What does the color of the exhaust fumes portend?

What does the color of the exhaust fumes portend? – main image

Each passion inevitably involves certain expenses that we have to incur in its implementation. It is no different in the case of caravanning - regardless of whether we rent or use our own equipment . The cost level is of course incomparably higher for campers. Their service, ongoing repairs and maintenance consume more funds. The lion's share is generated by professional service of the drive unit - the number of breakdowns and fuel consumption largely depend on its condition. At least for this reason, we should pay special attention to it - even the color of the exhaust gas will reveal a lot of valuable information about the condition of the engine.

Very few drivers have any idea about the structure, wear and characteristics of the engines . The result of ignorance is wrong diagnosis or ignoring the obvious symptoms of mechanical failures . One of the best solutions is periodic inspections where the mechanics actually scan the vehicle for any defects. We are then sure of the technical condition . The color of the exhaust gas will provide us with a large dose of information - remember, however, that even a healthy engine will smoke in certain situations .

Diesel engines without a diesel particulate filter that make life difficult for the driver, can smoke even when in perfect condition. A characteristic feature of such constructions is the release of clouds of black smoke from the exhaust pipe. During even driving, the diesel runs smoothly and practically does not generate any visible contamination. Only under load does it emit black smoke - these are unburned diesel fuel particles , which in newer designs are caught by the diesel particulate filter.

Almost all campers produced today are obligatorily equipped with a particulate filter. Units of this type are in theory considered to be clean and much more environmentally friendly than conventional solutions. However, they also have the right to smoke - they generate white smoke . If the engine is fully operational, smoke is produced only when the filter contents are burned off - the temperature inside the filter rises, which allows you to burn soot and other harmful substances from the exhaust in the form of white smoke. Nevertheless - the failure of the filter may be accompanied by continuous smoking (the filter has been clogged ), which usually involves its replacement ( cost up to several thousand zlotys ), or cleaning and replenishment of the factor increasing the temperature of the exhaust gases.

In the case of a gasoline engine, smoking is also not always a problem. Immediately after starting a cold unit (especially after rainfall or in winter), normal phenomena include the emergence of clouds of white smoke from the exhaust - it is nothing but water vapor (moisture accumulated in the exhaust system). The reason for concern is the blue shade of exhaust gases - in this case we are dealing with a unit that consumes engine oil (the turbocharger or piston rings may be the fault).

The technical condition of a modern engine can still be largely assessed on our own, initially saving on professional assistance. A great help in "diagnosing" the drive unit is the color of its exhaust gases - thanks to it we will have the vehicle repaired in time or we will avoid buying used art.

Maciej Mokwiński
Maciej Mokwiński

I follow the latest trends in the automotive industry, not only in caravanning

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