Just for my own peace of mind, could somebody clarify whether or not I should be worried about my car?
This past Saturday, my wife and I went to my local Midas to get my 2013 Kia Soul inspected. When they were finished, the manager said we passed both inspections but our car was “smoking badly” (which (a) he wrote in huge lettering in the notes on our inspection sheet and (b) we did not actually witness firsthand) and should get a fuel system cleaning soon. This was very confusing because my car had never done anything like that prior to the inspection. But, sure enough, we were treated to a catastrophic cavalcade of acrid white smoke on the drive back. However, the car hasn’t done this ever since that drive home. Not even a little poof of the smoke nor a tiny twinge of the odor has even once occurred.
Perplexed, I went online to get a sense of what might be going on and I’ve gotten different answers as wide ranging as a blown head gasket (which I didn’t buy because that’s probably something I would have heard about right away from the mechanics) and the exhaust system just burning off excess stuff in the system. Could the people at Midas have simply put something in my car to create smoke and make it seem like there was a problem we needed to spend extra money on to fix? And if it were really as much of a problem as they made it out to be, why did I still pass the emissions inspection? It seems like a problem of this magnitude would need immediate fixing in order for me to pass a state-mandated emissions test, yet they said the fuel system cleaning wasn’t required for me to pass.