DIY Exhaust Repair: Can You Do It?

If your exhaust is spewing different unusual colors and huge volumes of smoke, like a thick white plume of cumulous clouds, black smog, blue smoke, or even what seems like volcanic ash, you should have it looked at by a mechanic post-haste.

During such situations, you shouldn't dilly-dally. As time goes by, different parts of your car make take on a worse shape than if you had the car checked out earlier. The longer you wait the more expensive your repair bill will become.

Regular vehicular maintenance might seem like a burden but it's all for your own good and the good of your car when push comes to shove. Trace out the problem in the beginning to spare you some headaches later on.

How To Fix Smoke From Your Exhaust Issue

  • Inspect The Intake Gasket: The intake gasket is the first part you should look at if you have thick white smoke billowing from your tailpipe. It's the gasket that specifically seals the manifold to the head. It's responsible for distributing the combustion mixture as well as the coolant to the separate intake port. The ports are located in the cylinder heads. The smoke comes from the coolant seeping into the combustion chamber and port, so while driving it seems like your tailpipe is on fire with all the smoke.
  • Check the Head Gasket: The mechanic should look for any rust or leaks for repair on the intake gasket as well as the severity of the damage. If the intake gasket works fine, your mechanic then should then shift his attention to the intake or head gasket. In order to inspect and fix said gasket, he should uninstall the intake manifold first. Only check the head gasket if the intake gasket is fine. Otherwise, take care of the intake gasket first and perhaps the head gasket will follow if the problem persists.
  • Look for Cracks on the Cylinder Head: Your exhaust have probably spewed clouds of white smoke because there's something wrong with the cylinder head. Therefore, check to see if there are any cracks or dents on this car part but only after you've checked the intake and head gaskets first. This part is made of aluminum, which isn't as strong as steel or iron even though it's more resistant to corrosion than either of those items.
  • Check the Valves and Cylinder Walls for Oil Leaks: If your exhaust is instead spewing thick plumes of blue or gray smoke instead of white smoke, then it could be an indication of oil burning in your fuel combustion chamber. There's an oil leak that gets oil to end up in that chamber. You should check cracks, dents, or holes from your valve seals, valve guides, piston rings, cylinder walls, or a stuck closed PCV valve that causes excessive crankcase pressure.

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