Investing in a diesel-fueled vehicle can be beneficial. These vehicles tend to last longer, and fuel prices are often more affordable than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Despite the reliable nature of diesel engines, these engines are susceptible to mechanical problems.

If you notice smoke coming from your engine, using color to determine the problem could be beneficial. Here are three common smoke colors, and their underlying causes.

1. White Smoke

When you see white smoke coming from your diesel engine, you know that your fuel is not being burned properly. In order to reach the combustion point, the fuel powering diesel engines needs both heat and compression.

Low compression in one of your engine's cylinders could be causing the problem, but the most common culprit is inadequate heat. If you are seeing white smoke when you start your diesel engine, check to make sure that your glow plugs are not burned out.

2. Black Smoke

While black smoke coming from your diesel engine can be frightening, this is actually the most common type of smoke produced by a diesel engine. Black smoke is an indicator that your air-to-fuel ratio is off. If there is not enough oxygen present to burn the fuel supplied to your engine, then the large fuel particles that would normally burn off are emitted into the air, forming the black smoke you see emanating from your engine.

While not an especially serious problem, black smoke could be a sign that you are not getting the maximum amount of fuel efficiency from your engine, and you should have a mechanic like one from JP's Truck Service check your oxygen sensors to correct the problem.

3. Blue Smoke

When you see blue smoke coming from your diesel engine, it's definitely cause for concern. Blue smoke is created when engine oil is being burned. Since engine oil should be contained to parts of the engine where it cannot be burned, blue smoke indicates that you have a leak somewhere in your engine system.

A mechanic can check your injection pump to ensure that oil is not mixing with your fuel source. Your mechanic can also check for faulty valves and seals in your engine system that could be allowing oil to leak through.

Understanding the story your diesel engine's smoke is trying to tell you can be important when it comes to maintaining your diesel-fueled vehicle. Pay close attention to the color of the smoke coming from your engine, as these colors will help you identify the source of potential problems in the future.