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How To Fix a Squeaky Suspension


Is your car suspension making a squeaky or creaking noise while driving down the road, or does your car squeaks when rocked? I am going to show you how to fix a squeaky suspension.

Older model vehicles used to have grease fittings on the suspension and once your car started to squeak, you could just fill the grease fittings with a grease gun and the squeaking will go away. But, modern vehicles do not have grease fittings. Instead, modern vehicles have rubber bushings that get old and start squeaking and creaking while you drive over bumps, rock the car, or when you get out of the car.

One way to fix a squeaking or creaking suspension is to replace the whole suspension system. But, changing multiple parts on your suspension system will cost a lot. Instead, there is an easy way on how to fix a squeaky suspension.

1. Locate where the noise is coming from

Each wheel of the vehicle is supported by a suspension system. Even though behind each wheel there is a suspension system with bushings that can go bad, not all bushings will go bad at the same time. It is important that you fix the bushings that are bad and not waste material on the good bushings. So, in order to locate where the noise is coming from you will have to perform a small test.

You might not be able to hear the squeaking or creaking noise coming from the suspension system when you drive or go over a bump. So, park your vehicle and start rocking it above each wheel. If you hear a squeaking or creaking noise coming from a particular wheel, that wheel has a suspension with bad bushings.

2. Jack up your car

Once you locate where the squeaking or creaking noise is coming from, jack up your car. If you don’t have a jack, you can grab one on amazon.com. After you jack up your car, place it on jack stands for maximum safety. The last thing you want is for your car to fall down while you are working on it or under it. Each vehicle has different jacking points, but the ones on the image provided are the most common jack points.

3. Remove the wheel

With your vehicle placed on jack stands, remove the wheel. You can remove the wheel by removing the bolts. Each vehicle has a different number of bolts, but the number of bolts is usually five. If some of the bolts are rusted and won’t come off, spray some WD40 on them and let them soak for a couple of minutes before starting again.

With the wheel removed, you have exposed the suspension system and the bushings that are bad. Make sure to store the bolts and don’t lose them because you will need them in a couple of minutes to reinstall the wheel.

4. Locate the bad bushings

The bushings are part of the suspension system and are made of rubber. They act as a vibration isolator with a purpose to prevent metal-to-metal contact between the other parts of the suspension while driving the car.

Even though they are made out of hard rubber, they still allow some movement which is very important. Every time you drive your vehicle, the bushings are moving and are constantly exposed to the elements underneath the vehicle. Being under so much exposure, they are doomed to fail. You will be able to locate the rubber bushings behind each wheel as shown in the photo.

5. Spray the bushings with the lubricant

The bushing lubricant that I use is called AT-205 Re-Seal and you can grab it on amazon.com. It is a clear polymer liquid that rejuvenates rubber bushings. Pour the lubricant into a spray bottle and spray it on all the bad rubber bushings. Make sure to get enough of the product on the bushings and make them soaking wet.

You need to spray the torsion arm bushing, frame bushings, and strut mount bushings. Basically, every part of the suspension that is made out of rubber can be sprayed with this lubricant. This will take care of the squeaking and creaking noise coming from the suspension. You could spray WD40 as well, but it will wash off with the first car wash or rain. After you are done spraying, leave the vehicle overnight so the lubricant can soak into the rubber bushings.

6. Reassemble the wheel

After you let the rubber lubricant soak in overnight, reassemble the wheel and take your vehicle for a test drive. At this point, you shouldn’t hear any squeaking or creaking noises coming from the suspension while driving over a bump or rocking your car.

When To Change Bushings In Car

  1. When you hear squeaking or creaking noise coming from the suspension, that is a clear sign that the bushings are old and have started to fail. It is only a matter of time before you start hearing clunking noises.
  2. If the bushings are bad you will hear a clunking noises. This happens when you start driving and the wheel will shock backwards causing a clunking noise.
  3. Best way to tell if your bushings are bad is to jack up your car and perform some tests. Grab the tire by the nine and three clock position and try to move the wheel back and forth. There should be no motion. If there is a movement, you need to replace your bushings.

How To Clean Intake Valve Without Removing It


It’s a fact that deposits form in every fuel system but the amount and how quickly they form depend on the quality of fuel, the oil used, personal driving styles, and engine type.

Some engines are particularly prone to wrap and buildup of fuel deposits because they’re never cooled or washed with fuel. Carbon deposits can form in as few as five thousand to ten thousand miles causing restricted airflow and increased engine operating temperatures. So, here is how to clean the intake valve without removing it:

How To Clean Intake Valve Without Removing It

1. Wear protective glasses and gloves

This is an obvious thing since safety is always number one. In order to safely clean the intake valve without removing it, please wear protective glasses and gloves. The cleaning product is applied with the engine running and you do not want to burn your hands or risk any fluids from the running engine getting into your eyes. (See some gloves and glasses on amazon.com).

I work around cars a lot and I used to forget to put on my gloves or my glasses. You know, when you work on cars all day and you want to get things done, you forget about your safety. I used to come home with very dirty hands and skin burns on my fingers. My wife didn’t mind the dirty fingers because those fingers put food on the table, but she told me one day that she respected my work but I could be a lot cleaner and without injuries, if I only put on the protective gloves. So, me being a good husband, I did put on the gloves and made it my habit. It’s not bad to listen to the other half from time to time.

2. Get the engine to operating temperature

In order to clean the intake valve without removing it, you have to start your engine and get it at operating temperature. Most engines operate at 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. A great way to know that your engine is at its operating temperature is by looking at the temperature gauge on the dashboard. Once the temperature gauge is in the middle between C (cold) and H (hot) that’s how you know that your engine has reached its operating temperature.

3. Remove the air filter cover

The air filter has a plastic cover that has to be removed in order to get access to the MAF sensor. The air filter cover is located near the engine and has a duct that travels from the front of the car into the engine. To remove the air filter cover, you need to loosen the hose clamps on each side and remove any wing nuts (if present). Make sure that you don’t lose any of the parts because you will need to reassemble the air filter cover later.

While you are at it, you can check the condition of the air filter and replace it or clean it if necessary. I always recommend changing the air filter with a brand new one because they are not that expensive (check prices on air filters on amazon.com).

4. Locate the MAF sensor

The MAF sensor is a part of the electronic fuel injector system and has a function to calculate the amount of air that is entering the engine. The combustion that occurs in the combustion chamber has to have a specific air to fuel ratio, otherwise, the vehicle will run rich or poor. The mass airflow sensor is in charge of the air intake.

The mass airflow sensor, also known as the MAF sensor is usually located between the airbox and the throttle body. It is important to locate the MAF sensor because you are going to spray the valve intake cleaner past the MAF sensor.

5. Rev the engine to approx. 2,000 RPM

For this step, it’s best if you have someone behind the steering wheel that will be able to rev the engine to approx. 2,000 RPMs. Revving your engine to approx. 2,000 RPMs will get the engine running and will speed up the combustion process.

6. Insert the cleaner straw past the MAF sensor

This is an important step. You should only spray the cleaning product after the MAF sensor. If you spray the cleaning product in front of the MAF sensor, you will see a check engine light on your dashboard.

If you have an OBD Scanner (see prices on amazon.com), you will be able to scan your vehicle for error codes. Usually, the error code associated with the mass airflow sensor is P0102. Since you will know what caused the error code, you could go ahead and remove it.

7. Spray the intake cleaner

With the engine running at approx. 2,000 RPMs, go ahead and spray the intake cleaner (see the price on amazon.com) in 30-second intervals until the can is empty. If you feel that the engine is beginning to stall, press the gas pedal but do not exceed 3,500 RPMs.

The spray cleaner will be able to remove a lot of the carbon deposits that accumulated on the intake valves. It is important that you pay attention to where you are spraying the intake cleaner. Some vehicles have intake manifolds designed in a way that they will allow the intake cleaner to ”pool” in one place. What could happen next is when you are driving down the road, the intake cleaner could end up past the valves and trigger error codes on your dashboard.

8. Rev the engine up to 3,500 RPMS

When the intake cleaner can is empty, accelerate the engine 2-3 times over 2,000 RPMs, but again do not exceed 3,500 RPMs. Run the engine idle for one minute and then turn off the engine.

9. Re-assemble the air intake system

After you are done with the spraying and revving your engine, it is time to reassemble the air intake cover. While you are at the air intake filter, inspect it and replace it if needed.

Then, turn the engine off and lead the engine head-soak for an hour. This will allow the intake cleaner to really clean the intake valves from the carbon deposit. Once one hour passes, drive your vehicle at highway speeds for at least 10 minutes. At this point, you should have clean intake valves.

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside


There are a lot of reasons why your tire wears from the inside. What happens is, some of the suspension parts fail, therefore, causing the angle of the tire (camber) to slightly tilt which makes the inside of the tire have more contact with the road than the outside of the tire.

If your tire wears from the inside I will explain the 4 most common reasons why your tire wears from the inside and how to know exactly what’s causing it.

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside

1. Negative Camber

Negative camber is when the inside of the tire is making more contact with the road than the outside of the tire causing your tires to wear on the inside. All tires should be set at an angle of 90 degrees to ensure equal tire wear. If your camber is negative, the angle of your tires would be less than 90 degrees and the tires would be slightly tilted inwards causing your tire to wear on the inside.

Many of the cars out there have non-adjustable camber from the factory. The car manufacturers do this they make all of the suspension components pre-set perfectly within spec.

The problem comes with wear and tear over time. Suspension components like bushings and ball joints become sloppy, the rubber gets old and dry and then it creates extra slop within the geometry of the suspension. The result of this is uneven tire wear or in this case, your tire wears on the inside.

The real fix for this would be to start replacing any worn-out bushings, ball joints, control arms, and other suspension parts. But the downside to that is it can get really expensive. So, it’s best if you look further into this issue and diagnose which suspension part has failed and is causing your tire to wear on the inside.

How To Measure Camber Angle on a Car

How To Measure Camber Angle on a Car

This is the easiest way to determine the camber angle on your car tires. If you determine that there is a difference in the measurements and your wheels have either a negative or positive camber, then you should take the wheel off and measure the angle with a spirit level.

How To Measure Camber Angle on a Car 2
  1. Park your car on a leveled ground. It is very important that your car is leveled. Use a spirit level to make sure that your car isn’t parked on unleveled ground.
  2. Set a plumb line so that it splits the wheel in half. The weight must hit neither the wheel nor the ground and should be at 90 degrees. The plumb line should be set on the bumper above the tire that you want to measure the camber on. You can use a spacer if necessary.
  3. With a measuring tape measure the distance between the plumb line and the upper outermost point of the rim.
  4. Then measure the distance between the plumb line and the lower outermost point of the rim.
  5. If you notice that the distance between the upper outermost point of the rim and the plumb line is different than the distance of the lower outermost part of the rim and the plumb line is different, your tire camber angle is off.
  6. Jack your car and remove the tire.
  7. Put a spirit level on the disks and you will be able to see the exact angle of your tire alignment. The angle should be 90 degrees, but if it’s off, you need to readjust it or your tires will continue to wear on the inside.

2. Worn Shocks and Struts

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside

Shocks and struts are a part of the suspension system and have a function to absorb shocks caused by the road so your car doesn’t bounce a lot when you hit a pothole. Shocks and struts are installed at a specific angle, and they need to maintain that angle. However, worn-out shocks and struts can be bent and change their angle causing your tires to slightly tilt and wear on the inside.

The difference between the shocks and struts is that struts are basically a structural part of the vehicle that is installed on. Meaning, you can drive your vehicle without shocks, but you cannot drive your vehicle without a strut. Basically, the suspension would be sitting on the wheel. Being a structural part of the vehicle, worn-out struts can most definitely cause the tire to tilt inwards and cause your tire to wear on the inside.

Shocks and struts function off of the premise of turning kinetic energy into thermal energy. Essentially, you have a tube that is filled with a bunch of fluid and that is going to be pushed through a series of small holes called orifices inside by a piston. The orifices only allow so much fluid to travel through them at a given rate which is how you get your dampening that is going to control the movement of the car and the suspension.

How To Tell That Your Shocks and Struts Are Worn

Shocks and struts are often overlooked parts, but that doesn’t mean that they are not important. Shocks and struts can get damaged from a large pothole, corrosion from road salt, or simply wear. Here is how to tell that your shocks and struts are worn and need replacing:

  1. The most common sign that your shocks and struts are worn is when your tires wear faster than normal. Also, the wear on the tires occurs on one side, most of the time they wear on the inside.
  2. If the front of the car nosedives excessively when you press your brakes, your shocks and struts are worn and need replacing.
  3. If your car bounces more than usual when you drive over a pothole, your shocks and struts are worn and need replacing.
  4. Worn shocks and struts will often leak fluids and can be checked by a visual inspection or simply by pulling the rubber up and exposing the strut.

3. Worn Upper or Lower Ball Joints

Worn upper or lower ball joints can change how the tire of your car contacts the road. When upper or lower ball joints go bad, they affect the angle at which your tires sit on the road. Usually, they create a negative camber causing your tires to wear on the inside.

A ball joint is a connection that is flexible and it allows movement of the two parts of that connection in more than one direction at the same time. Basically, the ball joints allow the wheels to turn left and right and move up and down.

Each front tire has an upper and lower ball joint. The lower ball joint is attached to the lower steering knuckle at the wheel. The upper ball joint is attached to the upper steering knuckle.

Ball joints have a critical function in vehicle suspension because. Simply put, the ball joints hold the wheel to the car. The ball joints provide the suspension with the ability to move up and down when the tire hits a pothole.

When a ball joint becomes worn, the ball inside the socket or the socket itself wears out. If it’s bad enough, it can cause the tire to tilt inwards and wear on the inside. If you didn’t catch a bad joint on time, over time the ball joint can get so bad that your tire could completely come off.

How To Check If Your Ball Joints Are Bad

  1. If your upper or lower ball joints are bad your tires will wear n the inside. So, a great way of checking if your ball joints are bad is by looking at the tire wear.
  2. A worn upper or lower ball joint will make a squeaky noise (like an old door opening) when you turn the steering wheel or your suspension moves. You can either roll down the windows when you drive. Or, you can simply turn the steering wheel while your car is parked.
  3. You can visually inspect the upper and lower ball joints. See if the boots to the ball joints are cracked. A cracked boot will allow dirt and water to get in and cause a lot of trouble. The boots are non-greaseable and need to be replaced.
  4. Jack your car off the ground. Then grab your tire by the 12 and 6 positions (the upper and bottom part of the tire). Wiggle the tire back and forth. If your ball joints are worn, there would be play.
  5. Grab a crowbar or some type of long bar and place it under the tire. Then, move it up and see If there is any movement, clicking, or clunking noise. There should be no upward and downward motion in a ball joint. So, if you feel any movement or hear any noise, your upper or lower ball joints could be worn-out.

4. Bent Control Arms

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside

Control arms can bend or break when the wheel of the car hits a curb or drives over a large pothole. Many modern cars have control arms made from poor material. It is not a newsflash for a control arm to bend or break upon hitting a curb.

Some vehicles have are equipped with four ball joints; two uppers and two lower. Front suspension systems with four ball joints are called SLA or short-long arm. But in most cases, strut equipped vehicles have only two lower joints.

A bent or broken control arm can affect the camber angle of your tire. The bent broken control arm can pull the tire inwards and causing it to wear on the inside.

Control arms should be stiff and free of play to best serve their purpose. Once the control arms or the bushings on the control arms become worn, there is an excess play and can cause the tire to tilt inwards and wear on the inside. The purpose of the bushing is to allow the control arm to twist and move up and down while absorbing impacts from the road.

Signs of a Bad Control Arm

  1. Worn tires on the inside.
  2. Instability while driving. If the control arm and the bushing are completely worn and have broken off, steering will become unpredictable and dangerous. Your vehicle may randomly pull to one side while you are trying to drive straight. Usually, the side to which the vehicle turns is the side the control arm is worn.
  3. Knocking or clunking noise while driving. When the bushing on the control arm is worn, the control arm will make knocking or clunking noise while driving, turning, braking, or going over small bumps on the road. This means that the rubber component of the control arm bushing is worn and causes metal to metal contact.

12 Signs Your Engine Is Going Bad


Engines are complex and have many components which all are required to work flawlessly in order to have a high-performance engine. But, all engines will be worn out after some time. You can prevent and delay your car engine from going bad. Here are 12 signs that your engine is going bad:

12 Signs Your Engine Is Going Bad

1. Rod Bearing Making Knocking Noise

Rod Bearing

A clear sign that your engine is going bad is when the road bearing starts to make knocking noise. The knocking noise coming from the rod bearing is accompanied by a major decrease in engine power. Normally this is caused by not changing the engine oil on time and low engine oil. A loud knocking noise usually means the engine can no longer be saved without a complete rebuild of all new parts and machine shop work.

When a rod bearing is worn, it will allow the piston to rock back and forth while hitting against the cylinder walls. Eventually, the vehicle will throw a rod and cause the engine to seize. The pistons will get damaged from hitting against the cylinder walls. Engine oil will slip into the combustion chamber and will burn with the air-fuel mixture.

2. Main Bearing Noise

Main Bearing

The main bearing is located between the crankshaft journal and the engine block and has a function to allow the crankshaft to rotate without friction. The crankshaft journal has holes that allow engine oil to pass through them and lubricate the crankshaft journal and main bearing. In case of not changing the oil on time or lack of engine oil, the main bearing will run dry and cause friction between the crankshaft journal and main bearing.

A worn or bad main bearing sounds like marbles hitting each other. The noise can also be knocking, rattling, and metallic and will come from the lower end of the engine. The noise progress louder as the vehicle increases the speed. A complete rebuild is required and all rod and bearings require replacement. Crankshaft journal must also be resurfaced depending on how worn it is.

3. Metal Shaving in Engine Oil

metal shaving in oil

When the main bearing is severely worn, you will notice metal shaving, copper sheen, or chunks of metal during an oil change. If metal shaving, copper sheen, or metal chunks are found in the engine oil, that means the engine is severely worn and needs to be rebuild.

If there is a noticeable amount of metal shaving in engine oil, that means the rod and main bearing are worn. You should always inspect the engine oil that you just drained and look for metal shavings. Sometimes large pieces of metal can be found during the inspection. I have a permanent magnet built on the bottom of my oil pan. The magnet helps collect the metal shaving circulating in the engine oil.

4. No Engine Oil – Lack of Lubrication

No Engine Oil

All moving components require some form of lubrication. Even a slight oil leak can leave your engine with insufficient oil. Sometimes drivers do not know the vehicle has lost a considerable amount of engine oil.

Bad oil pump gasket and seal can cause severe oil leaks over time due to high temperature. Over time, due to the high temperature, the gasket and seals will begin to deteriorate. When this happens, there will be a large puddle of oil on the ground.

An oil leak can be caused by a bad rear main seal, worn oil pan gasket, severe valve cover gasket leak, bad oil pan drain bolt, bad oil pump gasket, worn camshaft, and crankshaft seal, loose oil fill cap, worn oil cooler gasket, bad oil pressure sensor seal and cracked engine block.

5. Worn Engine and Extremely Low Power

Engines that have high-mileage are usually worn out because of the normal wear and tear that comes with all those miles. A compression test can help determine the cause. Usually, a compression test can help determine worn piston rings, cylinder walls, bad intake or exhaust valve, and bad head gasket. All cylinder compression should have a similar reading. Normally, the engine can still be saved by completely rebuilding the engine.

6. Engine Misfire

Regular engine misfire can be a sign that your engine is going bad. An engine misfire can be caused by bad spark plugs, bad ignition coils, oil on coils, water on coils, water in fuel line/injectors, and a bad PVC valve. You should diagnose the cause of the engine misfire and fix it.

However, if all the above does not fix the issue then most likely the problem is mechanical. Again, a compression test should be performed.

7. Clicking Noise

All moving parts should be lubricated in order to reduce friction and heat. When the timing chain does not receive enough lubrication, it will start to make a loud clicking or tapping noise and gradually become louder when the engine speed increases.

A clicking noise is usually caused by the timing chain. A worn timing chain can cause clicking noise or a completely worn timing guide or timing chain tensioner can also contribute to the noise. If a timing chain is loose enough, the engine can skip a tooth and this can cause valve damage for an interference engine. Sometimes broken timing piece can be found during assembly.

8. Sudden Loss of Power Due To a Broken Timing Belt

When the timing belt breaks, it can cause valve damage in interference engines. The valve hits the piston causing it to bend. The end result is low compression. However, if an engine is non-interference then there will be no valve damage, and a replacement of the timing system is required. A timing belt can break due to normal wear, weak timing belt tensioner, bad water pump, and bad idler pulley.

9. Loud Ticking Noise

If your engine is making a ticking noise, it is a clear sign that some parts are worn and need replacing. If the ticking noise is coming from the right side of the engine where you have no belts, it could be a problem with the valves or even how the engine connects to the transmission. It could also be that one of the bolts on the flexplate that connects the engine to the transmission got loose and is touching the engine.

If the ticking noise is coming from the left side of the engine where you would usually have a belt, it could be a worn-out timing belt.

Sometimes a valve adjustment is needed to make the ticking noise go away. Low engine oil can also contribute to the ticking noise due to a lack of lubrication. If a valve adjustment or adding more oil does not fix the issue, then a worn camshaft lobe or lifter could be the cause.

10. Worn Oil Pump

The oil pump job is to make sure the engine oil circulates around the engine and lubricates all moving parts such as the hydraulic lifters, the camshaft, the crankshaft, main bearings, rod bearings, balance shaft, and timing chain. The engine oil first gets pushed through the oil filter. Then, the filtered engine oil goes to all moving components on the top and bottom end of the engine.

When an oil pump is worn to a point where it’s not functioning properly, an engine light will be triggered. Do not confuse the engine oil light with a faulty oil pressure sensor. The oil pump is the heart of the engine and helps circulate engine oil. Without it, the engine oil will not flow and eventually cause all moving parts to fail.

11. Severe Engine Overheating

A severe engine overheating can cause the head gasket to give out, therefore, causing low compression. Overheating can cause all sorts of issues such as low compression, ignition coil melting and getting stuck to the engine, and any plastic component or wire around the engine.

12. Fuel Leak and Engine Fire

Although this is rare it can occur. Usually, a leak can be caused around the fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator, fuel line, poor fuel connector, and so on. When there is a fire this will cause surface engine damage and eventually a useless engine. Fuel smell can be smelled through the vents. Whatever you do, pay attention to these warning signs.

How To Disconnect a Car Alarm That Keeps Going Off


In this article, I will show you how to disconnect a car alarm that keeps going off. This method will work for both factory and aftermarket car alarm systems. Please follow my steps in order and do not skip a step.

How To Disconnect a Car Alarm That Keeps Going Off

1. Remove the car alarm fuse

Before you start disconnecting the car alarm that keeps going off, locate the fuse box and disconnect the alarm fuse. The fuse box is located in the cabin but could be both under the glove box or under the steering wheel. The alarm fuse location information is available in your owner’s manual. I know that it can be quite stressful to read a manual while the alarm is going off, but this is the first step. Once you locate the alarm fuse, remove it and do not install a new one yet.

PRO TIP: Start your car and the alarm will shut off leaving you time to read the owner’s manual and locate the alarm fuse. This will work on both factory and aftermarket alarm systems.

2. Remove the sub dash panel

Once you pull out the alarm fuse, the alarm will shut off. Now, you can shut down the car and work on disconnecting the faulty alarm. The car alarm is located underneath the steering wheel, behind the sub dash panel.

The sub dash panel is hold by four bolts that you have to unscrew in order to gain access to the main module and disconnect it.

3. Locate the main module

The main module is the brain of the alarm. The main module of the car alarm looks like an internet modem about that size. It will be easy to locate the main module because there is no other part like it. It is mostly wiring there.

4. Disconnect the main module

You are not going to cause any electrical issue if you just start unplugging all the wires that go into the alarm main module because car alarms are separated and isolated from the factory wiring. So, removing all the wires that go into the alarm, will cause no interference with the vehicle operations.

Go ahead and remove all the wires that go into the alarm main module. The wires going to the main module are for a radar sensor or a motion sensor, a door lock plug, antenna, and other sensors.

5. Optional: Install a new alarm system

Once you’ve disconnected all the wiring that goes into the main module and you have removed the main module, you can now either install a new alarm system or simply close the sub dash panel and go on your way.

If you choose to install a new alarm, just plug all the wires that you previously removed from the faulty alarm main module and close the panel.

If you choose not to install a new panel, your doors will lock, but you won’t have an alarm anymore. I strongly recommend that you either repair the old alarm or install a new one. There is a reason why car alarms are there in the first place.

6. Install the sub dash panel and fuse

Re-install the sub dash panel. You should only install alarm fuse after you have a working car alarm in place. If you don’t have a car alarm, there is no need to install back the alarm fuse.

Why Is My Car Smoking From The Tailpipe


Many people notice smoke coming from the tailpipe and they ask themselves why is my car smoking? Many people think that the repair is going to cost thousands of dollars, but that is not always the case. So, if you ask yourself why is my car smoking from the tailpipe and how to fix it, read on.

1. Overfilled engine oil

Why Is My Car Smoking From The Tailpipe

A lot of people make the mistake of overfilling their engine with engine oil which results in black smoke coming out of the tailpipe. When this happens people automatically assume that they have a bad engine. If this is the case, do not freak out because this problem is fairly easy to fix.

Adding too little engine oil will definitely cause damage to the engine. But, also putting too much oil in your engine could cause it to smoke. It could also cause severe mechanical damage as well.

When you overfill your engine with engine oil, the oil ends up getting past your oil ring, and your piston rings and reaches the top of the cylinder. From there, it gets into your combustion chamber and then burns off with the air-fuel mixture and then from there, it comes out your tailpipe.

Fixing an overfilled engine is pretty easy. You will have to park your car on a leveled ground. Then check the engine oil level once the engine cools down. Then, drain the extra engine oil.

2. Bad positive crankcase ventilation valve

Why Is My Car Smoking From The Tailpipe - WHITE SMOKE

You could have white smoke coming from your tailpipe if you have a bad positive crankcase ventilation valve. Basically, your PCV valve or your PCV system is responsible for recirculating the blow-by from your crankcase back into your intake manifold and your engine.

So, when your piston comes up and reaches the top dead center, the spark plug ignites their air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. As the fuel mixture ignites, it expands. As this happens it, pushes the cylinder down in the cylinder bore creating power.

But, some of those gases slip by your piston rings and get into your crankcase. From there, those gases find their way to the cylinder head where the PCV valve under certain driving conditions allows them to be recycled through the intake manifold back into the combustion and be reused.

If you have a bad PCV valve that is stuck in a position where it’s aligned for the maximum flow of the blow-by gases from the crankcase to the engine even when it’s not supposed to, your engine could actually be sucking in a bit of your engine oil and burning it through the tailpipe.

Testing a PCV valve to make sure it’s not the culprit for smoke coming at your tailpipe is fairly easy. You remove it from the valve cover and shake it and make sure that the valve can move around freely.

3. Engine running rich

Why Is My Car Smoking From The Tailpipe - BLACK DARK GRAY SMOKE

If you have black or dark gray smoke coming from your tailpipe, it could be due to your engine running rich. Running rich is when you have too little air but too much fuel entering your combustion chamber. Here are some reasons why your engine is running rich.

  1. Dirty or clogged air filter. The main culprit for why your engine might not be getting enough air into the combustion chamber is going to be a super dirty or clogged air filter. If your air filter is clogged, it’s not going to allow for enough air to go through the air duct and find its way to your combustion chamber.
  2. Faulty fuel injectors. The other reason why you might be having too much fuel entering your combustion chamber could be a little bit more tricky. However, the reason for that is going to be leaking or stuck open fuel injector.
  3. Faulty O2 sensor. The O2 sensor is there to regulate the air-fuel mixture. It tells your car computer whether there’s too much fuel in the exhaust fumes coming at your combustion chamber, or whether it’s too little fuel coming at the combustion chamber. Then the car computer calculates if it should add more fuel. When the O2 sensor is bad and tells the computer that there’s not enough fuel in the combustion chamber, the computer keeps adding fuel and therefore returning their fuel mixture and potentially causing smoke coming at your tailpipe.

4. Engine burning oil

Why Is My Car Smoking From The Tailpipe - GRAY BLUE SMOKE

If you have bluish or grayish smoke coming from your tailpipe, it could mean that your engine is burning oil. This usually happens on engines that have a lot of miles on them, or on engines that have not been maintained properly. This is why I always tell people how regular oil change is important.

What happens when you neglect an engine is your piston rings and your oil ring wear out and they cannot properly clean and scrape down the oil that gets on the cylinder walls. Because o that, the engine oil gets into the combustion chamber and burns together with the air-fuel mixture, and causes bluish or grayish smoke to come out from the tailpipe.

Another reason why your engine could be burning oil is if you have bad valve stem seals. The valve stem seals are rubber parts and are right in the center of the spring. It wraps around the valve. Generally speaking, bad valve stem seals causing smoke at the tailpipe is not very common these days. This was more common with the older made vehicles.

Don’t confuse the smoke from the tailpipe with the condensation smoke that you see early in the morning. When you start your car on a cool morning, that’s just simply the hot exhaust fumes hitting the cold air and condensing and making it look like smoking.

5. Engine burning coolant

Why Is My Car Smoking From The Tailpipe -WHITE SMOKE

If you have white smoke coming at your tailpipe, it could mean that your engine is burning coolant. So, the main culprit when your engine is burning coolant is going to be your cylinder head gasket.

The cylinder head gasket is the gasket that goes between your cylinder block and your cylinder head. That gasket that goes between them is called the head gasket. When that goes bad, it allows for the coolant that’s usually routed around your cylinder bores and your combustion chamber to sneak or leak into the combustion chamber. Then the coolant gets burned off with the air-fuel mixture and causes smoke at your tailpipe.

However, when an engine is badly overheated, the engine block can develop a crack and allow coolant to enter the combustion chamber. The catch is you cannot definitively diagnose this issue and say it’s the head gasket or another crack in the block unless you take the engine apart and test the cylinder head for cracks.