Every so often give your exhaust a sniff...use your hand not your nose directly to the fumes.
If it looses a very slight 'rotten-egg' smell, or if the smell becomes very strong, than your CAT is starting to loose it's effectiveness, or your
gas supplier is getting slack on their sulfur monitoring.
Help keep the air clean, switch to a different supplier and make sure your EGR and CAT systems are well maintained.
I learned to do about the same thing way back when I was hot-rodding musclecars. To check the condition of an engine quickly:
Have a friend
race the motor (not too fast! Stay under 4000 RPM!) while you hold your hand several inches away from the exhaust pipe. When the exhaust hits your
hand, let your hand move away with the force, or you will burn yourself. Now look at and smell your hand...
An oily smell (or actual oil on
your hand) means the engine is burning oil. If you're lucky, you need an overhaul.
A rotten egg smell means your catalytic converter is dead (like peck said)
An alcohol-like or chemical smell means your coolant is leaking into the chambers... blown gasket.
Black specks mean you have carbon buildup in the engine... probably because it is burning the gas either too rich or too lean (usually too rich)
If you smell gasoline, you have a misfiring cylinder.
Ideally, you should have a clean hand and smell nothing.
Of course, listen for any knocking or pinging sounds while doing this. Also listen for how well the engine accelerates and decelerates. there
should be no hesitation.
Turn the engine off and check the oil. It should be smooth, no chunks or specks in it. Hold a magnet over it and if it bulges, there are
microscopic metal shavings in the oil, and the engine is shot.
OK, OK, that's OT a bit too... but maybe it'll help someone reading this thread to know a little more about their car. That's the real way to assure
they do as little damage to the planet as possible.
edit on 2/19/2011 by TheRedneck because: (no reason given)
it faded away because it became much less of a problem do to something they put in factories called scruubers which capture all the toxins before they
enter the atmosphere. as well as something they out in cars, so they kind of decreased the problem, plus global warming became the new environmental
concern which took focus away form things like acid rain and ozone depleation, both of which are still problems(acid rain is still ike i said less of
a problem now)
Nope. Global warming has been a recognized problem much longer than acid rain, see this video from 1958 for example:
Or read more about the 150 year scientific history behind global warming here.
It's just that to most people: e.g. economists, industrialists, politicians who depend on votes from the regular folk - what's a more
pressing issue - dealing with a few degrees of warmer temperatures 100 years from now, or going outside tomorrow to find sulfuric acid falling
on your head?
So as a problem that was much more immediately threatening and unpleasant to the public, acid rain was actually dealt with. Not eradicated, but
reduced significantly enough that you don't really hear about it anymore.
Ironically, in the U.S. the precedent set by The Acid Rain Program is widely considered
a huge success story for the potential of market-based "cap and trade" solutions.
These people conveniently forget to point out however that in Europe more (strict) standard regulations were far more successful.
The most important lesson learned though is this is simply an example of what happens when people actually feel compelled enough to give a **** about
I have to take exception with your praise of Cap & Trade when applied to carbon dioxide.
Cap & Trade worked well to remove sulfur from fuels... in the end it was much more successful than the catalytic converter approach alone. However,
there is a difference between using it for the acid rain problem and using it to combat carbon dioxide levels. While one can remove sulfur from
hydrocarbon fuels and still have said hydrocarbon fuels, the same cannot happen with removing the carbon. Carbon is an inherent part of hydrocarbon
fuels, while sulfur is an impurity. Remove the carbon and you have... hydrogen! It is also physically impossible to combust carbon compounds in an
oxygen atmosphere without producing either carbon monoxide (which will become carbon dioxide) or carbon dioxide.
Cap & Trade on sulfur pollutants raised the cost of fuel and spurred innovation into sulfur removal. Cap & Trade on carbon will limit the amount of
fuel available in a developing world.
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