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Is My Car Sending Smoke Signals about Its Health?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 23, 2017

White smoke on starting, you and your car soon will be parting.

engines smoke Toyota Camry

Jun 01, 1997

Why must both of these 4- and 8-cylinder engines run on 89 octane gas?

Dear Car Talk

I've been enjoying your amusingly informative column now for many years thinking I might never need your help This despite the fact that I gave my stepdaughter my ' Chevy Caprice station wagon with over miles on it But it...

gasoline engines

Jun 01, 1997

Are original factory parts better than dealer or auto store replacement parts?

Dear Car Talk

Are original factory parts better than dealer or auto store replacement parts -- Vince TOM Such an elegant simple short question It's too bad there isn't an equally elegant short answer to it RAY We can start by saying that...

auto parts aftermarket parts

Jun 01, 1997

Do I really have to change my timing chain at 100k miles?

Dear Car Talk

I own a Buick LeSabre which has miles on it It runs great and I am very satisfied with its performance The mechanic who does my repairs recently sent me a postcard telling me that after miles I'm due for...

timing chains maintenance

May 01, 1997

What to do for a whiny Corolla?

Dear Car Talk

Toyota Corolla which produces a subtle high- pitched whine at - miles per hour Twice I have taken it to the dealer -- only to be informed that this is a normal drive-train noise One mechanic even suggested that the...

noises

May 01, 1997

What's the black dust that shows up on my beautiful gold-painted wheels?

Dear Car Talk

black soot forms on my wheels -- especially the front ones I own a ' Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with -inch polished aluminum gold-painted accent wheels They are sort of waffle-style with lots of cracks and crevices for this stuff...

wheels

May 01, 1997

Should I bring my own Volvo oil filter with me to the quickie lube place?

Dear Car Talk

my overall knowledge of the intricacies of automobile repair is extremely deficient This has not been a problem for me though since I have an ex-boyfriend who considers himself quite the foreign-car motorhead He has owned a number of foreign...

filters aftermarket parts oil changes

May 01, 1997

Trouble downshifting? Could be the torque converter clutch.

Dear Car Talk

Hill Fla where most of us drivers are over they sometimes call this God's Waiting Room I've enjoyed reading your responses to other people's problems for years and now it's my turn My Buick Century blue with sun-and-car-wash-damaged paint has...

diagnostics transmissions clutches

May 01, 1997

I just blew a spark plug but after putting it back in, the car runs fine. Do I need to do anything else?

Dear Car Talk

I was driving home from a friend's house and was on my way up a hill when I stopped at a Stop sign After restarting and letting the clutch out on my Ford Escort GT with miles on it the...

spark plugs

May 01, 1997

When I turn on the AC it makes my Volvo smell like a litter box.

Dear Car Talk

My car is a ' Volvo When I first turn on the air conditioner it gives off an odor which makes me think the car is harboring a well-used cat-litter box This odor stink is more descriptive goes away after...

smells air conditioning