If you are dealing with “Volvo car smoking but not overheating”, the causes differ depending on the associated smoke color. Let’s take a closer look:
- Black engine smoke (faulty fuel injector, faulty fuel pressure regulator, faulty carburetor, faulty fuel manifold, or faulty ignition timing)
- White engine fumes (damaged engine block or broken coolant hose)
- Black exhaust fumes (clogged air filter, damaged fuel pressure regulator, or malfunctioning fuel injector)
- White exhaust fumes (a blown head gasket, broken cylinder head, or a cracked engine compartment)
- Gray exhaust fumes (problem valve stem seal or piston ring failure)
- Blue exhaust fumes (damaged piston or piston ring, broken valve stem seal, problematic PCV valve, damaged engine oil seals, or blown head gasket)
Sometimes when dealing with strange car behavior we get frustrated, and many of us get scared because the issue could be linked to a bigger problem. For example, if you hear or smell something strange, you are away from your Volvo car to draw your attention to certain internal problems.
However, dealing with smoking in the car is one of the scariest situations, especially for inexperienced drivers. So understanding all the potential causes for this smoke is extremely important to help you get out of the situation without causing further harm and gives you an idea of what you can expect next.
Usually, our vehicles smoke due to an overheating issue, but the issue may not be associated with overheating issues in some rare cases. Therefore, this article focuses on all the potential causes for your Volvo car to smoke but not overheat.
Car smoking but not overheating: all the potential causes
You should pay attention to the color of the smoke whenever your car smokes, but don’t overheat because it says a ton about the root problem. Telling your mechanic what color this smoke is is helping you narrow down the list and focus on what’s most important.
Let’s take a closer look at all the potential causes for smoking in Volvo car, but don’t overheat for a slight color:
1. Black engine smoke
One of the most common types of smoke you will deal with when your car smokes is black smoke coming from the engine compartment. If that’s the case, then you’re dealing with one of the following issues:
Fuel injector malfunctioning
The fuel injector is responsible for injecting fuel in a certain amount and at a certain time to start your engine. When the engine does not receive the right amount of fuel, it can start to smoke because it is overloaded.
Smoke is usually due to a clogged fuel injector, not a broken fuel injector. This injector gets some break from dirt over time of use, and when this happens, it needs to be replaced. However, depending on the quality of the fuel injector, it may not need to be fitted for a long time. So if you are planning to invest in fuel injector replacement, consider purchasing a slightly higher quality one so you don’t have to worry about this problem too often.
Faulty fuel pressure regulator
The fuel pressure regulator is responsible for monitoring the pressure in the fuel system, and it is not surprising to deal with some problems in this regulator that could cause your engine to smoke. Therefore, you should consult your mechanic and inspect this regulator and replace it if necessary.
Depending on your Volvo vehicle type, you may be dealing with a damaged carburetor. This problem typically happens on older cars that are equipped with a carburetor. You will notice some black smoke coming out of the engine compartment whenever this happens.
The manifold allows the air-fuel mixture necessary to reach the engine. However, when it clogs, it does not lift this amount to the engine, which is why your engine will be stressed and will produce some black smoke.
Broken ignition times
Your engine doesn’t just require the right amount of fuel to start. However, it still needs the right ignition at the right time, and when there is any problem with the ignition timing equipment, it will deal with black smoke coming out of the engine compartment.
2. White engine fumes
In other cases, your engine smoke may be white, and if that is the case, then you are dealing with one of the following issues:
Damaged engine block
Unfortunately, if the smoke coming out of the engine compartment is thick, you could be dealing with one of the most serious problems: a cracked or damaged engine block. This is the case; your mechanic needs to look at the vehicle and confirm the root culprit.
In most scenarios, a damaged or cracked engine compartment is not inexpensively repairable because it will require labor-intensive costs and expensive parts. This is why many people give up their Volvo cars when dealing with a cracked engine block.
Broken coolant hose
If you’re lucky, the white smoke could be coming from a problem with the cooling system. This happens when the hose carrying the coolant breaks and allows the coolant to drip onto the hot components around your engine. When this happens, the colon can burn and release white smoke.
Fortunately, fixing a broken hose isn’t as expensive as dealing with a cracked engine compartment. In any case, the problem should be fixed as soon as possible, because eventually, it can damage the entire engine if it runs out of coolant.
3. Black exhaust fumes
While most of the smoke coming out of your vehicle could be engine related, there are some instances where smoke could be coming out of the exhaust system. Typically, your vehicle should not have a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust, except in situations where you start your Volvo car cold in the morning.
When it comes to black exhaust smoke, the problem is related to one of the following:
Clogged air filter
Overtime is an air filter that cleans any air passing through the engine that could become clogged. Unfortunately, it may not allow the required amount of air to reach the engine when this happens. As a result, you will be dealing with some black smoke coming out of the exhaust system.
Damaged fuel pressure regulator
While a damaged fuel pressure regulator is more likely to produce black smoke outside the engine compartment, it also causes black exhaust to come out of the exhaust system. So whatever you are dealing with, it is necessary to have this fuel pressure regulator fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Fuel injector malfunctioning
Like the damaged fuel pressure regulator, when the fuel injector is not working properly, it will deal with smoke other than what comes from the engine, which is black smoke coming from the exhaust system.
4. White smoke from the hood
Not all exhaust smoke will be black, and you will see white exhaust smoke when dealing with one of the following issues
A blown head gasket
The head gasket is a thin layer placed on top of the cylinders and is responsible for preventing any fluids from entering the interior of the sanders. It is also responsible for preventing any hot gases from damaging the engine compartment and leaving the cylinders.
Unfortunately, the head gasket will fail at some point, and when it does, it will deal with a long list of negative consequences, including some white smoke coming out of the exhaust system.
Repairing your blown head gasket is not cheap, and will cost you a decent amount of money. That’s why you may want to assess the situation and decide whether to repair the vehicle or sell it instead.
Broken cylinder head
If you ignore damaged head gaskets, you can get to the point where you are dealing with a tricky problem: a broken cylinder head. When this happens, you are dealing with a significant problem in your engine compartment that you should pay attention to right away.
The price for fixing a slender head depends a lot on your type of vehicle and where you can get the job done. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to attach these cylinder heads in some cases, which is why many people may give up on their cars.
A cracked engine compartment
When the engine compartment is cracked, it deals with some excessive white smoke coming out of the exhaust system. As we indicated earlier, this situation is critical, and it will cost you a ton of money. Ignoring the problem won’t help you, because it makes it more complicated.
5. Gray exhaust smoke
On the other hand, your problems are different if the exhaust smoke is not white or black, somewhere between gray and grey. Let’s see below:
Problem valve stem seal
All valves around the exhaust system must be properly sealed, and if there is a problem with the sealing, it will be necessary to deal with some gray smoke coming out of the exhaust system. Unfortunately, dissecting the seal problem can be tricky and requires advanced mechanical skill sets.
Piston ring failure
When the piston ring is not in good condition, it can suddenly fail, resulting in gray smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. If that’s the case for you, you’ll need to consult your mechanic and get an idea of what needs to be done and how to fix this.
6. Blue exhaust smoke
When dealing with Volvo car smoke but not overheating, you can see blue smoke coming out of the exhaust system in some cases. If that’s the case, then again, you’re dealing with specific faulty components, including:
A damaged piston or piston ring
Although we have indicated that if the piston ring is not working properly you may see some small grey, there are some cases where you will notice blue exhaust smoke. What happened here is that the oil leaked into the fuel and mixed in, and when this mixture burns, it generates a blue smoke.
Broken valve stem seal
A valve stem seal can also lead to blood smoke and cause oil to mix with different fluids, and again, you will see some blue smoke coming out of the exhaust system.
Problem PCV valve
Inside your vehicle’s engine compartments, there is a specific valve called the positive crankcase ventilation valve, and it is responsible for moving any unburned fuel to a certain area. However, air and other fluids can mix when the valve is not working properly, causing blue smoke to come out of the exhaust system.
Damaged engine oil seals
As you can see, old blue smoke coming out of the exhaust is usually related to an oil problem. This is why it is not surprising to hear that you will see blue smoke whenever the engine oil seals are not working properly.
Blown head gasket
A blown gasket can also cause oil to mix with all sorts of fluids, and when this happens you will see blue smoke coming out of the exhaust system.
Smoking a car but not overheating: Final thoughts
Dealing with smoke coming out of your Volvo car can be extremely frustrating and frightening. It should.
There are many reasons behind the issue, and some of these reasons may be minor and resolvable, and others may be very large and require very high repair costs. These reasons differ depending on the color of the smoke. For example, you may be dealing with black, white, or probably blue, white, or black exhaust smoke. You can narrow down the list and determine the root culprits, as highlighted in this article, depending on the color of the smoke.