Car Maintenance 101: Checking Your Vehicle’s Exhaust

May 20, 2008

Auto Mechanic

Aside from looking under the hood to check the numerous crucial components located there, checking your vehicle’s exhaust is another accurate way of determining your ride’s overall condition. When checking your ride’s exhaust, keep in mind that this test is best performed during the warm part of the day. If you check your vehicle’s exhaust during a cold night or morning, you will often see your vehicle release large clouds of exhaust, but this emission is usually simple a result of condensation and the difference in temperatures, and isn’t generally anything to be worried about.

This is another aspect of your inspection where having a helper with you comes in handy. While at the wheel or starting your engine, have your handy helper situate himself or herself at the rear of your ride beside the exhaust. His or her main purpose for this test is to observe the type of exhaust or emissions released by your vehicle as you start your engine.

If your assistant happens to observe bluish or dark smoke coming out, then this is a sign that your engine is burning too much oil. In this event, your engine may require a ring job. The ring job indicates a slight adjustment of your engine’s rings.

If, however, the smoke appears dense and white, then this usually indicates that there’s something wrong with your vehicle’s engine head. Take your vehicle to a professional mechanic and have him or her check the engine head for repair or replacement.

You need to keep your ride running idle for a few more minutes. Observe how the engine performs. Is your ride constantly in danger of stalling or is there violent rocking in your vehicle caused by the engine running too tough? If so, then your ride requires a tune-up, especially if you haven’t had one done in a long time.

Now, turn off your vehicle’s engine. Do you observe a residual chugging noise where the engine appears to be trying to turn over once more? If yes, then your vehicle may need to have its timing professionally adjusted or the timing belt replaced. Because timing belt replacement or adjustment requires special equipment like the timing light, this is a job best done by a professional mechanic.

Keep your vehicle running smooth by making sure your engine is performing at its best.

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