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Old 05-13-2001, 12:18 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 660
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Windsor, Ontario CANADA
Post What exactly does black soot on a tailpipe mean?

Just what the subject says...I'm curious. I've heard that it is an indication of running too rich. Can anyone clarify this?
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Old 05-13-2001, 01:04 AM   #2
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Member#: 1954
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Long Beach, CA, USA
1997 Impreza L/WRS


It means you need an EV1 because you drive only 2 or 3 miles to and fourth places then turning on and off your car.
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Old 05-13-2001, 01:22 AM   #3
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Member#: 2236
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Red Sox Nation w/ y2k4door
2000 Audi S4
silver/rally dirt brown


It could also be a bad, or going-bad O2 sensor. If your millage is bad and you are alos getting a rotten egg smell sometimes look in that direction.
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Old 05-13-2001, 05:39 AM   #4
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Member#: 660
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Windsor, Ontario CANADA

Wouldn't a bad O2 sensor trip the CE light?
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Old 05-13-2001, 07:13 AM   #5
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Member#: 2491
Join Date: Sep 2000
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Charlotte, NC
06 Miata
81 Fiat Spider


It doesn't always do it. If the o2 sensor is having a problem were it is not heating itself, it could just be running lean when the exhaust is cold. And this could also be damaging the other o2 sensor. This is what I have found on my car. I just had both replace d and it seems to run good know. I was only getting check engine lights at high rpms when the exhaust was still somewhat cold. If you take it to the dealer they can read the voltages of your o2 sensor rather easily with their scan tool. Try to get them to read it with the exhaust cold and with it hot. Hope that helps!
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Old 05-13-2001, 08:06 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New Jersey

I get a buildup after a few months...Just gotta clean it every once in a while...I think I'm running slightly rich, too...
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Old 05-13-2001, 08:17 AM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 3409
Join Date: Jan 2001
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Woolley
1998 Ram 2500


I've got soot too.
First 6500 miles naaasty sulphur smell.
Then all of a sudden it went away.
I also had the bad non-turbo lag at medium RPM.
That too has pretty much gone away.
Then at somewhere around 7100 miles I got a CEL.
I stopped at one dealer, he said he couldn't get me in before the weekend to pull the code. grr.
So I called another dealer and they told me I am a frigging idiot and I don't know how to put my gas cap on and to go crank it down all the way. He also said the tether to keep the cap from getting lost might be pinched. Who's the idiot now? My RS didn't come with any such tether. But I humored him and I checked my fuel cap... tight as always. So he told me to drive it for a week with the CEL on because that's how long it'll take to get rid of it.


I always thought that a CEL was something to be remedied ASAP. In any other car I would be really worried. But when the service departments at TWO different dealerships don't seem to care...

Soot is normal on any car if you tend to have a heavy foot. If you've got a free-flow exhaust the lack of backpressure might be sending oil out the tip too.
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