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Thread: Car died today I think...

  1. #1

    Default Car died today I think...

    Well, my car died today I think. I assume black smoke coming out of the tailpipe, whole car smoking and smelling like burning isn't a good thing. Earlier today it stopped due to over heating, which I made it home and let it cool off and then made sure the radiator was full of water and put more into it. Then I went to Best Buy with the heat on full blast to keep it from over heating and it worked, but it didn't want to go from when i was stopped at lights, but was fine after I got going.

    Well, my mom ended up driving it back home to see how it was doing and it stopped dead at our driveway. So, I'm out of a car now and only have around $3000 cash saved for it.

    How hard will it be to get a car financed from the bank, how old do they have to be in order for them to finance it or whatever?

  2. #2


    Sounds like you burned the rings right out of the motor
    Either that or head gasket, but ive never heard of head gaskets burning black (coolant comes out white and smells sickingly sweet)
    If i rem correctly, you can be any age as long as you have a functioning bank account, but you will probley need a co-signer, to take out a loan or to finance a car...dont quote me on that tho.

  3. #3


    Sorry to hear about your car dying, I know it can be a pretty sad day when that happens. It sounds like your car met the same fate as the only car I've actually managed to kill. I would say that it's likely that your motor over heated, and chances are that the heat caused cylinder damage and you lost compression. When this happened to mine, I could get the motor to turn over, but I couldn't get the car up past about 5 mph, blowing smoke the whole time. Basically, without looking at it, I would venture to guess you need a new motor.

    Now this begs the question as to whether it's worth it to put a new motor in it. If the car is newer and still worth some money and the rest of the car is in good shape, you might consider a new engine. It will cost you several grand most likely, though you can probably find a re-manufactured one. If it's an older car, I'm talking 10+ years old, with over 150,000 miles, or it's just a crappy car that's about had it, then junk it.

    As for getting financed, you need to be 18 to get a loan. However, banks will likely look at your assets, your income and your credit rating. If you have never had anything that would help build credit, like a credit card you pay off every month, or even a phone bill, then you probably have no credit. In the bank's mind, you are a higher risk. In that case they will likely not give you a good interest rate and or may require a co-signer. In that case a parent can sign.

    Speaking of financing, you'll have to pay attention to interest rates (APR) and the length of the loan. For example, a friend of mine just bought a 7 year old car, with a 72 month (6 year) loan at a high interest rate, and the car had almost 100,000 miles upon purchase. That was incredibly dumb of them, they will be upside down in that loan really quick and chances are that the car won't last 6 years and they'll owe money on it long after the car dies. Keep in mind that the average life expectancy for a car is about 13 years or 150,000 miles. After that, you're riding on borrowed time.

    If you can put a down payment on the car, banks will look at you more favorably, and probably get you a better interest rate. In terms of interest rates, in my opinion, heres' what to look for: under 5% interest, very good, 5-9% acceptable, 9-12% bad, 12%+ and you are getting screwed. You may also consider looking at financing from a dealer, if you are buying a car from a dealer that is, as most dealers do financing and if you can't get it from a bank, most dealerships will do everything they can to get you financed.

    Anyway, hope this helps.

  4. #4


    IT sounds like that the thermostat might have taken a dump on you. When you say you put more coolant into it was it low to begin with? Also if the car is burning black out the tailpipe, it means that the car was probably running rich meaning the car's computer was adding extra fuel to the engine. Are you sure the car was smoking black and not a dark blue? Did it smell like extra gas was being burnt?

    It might not be as bad as you think just yet, although i would be worried about damaged components after running it while it was overheating. Stuff like wear on the engine bearings, warped cylinder heads, cracked block etc. are things to be on the look out for.

  5. #5


    My uncle, whose a mechanic said it's the carboriator. It was black smoke I saw dump out of the tail pipe. I thought it was low on coolant and water, but we checked taht and it's all normal. It is a 1991 accord, with 172k miles, so it is old. It was about time for a new car anyways, so I guess we're either going to finance a new car or find a good 2000-2002 honda coupe that's in good condition. We've already put new transmission into this car, new just about everything except the major things besides the transmission.

  6. #6


    The big question is, why did you keep driving it after you knew something was wrong? Was it blowing blue/black smoke from the exhaust, or just some area of the car?

    What kind of car is it?

    Edit... Wow, just lost a huge message by accidentally hitting my back button... 1 sec...
    Last edited by NEJay; 10-Jun-2009 at 02:12.

  7. #7


    Well if you need a car, then you could rent one. You'll probably need your parents though, since you need to be like 25 or so to rent one, but it's only like $20-$30 a day give or take, and you have to pay for your own gas, but you can get a somewhat new car.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by NEJay View Post
    The big question is, why did you keep driving it after you knew something was wrong? Was it blowing blue/black smoke from the exhaust, or just some area of the car?

    What kind of car is it?
    I thought it was something simple like just needing water. Hence why I stopped, let it cool down and then drove it like a mile home. I put water in it there. It was all fine until I came to a stop and I figured since it usually did that when the plug/wires were out it was fine so I stopped to adjust those. Then on the way home it just wouldn't even barely go when I pushed the gas down so I just parked in the lot and waited for my mom to come get me lol.

    Then she drove it home to see what was wrong with it and I followed her. That's when it blew the black smoke out the tail pipe. It just gave out at our driveway.

    My uncle says it's either the carb. or something with the motor and he says it's a 1991 and that it's really on it's last legs anyways so just get a newer one.

  9. #9


    The 1991 Accord did not come with a carburated motor. They came with the fuel injected F22 series of engine. Irrelevant, I know.

    Hondas have a bad relationship with overheating. They are extremely reliable cars, but when they overheat they tend to do bad things. At the very minimum I'm going to guess you warped the head. Black smoke usually indicates unburnt fuel, caused by a rich fuel mixture, but this will not usually kill a motor quickly unless it is running so rich that it washed the rings down and scored the cylinder walls. Did it clatter like a diesel or make an incessant squealing noise before it died?

    Have you checked the oil? If the oil is "milky" looking, then there is water in it from a head gasket. You can also check the coolant in the radiator for an oil film floating on the surface.

    I'm still a little curious about the black smoke though. Usually a head gasket failure will produce white or blue smoke; water and oil respectively.

  10. #10


    I'm going to try a third time to type this out... Now, in a new window.

    Very cliffs notes version:

    Your car does not have a carburetor. The 1991 Accord never came with one, rather fuel injection. Big difference, and if your uncle sees a carburetor under your hood, look elsewhere for car advice.

    Does your car even try to start now? Will the engine crank? Is there any oil on the dipstick?

    Even if the engine is toast, the car may be still worth fixing. If the car isn't beat to hell or really rusty, a replacement engine can be had for a few hundred dollars, and would be cheaper than financing+insurance+taxes on a newer car. These cars are regarded as pretty much the most reliable car in the world (for it's time), and they will last well past your mileage with proper upkeep. There is no reason the car couldn't give you another 100,000 miles provided it isn't already a hooptie, and you take care of it after it's fixed.

    If you're in the position to buy a new car, your idea of an 00-02 Honda coupe is a good one...

    The Prelude from that era is super reliable, and a blast to drive. They aren't the most miserly (upper 20's mpg), but especially in SH trim, they are a lot of fun behind the wheel. Accord coupes are great too... A bit soft sprung, but roomy, and in V6 trim, quite quick. They're also the definition of a reliable car, except for one iteration... Stay away from anything with a V6 automatic from Honda for the years 1998-2002!

    This one transmission has serious problems, that leads to premature failure, requiring complete replacement (same applies to the Acura CL and TL V6). All other combinations are fine (4 and 6 cylinder 5 speed, and the 4 cylinder automatic), but avoid any Honda V6 from that era with an automatic like the plague.

    Any questions about whats up with your car... Ask away. I've owned and maintained two.

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