Smoke Coming Out of Car Vents (causes & Solutions)

Watching smoke coming out of the car is horrifying and in most cases expensive. When you own a car there are times when you see it behaving oddly, no matter how much you are concerned about it. 

So today, we shall talk about the reasons why smoke comes out of car vents and how do you handle that.

Usually, the colorless and odorless smoke indicates the chilled weather or the cold air that has condensed around. This causes the vapor to become more visible by the human eye and all you see is the white smoke from the car vents. 

But if you notice too much vapor from the car vents, it is not normal; the car may have clogged the train hole.

If you also smell a sweet odor from the smoke, it means that the coolant is seeping through the heater core in the air conditioner of the car.

Steam Smoke from the car bonnet vents

Steam Smoke from the car bonnet vents

You will see the smoke coming from the car bonnet vents if the engine cooling system has damage due to leakage. This can be due to the leaking in the cooling system of the car. The coolant leaking smoke can be a little bit odorous too but if the smoke is darker in color and unpleasant to inhale it can be smelly.

Moreover, if the temperature gauge in the car is at ‘hot’ gauge, the car may let out smoke from the bonnet vents. In that car, it’s best to take the car to the mechanic as driving while components are overheating can cause further damage to the engine.

Let’s figure out different smoke colors and what they mean.

Different smoke colors and what they mean?

Blue Smoke

If oil is burning in the car, you will see blue smoke from the car engine components. Sometimes the reason is leakage from the turbocharger. Also if you see the blue smoke from car it can be due to engine leak such as rocker cover gaskets, oil filter housings or seals at the back of the engine

White Smoke

The white smoke from the car is the most possible stream as I just explained above. If the smoke is dense and thicker, it means that the coolant is entering the combustion chamber. If the gasket head is blown it can let the coolant pass through it. Thick white smoke is a serious issue in cars, so don’t wait to take it to the professional mechanic. Other reasons for white smoke from the car:

  • Heated core
  • Low oil
  • High humidity
  • Component issue
  • Electric problem
  • Drain hole clogged
  • Problematic compressor clutch

Black Smoke

Black smoke from the vents of the car is due to bad engine performance or maybe something externally is burning. Moreover, if the wiring is at fire you will see the black smoke. Whatever the reason, don’t overlook the smoke and take your vehicle to the mechanic to prevent further damage.

Solutions for smoke from the car vents

Here are the solutions when you see smoke from car vents:

  • Refill the coolant: Make sure the coolant is not leaking or at the minimal level.
  • Replace compressor clutch: If the compressor is problematic replace it
  • Change the oil: Changing oil helps a lot. Choose the right engine oil. You can see the oil level from the dashboard.
  • Clogged filter: If you notice the filer is blocked, immediately unclogged it.
  • Remove the clogged drain hole: Only the professional should clear if it’s clogged because it’s different from unclogging the usually drained holes.
  • Troubleshoot component: Component issue make sure the components are working fine. If any of the engine components are not working, call the pro car mechanic. And if you notice a burning smell, immediately address it.
  • Solve the electric problem:   The smoke from the car can be due to electrical issues. Therefore, check the wiring and the wear and tear in the electrical system. It’s better to take your car to a professional for a proper solution.

Is White smoke from the car vents dangerous?

Generally, white smoke is not as much of a concern as black smoke from the car is. White smoke does not have a small amount and it’s not dangerous for the components. But if you notice a smell in the smoke, or the smoke is denser than usual, it can be an alarm for the components safety. Whatever the case is, you should always take your car to the mechanic for timely repair.


Seeing smoke coming out of your car vent has many reasons. Sometimes it is just because of the difference in temperature. In that case you’ll notice the colorless and odorless (white) smoke.

However, we suggest you take your car to the mechanic for an in-depth inspection of the reason for smoke coming out of the car vents.  

In this guide, we exclusively shed light on the possible reasons for different smoke colors and the solution. Hope that has cleared many questions.

Remember; professional advice based on your car model, manufacturing etc. solve problems the better way!

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