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Tailpipe Exhaust Color, Is It Bad?

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One of the telltale signs that a car has a problem is colored exhaust or smoke coming from the tailpipe. If there is smoke coming from the tailpipe, its color can often provide clues to help identify the problem.

exhaust smoke color repair des moines iowaOf course, we use high-tech diagnostic tools to troubleshoot all of your car problems, but any information you can provide (like the color of exhaust coming from the tailpipe) can help us identify the problem and get you back on the road faster. Here’s what some exhaust colors can indicate:

White: Your engine may put out white smoke if the fuel mixture has been compromised by water or antifreeze. It’s often caused by a faulty or failed rubber gasket designed to maintain a tight seal to keep antifreeze out. Sometimes a leak can develop if your car overheats and damages a head gasket.

Blue: All it takes to spew blue smoke from your exhaust is a tiny drop of oil leaking on to the engine’s cylinder. Only a mixture of gasoline and oxygen are meant to power your engine. If a gasket or seal has failed, there’s a chance that a small amount of oil may reach the engine’s cylinder and could potentially damage spark plugs. In addition to making any necessary repairs to prevent this, some older cars may also benefit from using thicker engine oil or an additive that can minimize the potential for an oil leak.

Black smoke: If too much fuel gets into the engine’s cylinder and you try to start your car, you may see black smoke coming from your exhaust. In many cases, a poorly-working carburetor is to blame. Black smoke may also be linked to a failing fuel pump, a fuel injector that needs to be cleaned or replaced, or a computer-related problem connected to your engine.

If you see odd colored smoke coming from your tailpipe, getting it checked out before other problems develop is the best idea.

Concerned about smoke coming from your car’s tailpipe? We can help. Give us a call at 515-423-8185 or click here schedule an appointment.

5 Signs Your Car May Have Pothole Damage

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If you’ve been excited to see the winter snow melt in Des Moines, you’re not alone. After all , we had some seriously cold-weather days, some heavy snow storms, and plenty of snow and ice-covered roads that contributed to a long list of traffic accidents.

pothole damageBut just because most of the snow is gone, doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing through spring and summer. Why? Because there’s a good change you drove your car through some rough patches of ice during the winter. And now that the snow is gone, there are plenty of potholes around to still do some serious damage to your car.

Driving through a pothole is unmistakable. With even a little speed, it feels like you’re off-roading, which isn’t exactly what sedans and minivans were designed to do. Potholes can damage the shocks and struts your car uses to cushion you from bumps in the road. Plowing through potholes can also damage suspension, alignment, tires, steering, and braking.

Think your car might have been beat up by one too many potholes? Here’s five telltale signs your car has pothole damage:

  1. When you turn, it feels like the car is moving more than you want it to.
  2. When you step on the brakes, the front end of your car moves downward.
  3. Your car feels like it’s sliding or out of control when driving on roughs roads with a lot of twists and turns.
  4. You frequently hit bottom when driving over speed bumps or other small bumps in the road that didn’t cause a problem in the past.
  5. When you look at a side profile of your car from the outside, it’s lower in the front than the back, instead of parallel.

When your car has battled it out with potholes (not uncommon in Des Moines), you might not always notice a problem with performance right away. But damage from potholes only gets worse over time. If your car demonstrates any of these telltale signs of pothole damage, schedule your car for an inspection or give us a call at 515-243-8185. We’ll make any necessary repairs to keep your car running properly and keep you safe when you’re on the road.

Making Minor Car Repairs Can Save You In the Long Run

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There’s a minor car repair needed on your car, but it doesn’t interfere with driving, and seems more of a nuisance to fix than the time and cost involved. So you keep putting it off.

minor car repairSound familiar?

Maybe you’ve got a brake light out. One of the lights that illuminate your license place is burnt out. Or a turn signal works intermittently. So when it’s not working, you roll down your window and use hand signals when you’re making a turn. If you haven’t been that driver, you’ve probably seen someone on the road needing a minor car repair like this.

If Your Vehicle Isn’t Working Properly…

These kinds of minor car repairs are easy to fix and usually don’t cost a lot of money. But if you ignore the problem, it can cost you a lot more than you think. The Central Iowa Traffic Safety Task Force, Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, and Polk County law enforcement teams regularly organize extra patrols to enforce the law.  Something as simple as a broken taillight could turn into a hefty fine if stopped.

If you have one of those nagging car repairs you keep putting off, you might avoid detection for a while, but there’s always the chance that an officer might roll up behind you or spot you making a turn and discover a problem with your vehicle that you can be cited for. The more likely scenario is that you get pulled over for speeding, but instead of just getting a ticket for going over the speed limit, the fine gets a lot bigger for the broken tail light or faulty turn signal. It’s not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Increased Patrols Improve Public Safety

The periodic increase in patrols is an excellent public safety effort by law enforcement officers. It’s a great reminder to drive the speed limit, avoid texting while driving, and follow the rules of the road, which includes keeping your car in working order.

If you’ve got one of those minor problems that can be considered a violation, don’t wait for a citation to fix it. Bring your car in, or schedule an appointment through our Web site, and we’ll get you back on the road as soon as possible.