How to Spot a Malfunctioning Radiator

Can Exhaust Smoke Cause My Car to Fail the Smog Check?

Yes, excessive exhaust can cause your car, truck, or SUV to fail the smog check if the engine or exhaust system is malfunctioning. Excess exhaust can be caused by a malfunctioning catalytic converter, a faulty MAF sensor, a faulty O2 sensor, or a rich fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. Excessive exhaust can also be caused by a fluid hemorrhage. 


In theory, your car’s exhaust should be imperceptible. It should not be visible unless it is extremely cold outside and steam is visible coming from the tailpipe. Aside from that, the exhaust is clear because it has been treated by the catalytic converter to make it safe to release into the environment.


If your engine is leaking fuel, you will notice black exhaust coming out of the tailpipe. The fuel hoses, fuel injectors, or fuel filters could all be leaking fuel. You may also have a compromised area of the engine. This is the source of the fuel leak. It is critical that you do not drive your car if it is leaking fuel. Continuing to drive the vehicle risks starting a fire in the engine. In fact, if there is a serious fuel leak, you might see flames or sparks coming from the tailpipe. 

Can Exhaust Smoke Cause My Car to Fail the Smog Check?


If your engine is leaking oil, you will notice blue or gray exhaust coming out of the tailpipe. If your car, truck, or utility vehicle is leaking oil, you should avoid driving it, just as you would if it were leaking gasoline. This indicates that the oil level in the engine is low and that continuing to drive the vehicle could cause serious engine damage. Blue or gray exhaust can sometimes indicate that the engine is completely broken and needs to be rebuilt or replaced.


Finally, you have a serious coolant leak if you see white exhaust coming from the tailpipe. If coolant is leaking from the cooling system, your engine will naturally overheat every time you drive your car. Steam can be seen coming out from beneath the hood in severe cases. If your vehicle is leaking coolant, it is critical that you do not drive it.

Give a qualified auto repair shop a call today if you need vehicle suspension repair. If your vehicle requires any type of service, you should go to an ASE-certified auto mechanic to assist you with the job. You need to go to a trusted auto repair shop in order to make sure that the job is done right the first time. 

Auto Maintenance in San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego has been providing high-quality auto repair in San Diego for many years, and our auto mechanics have proven that they can provide excellent service to our clients. To learn more about how we can assist you with your auto maintenance, call (619) 330-0862 right away. We will help you get back on the road safely and quickly, without breaking the bank. That is our promise to you.