Reader Question Hi, my friend has a 2000 Honda Civic 2 dr….and just today while the car was at an idle i noticed that the car was kind of spitting something out of the exhaust pipe…. I ran my finger threw it and it was oil.
I looked under the car and it was dripping out of the muffler… it was a kind of mixture of oil and water….and I was looking on the internet to look for what causes that and I was thinking it was a bad gasket or seal but I wasn’t sure. so i decided to ask you and see what you think
Most mufflers will have a small hole at the bottom to allow water (normal moisture from condensation) to drip out. Get under the vehicle and look closer at the muffler and see if there is a small hole. If you had a head gasket leak I would suspect there to be a large cloud of white smoke coming from the tailpipe, an engine miss (due to water in a cylinder) and an over heating condition.
With the engine cold, take the cap off the radiator and see if it’s low on coolant. If it IS low, I would recommend you take the car to the mechanic for a cooling system pressure test, which can tell you if you have a head gasket or internal engine damage.
Some black oily deposits are probably going to be normal out the tailpipe especially if you take short trips and don’t allow the engine to fully heat up and the exhaust system to fully heat up and burn off the exhaust properly. Sometimes a nice long high RPM drive on the freeway can do wonders for engines that normally take short trips and don’t really get to stretch their legs on open road.
If the engine has a misfire or is running a little ragged, it might be time for a basic tune up, which is where I would start anyway.