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Lots of SMOKE!!

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by ross_broughton, May 25, 2010.

  1. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    I was just wondering if anyone could help me?!

    A few days ago my car (99 A3 1.8T) starting beeping at me as there wasnt any oil in it!

    So immediately I went to a petrol station and bought one of the tiny bottles just to tide me over till I got home. Once I got home I then filled up the tank with oil that I had at home.

    Then the day after when I went out and started the car it puffed out a LOAD of smoke. I didnt think that much of it but now it has started to do it every time I start the car and even more when I rev the engine.

    The smoke is coming from the exhaust only and not the engine bay.

    Does anyone know what may be causing this?

    Any help or opinions will be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
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  3. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 25, 2010]
    Did the engine sound a little rattly once the warning light came on?

    <tuffty/>
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  4. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 25, 2010]
    oh dear...

    My bet would be turbo has eaten it's seals, its more or less the 1st thing to be starved when oil is low, and tbh if your car beeped the pressure light on it must have been pretty low tbh..

    Start looking for a replacement, or a repair/hybrid
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  5. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    No the engine sounded fine as far as I could tell. It was just literally **** loads of smoke.

    Do u guys think its the turbo then?
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  6. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 25, 2010]
    I concur... the oil level sensor is renowned for being a little late in its warnings and tbh the beeping and flashing red light means stop the car and the engine immediately... its plausible that the damage was already done at that point but tbh I wouldn't be surprised if more was done on your trip to the garage.

    If its smokey all the time it sounds like the turbo as Mark has already said... these things run in a layer of oil supplied at high pressure... turbo shafts spins at over 100,000 rpm typically and all thats preventing it from wearing the thing out is oil....

    Sorry to say fella but think you got off lightly with the turbo... oil starvation can also bugger the followers and potentially the bottom end bearings too requiring an engine rebuild.

    Turbo change on an A3 is easier than an S3 though thankfully

    <tuffty/>
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  7. beachbuggy
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    beachbuggy Well-Known Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    Have u checked the oil levels? If you've over filled the oil it will blow white smoke out.

    It's worth draining the oil, and refilling back up to the levels on the dip stick to see if this helps. If it doesn't then as said before seals on the turbo are likely to have gone.
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  8. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    The smoke is only out the exhaust and not the engine bay.

    It was beeping at me with a picture of the oil tank on my digital display but as far as I can remember ther wasnt actually a red light.

    TBH I may of over filled the oil so that may be the problem rather than the turbo? (he says with his fingers crossed!)
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  9. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 25, 2010]
    Overfilling could cause the the smoke too... guessing its blue in colour? Overfilling will cause the oil to be blow out through the PCV system and back into the intake where it will be burnt in the engine... not gonna do the CAT a lot of good but fingers crossed its that rather than the turbo...

    If the turbo has gone then it would smoke from the exhaust and not from the engine bay....

    <tuffty/>
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  10. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 25, 2010]
    ...of course it could also be the smoke monster from Lost now that it has ended... work is thin on the ground for smoke these days... ;P

    <tuffty/>
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  11. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid Supporter

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    [May 25, 2010]
    "So immediately I went to a petrol station and bought one of the tiny bottles just to tide me over till I got home. Once I got home I then filled up the tank with oil that I had at home."

    not the petrol tank....lol :)
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  12. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    Will it harm the car if I dont drain the excess oil?

    I take it it would be bad just to wait for the oil to decrease on its own?
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  13. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 25, 2010]
    The oil bleep is lack of pressure=BAD.

    The seals we are refering to are inside the turbo and allow the oil that the shaft should be floating in to make its way to the exhaust housing thus smoking excessivly. Been there, done that ( well ran seals out when i snapped the shaft, not ran my car out of oil)

    If it's the seals gone, it won't take long to use that oil tbh, and unless you have managed to put over a litre extra in, it won't have a great impact on the oil burning while idling etc
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  14. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    So do I need to drain it or leave it to go down to correct level on its own?
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  15. Broken Byzan
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    [May 25, 2010]
    depends how much too much you have in.

    If its just over dont worry, if its loads over drain some out.

    Only if its loads over will it have any impact on your smoke issue and if thats the case draining it may help to cure it, also be aware the longer you run it coughing and smoking the higher the risk if killing the CAT
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  16. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [May 25, 2010]
    check there is not a pressure build up in the crankcase by slowly removing the oil filler cap straight after turning off the car, this could indicate crankcase ventilation failure or worse, maybe head gasket failure. Definately wouldnt be so quick to condemn the turbo. Just get it to a trusted mechanic, so it can be properly checked over before any damage/more damage is caused.
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  17. A3Tom
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    A3Tom Smell my finger.

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    [May 25, 2010]
    Whats the level on the dipstick at the moment?
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  18. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 25, 2010]
    Im pretty sure its over the maximum limit but not exactly sure how much by off the top of my head coz im sat at work at the moment.
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  19. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 26, 2010]
    Checked the dipstick last night and the oil level is a good 1.5-2 inches over the maximum mark (oops!)

    Rung a garage this morning to see if they can drain it for me as I dont have any decent equipment to get under the car.

    They mentioned the turbo seal aswell, just hope they dont try and mug me off coz im a bit of a dunce when it comes to mechanics anyway and this is my first turbo engine.
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  20. Welly
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    Welly VX220 SC Driver :)

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    [May 26, 2010]
    Good possibility that that is where your smoke is coming from then.... lol.

    :slap:
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
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  21. Matt82
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    Matt82 Active Member

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    [May 26, 2010]
    you put oil in the tank.... as in the fuel tank?!!
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  22. Alex C
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    Alex C Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 26, 2010]
    1.5 - 2 inches over.. wow, the min to max is only about an inch
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  23. Welly
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    Welly VX220 SC Driver :)

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    [May 26, 2010]
    Yes well, everyone makes mistakes, and I think we can be quite sure he won't make it again.

    Lesson learnt Ross.....?
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  24. ross_broughton
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    ross_broughton Member

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    [May 26, 2010]
    Ofcourse I didn't put oil in the petrol tank, I'm not THAT stupid!

    And yeah lesson definately learnt. It's being drained tomoro.. Just hope the excess oil pressure hasn't done any damage to the turbo!
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  25. Welly
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    Welly VX220 SC Driver :)

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    [May 26, 2010]
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