Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Black smoke from tailpipe Saturn Vue and Oulook

Black Smoke from Tailpipe

If you own a 2009-10 Saturn Outlook or VUE with the 3.6L engine, you may notice black smoke coming from the tailpipe on cold startups. Don’t flip out—it’s normal. Saturn is purposely running a rich mixture right after a cold start to get the catalytic converter operating faster. A rich mixture gooses the catalytic process. Of course, that’s exactly why misfires set off the flashing Check Engine light, to warn you that the converter is rapidly approaching meltdown. However, in this case, Saturn won’t let it get that far. It only runs the rich mixture for one minute.

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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