Why Is My Car Smoking but Not Overheating?

Your car is smoking, but it’s not overheating. This can be a sign of any number of issues, but most likely it’s a problem with your vehicle’s oil. Check the oil level and make sure it’s at the right level. Add more oil until the light goes away. Check your engine compartment to see if there are any leaks or loose belts.

If you find something like that, fix it as soon as possible. If you don’t see anything obvious in your engine compartment, try taking your vehicle to a mechanic for inspection.

What is the difference between smoke and overheating?

Smoke is a sign of oil burning in the engine. It can be caused by a number of things, including bad fuel or air filters, worn piston rings and cylinder walls, and carbon buildup in the combustion chamber. If your car is smoking but not overheating, it’s possible that the problem is something simple like a clogged radiator or dirty air filter.

If your car is overheating, it’s likely that there’s a bigger issue at hand—and one that will require professional attention. Overheating can cause serious damage to your engine if it isn’t corrected quickly; however, if you catch it early enough and act fast enough, you might be able to avoid major repairs.

What are some of the possible causes of smoking but not overheating?

An engine misfire

If there is an engine misfire, it can cause oil to leak out into the exhaust system and burn up in the exhaust manifold. This will cause smoke to come out of the tailpipe and may also cause your car to lose power.

A clogged catalytic converter

The catalytic converter on your car converts harmful exhaust gases into less toxic compounds that can be released into the air. If it becomes clogged, this process cannot occur, which means that these harmful gases will stay inside your car’s engine compartment. This can cause damage over time as well as produce a lot of smoke while driving.

An improperly adjusted fuel injection system

The fuel injection system on your car is responsible for mixing fuel with air before it enters into your engine’s combustion chamber where it ignites and creates energy that moves your vehicle forward. A malfunctioning fuel injection system might not mix these two ingredients properly, which can cause problems like smoking but not overheating!

Why does an engine smoke when it overheats?

An engine smokes when it overheats because of all the excess heat that builds up in the engine. The excess heat causes the oil to break down and burn, which produces smoke.

When an engine overheats, it can be caused by one of two things: a lack of coolant or a lack of oil. If your car is smoking but not overheating, it’s probably due to a lack of coolant. Coolant keeps the car at the right temperature so that the pistons don’t overheat and crack.

If you notice white or gray smoke coming from your tailpipe when you start your car, it could be that you need more coolant in order for your car to run properly. If you’re having trouble with your car’s engine cooling system, bring it in for a checkup by a mechanic who specializes in cooling systems.

How do find the source of the smoke?

If your car is smoking but not overheating, there are a few things to try before taking it to the shop. Check the radiator cap. If it’s loose or missing, that could be the source of the smoke. If it’s not loose or missing, then you might have a leak in the cooling system somewhere. Another possibility is that you have a cracked head gasket, which would also cause the smoke.

How to fix the problem once you have found it?

You have found the problem with your car smoking but not overheating. Now you need to fix it. This is a relatively easy process, but you should be careful. The most common cause of a car smoking but not overheating is an air leak in the cooling system. You can test for this by using a piece of cardboard and holding it over the radiator while the car is idling.

If you see steam coming out from under the cardboard, there is an air leak somewhere in your cooling system, which means that you need to tighten or replace some parts.


If your car is smoking but not overheating, it could be a sign of a few different things. One possibility is that one of your brake pads has worn down, causing a burning smell as the brake pad rubs against the disc rotor.

Another possibility is that you have some kind of leak in your vehicle’s cooling system, or perhaps something else has gone wrong with the thermostat or radiator.

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

We break down every information into easy-to-understand articles that cover all the categories anyone who owns a car needs to know about, such as oil , brakes , tires and etc. Our car guide is free and updated regularly for you to use as a resource, not only when you have an issue with your car but even before buying a new or used car! We also give tips on what to look for in each category or part of your vehicle.