct-injection turbo cars have arrays of plumbing, making it very difficult to do it yourself.

3. Engine Rebuild

The most painful and expensive solution for grey smoke from exhaust is the complete engine rebuild. A worn-out engine can introduce oil in the combustion chamber, leading to dark exhaust and unpleasant smells. Engine rebuild can be a complete engine rebuild or a partial engine rebuild, depending on the condition. It is a big-ticket item and will need some serious money.

4. Turbo Replacement

Also an expensive option, but not as expensive as an engine rebuild. The good news is that many third parties companies are selling god turbo repair kits these days and a turbo can be brought back to health at a fraction of a cost.  Also, it is a good chance to upgrade that turbo to a bigger one for some extra muscle power.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Grey Smoke?

The cost of fixing grey smoke from the exhaust has a wide range scale of expenses. If you are looking at replacing just the air filter, then it will be in the range of 20-30$. Turbo replacement usually costs between 500$ to 1500$ for a multi turbo setup. Engine overhaul is a big-ticket item and costs to the tune of 2000$ to 5 grand. lastly, EGR and other emission-related services will cost around 500$.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can say that the grey smoke from the exhaust is basically your engine telling you that it is not breathing properly and needs to be addressed soon. The problem can be a little air filter to a worn-out engine. If the problem is caught at an early stage then you can avoid burning your pocket. If you are careful about your scheduled maintenance, then chances are that you won’t face these issues

If you still have some questions about this topic then feel free to comment down below.

 

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