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Feel, Hear, See, Smell 3f

When you have a problem with your car you detect it with one of your senses. Either you feel something wrong, hear something, see something or smell something wrong. This is one of a series of articles that will help you interpret what you are sensing and come up with some possible cause of the problem.
» Part 1: Warning Lights
» Part 2: Warning Lights
» Part 3: Spots, Streaks
» Part 4: Spots, Streaks
» Part 5: Smoke
» Part 6: Tire Wear
» Part 7: Lights Not Working
» Part 8: Lights Not Working
» Part 9: Lights Not Working
» Part 10: Dome/Map Light
» Part 11: Body/Paint
» Part 12: Wiper Problems


  • Black Smoke From The Exhaust:
    You notice black smoke coming from the exhaust when you start your car. The smoke may still be there after the car is warmed, but it may be less noticeable. The smoke may be accompanied by engine idling problems.

    Possible causes:
    1. If you have a carburetor, the carburetor choke may be stuck closed: Adjust or repair choke as required.

    2. The fuel injectors may be leaking: Replace fuel injectors.

    3. The air filter may be clogged: Replace air filter.

    4. There may be an ignition problem: Check ignition system and replace damaged parts.


  • Smoke Is Coming From Under The Hood:
    Sometimes you will only see the smoke when you start your car or when you stop at a traffic light or stop sign. The smoke may be accompanied by engine idling problems. This is a problem that should not be ignored, as it may be an indication of a serious and dangerous condition. The cause of the problem is best identified by the color, smell, and amount of smoke. Pay close attention to this.

    Possible causes:
    1. If the smoke has an oily smell, there is an oil leak: Repair oil leak.

    2. If the smoke is white, there is probably an engine coolant leak: Repair coolant leak.

    3. If the smoke is blue or black and has a strong acrid smell, there is probably an electrical problem, and wires are burning: Repair electrical wiring.


  • White Smoke And The Smell Of Burning Rubber:
    This is a problem that should not be ignored. If you smell something burning, do not continue to drive. Immediately pull off the road. The cause of the problem presents a dangerous condition and is best identified by smell. After you have smelled something burning and have pulled the car off the road, turn the ignition off. Allow the burning to stop then take a look at the possible causes of the problem. Do not look for the problem while the fire is still burning.

    Possible causes:
    1. The drive belts on the engine may be loose: Tighten or replace belts as required.

    2. The engine may be overheating: Allow engine to cool. Locate cooling system problem and repair.

    3. There may be an electrical short: Inspect wiring. Repair or replace as required.

    4. A component driven by a belt may be seized: Replace seized component.


  • Smoke Coming From The Wheels:
    You notice that whenever you have driven awhile and stopped, there is smoke coming from some or all of the car's wheels. You can't see the smoke while you are moving, only when you stop. You may also notice that the brakes don't seem to work as well as they did.

    Possible causes:
    1. The disc brake caliper is seized in its bore: Replace brake calipers.

    2. The parking brake is applied or not releasing: Release parking brake or repair cables and linkage.

    3. A part of the drum brakes is broken: Inspect drum brakes and repair as required.

    4. The brake rotors are overheated because of abuse: Stop abusing your brakes.


    Tire Wear

  • Tires Are Wearing More On One Edge Than The Other:
    You notice that the tires are very worn on the inside or outside edge. The other edge and the center seem to have plenty of tread left.

    Possible causes:
    1. Wheel-alignment problems, excessive camber: Get wheel alignment.

    2. Wheel-alignment problems, incorrect toe: Get wheel alignment.

    » Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
    Part 5       » Part 6       » Part 7       » Part 8
    Part 9       » Part 10     » Part 11      » Part 12
    Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
    © 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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