3 Reasons Why White Smoke From Diesel Engine And Its Solution

[This article first appear on https://kch-ind.com/white-smoke-from-diesel-engine/]

If you are searching for what causes white smoke from diesel engine, then you have come to the right place.

Maybe you are currently experiencing now or have seen fellow truckers engines emitting white smoke from their engine. While we all know that the engine’s technology have gradually improved over the years, sometimes, machine malfunction is inevitable. So if you see white smoke coming out from the engine should and need to be treated asap.

White smoke is uncommon and can be due to a number of reasons. In this guide, we will share with you the top 3 common problems that causes white smoke from diesel engine and how to fix them. So let’s start with first problem.

White Smoke From Diesel Engine

White Smoke From Diesel Engine – Coolant Leakage

Do you see that you dashboard meter shows that your engine is overheated? Or simply by gut instinct, you feel that the engine starts to overheat?

If yes, then the problem could be due to coolant leakage from the cylinder head gasket. In this case, the gasket would have gaps for the coolant to escape. They mix with the diesel and when ignited, the coolant then turns into a think white smoke with a sweet smell.

If you want to confirmed whether the coolant have leak, all you need is to open your vehicle hood and check visually (take a torch light if necessary) to check both the inside and underneath the engine compartment.

The key thing to looking out for are

  • Green residue that feel powdery
  • Sticky green puddles which can be found underneath the engine
  • The coolant level in the coolant reservoir

At this point of time, we suggest you to call for a tow service to tow to the nearest workshop for a checkup instead of continuing your drive because an overheated engine will cause explosion.

White Smoke From Diesel Engine – Clogged Fuel Filter

As we all know fuel filter tends to get clogged over prolong period of time. Factors like water and rust can quickly shorten fuel filter life span. This leads to a damaged fuel filter that greatly reduces the flow of fuel to the engine. This then result in unbalanced mix of diesel and air in the combustion chamber.

If left untreated, the fuel filter no longer filter contaminants and fuel that passes unfiltered will also damage the combustion chamber. That result in the grey or white or a combination of both that smells like fuel.

Eventually this lead to other engine related problems like

  • Stalling
  • Lost of power
  • Reduce power in acceleration
  • Frequent engine misfires

So, it must be replace at once if such symptom appear and while changing the filter, you also need to clean the fuel tank to ensure no residue or leftover water that might otherwise damage the new filter.

White Smoke From Diesel Engine – Damage Piston Rings Or Seal Valves

Do you know that damage or defective piston ring can have serious oil leakage from the combustion chamber?

This often follow by gradually lowing power to the vehicle due to a lack of compression. This happen when oil are leak into the combustion chamber creating grey smoke coming out from the exhaust pipe.

If you experience significant power and/or performance loss, don’t drive and call your workshop to have your vehicle tow to undergo pressure test to determine if its caused by damage or defective piston ring or seal valves.


So now you know what are the common causes that cause white smoke from diesel engine. Carefully maintain your truck not only prolong its lifespan, enhance the performance and you will enjoy a much more safer drive.

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