Even when you use your driving mirror, it is hard, and may be sometimes impossible to tell what kind or colour of smoke is produced from your exhaust pipe. This is because unlike the engine, the exhaust pipe is positioned right at the lower back end of every vehicle.
The best way to understand whether your car produces whitish smoke or not is to let someone start your engine as you stand behind the car to observe through the exhaust pipe. It is recommended to do this usually in the morning or on a cold day.
While motorists like Edmund Taremwa thought that their car was in a stable condition after it persistently produced white smoke for two weeks, when he visited the garage, results from diagnosis of his Toyota Camry showed that the engine head gasket was non-functional.
“The solution was to replace the faulty head gasket with a new one, which meant a few days without driving my car. The mechanic said he needed time to source for a matching head gasket of the same size and type of car before I could get back on the road,” Taremwa recalls.
According to carsdirect, an online portal, if excessive white exhaust smoke is present well after the engine warms up, it is necessary to have the car inspected for possible internal coolant leaks. Indicators of an internal coolant leak include billowing white exhaust smoke accompanied by a sweet odour or low coolant reservoir level. An internal coolant leak can also contaminate the engine oil, giving it a frothy, milky appearance. Even small amounts of coolant entering the combustion chamber will produce white exhaust smoke.
Fred Ssemwanga, a mechanic at CKK Garage in Wandegeya, observes that if you do not service your car in the prescribed time usually after covering a distance of 5,000 kilometres as advised by the service manual, black smoke from your exhaust pipe is a sign of a number of faults.
Faulty piston rings
According to Ssemwanga, when your piston rings are faulty or damaged, they will cause oil leakages into the combustion chamber where car fuel burns to supply power to the engine as you drive.
“In this case, oil will get mixed up with fuel and the engine will be burning fuel that has been mixed with other bi-products. At the end of it all, the oil and fuel will become incompatible and the outcome will be the exhaust pipe producing black smoke through the exhaust pipe,” Ssemwanga explains.
Burning more fuel
Fred Nsereko, a mechanic, says when your car releases black smoke from the exhaust pipe, which he notes is a common feature that manifests in both petrol and diesel cars that have been on the road for long, it means your car could be burning or using more fuel to keep the engine running. This, he explains, is why ageing cars sometimes tend to consume more fuel.
Dirty air filter
Nsereko explains that the primary purpose of the air filter is to sieve air so that one with dirt such as dust does not find its way into the car engine. In the event that your air filter accumulates or gets clogged with dirt of any kind, it means the engine will be taking in unclean air. The result of unclean air entering the engine will be black smoke emission, meaning the engine would be suffocated with dirty air. This too, according to Nsereko, could cause more fuel consumption.
There are two main fluids that are used in your car engine; fuel and engine oil. According to Ssemwanga, as your engine ages, it tends to absorb oil particles in its compartments to the extent that some particles become stuck. These particles normally accumulate in the engine gasket, cylinder head and crankshaft, all of which rely on oil to run.
“When oil in your engine stops moving, it will be redundant and solidify to appear like fats in a human body yet it is supposed to be flowing. As a result, the particles will tend to create friction among the parts where oil is not flowing normally and this will result in emission of black fumes through the exhaust pipe,” Ssemwanga explains.
The slippery road sign shows a dummy car and two lines going through in a zig zig fashion.
According to Robert Muhwezi, a driving instructor, this road sign is in most cases placed temporarily, especially when a road is under construction but still being used or in areas that have very smooth roads that become slippery, especially after the rains.
He adds that this road sign alerts the driver to drive carefully to avoid getting stuck. On seeing this road sign, drivers with automatic transmission engines should avoid putting the car in neutral gear even if it is a slope because it will not have enough grip on the ground. However, vehicles that are full time four wheel drive will have added advantage on such roads.
Equally, there is a thinking that manual cars are strong and can pass through all roads but drivers should have manual transmission cars engaged in gears depending on the terrain and also on sight of this road sign, they can lock the tyres manually with the four-wheel to help them drive smoothly.
According to Muhwezi, slippery roads are dangerous and can lead to accidents the reason drivers must be careful. Respect of this road sign will not only save time of the driver but also help avoid car damage in form of accidents. Respect of road signs is a must for every good driver and ensures safety of everyone on the road.