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Oil smoke at idle - CURED!!

Discussion in 'Diesel forum' started by tubtub, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 11, 2006]
    The car: 2000 TDI Avant PD 115bhp with 75,000 miles.

    The problem: clouds of blue/white oil smoke when idling; most noticeable when stationary in traffic when cars behind backed away!

    The cause: turbo not holding pressure in the oil chamber and leaking through the turbine.

    The solution: new turbo.

    The outcome: severely depleted bank account but happy driver.
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  3. VAGMAN1
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    VAGMAN1 Member

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    [Mar 12, 2006]
    ouch!

    couldn't you get a rebuild done on your existing turbo?

    my turbo has gummed up due a similar problem - resulting in the vanes getting stuck and causing overboost. Anyway, its going off tomoro for a rebuild!
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  4. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 13, 2006]
    Guess what - I went out in the car yesterday and smoke.... I am seriously /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif off!!

    Turbo rebuild? Apparently some turbos can't be rebuilt (say Turbo Technics) hence a new one - £606 + VAT from Audi; Turbo Technics never had one in (despite saying they were unpacking a shipment from Garrett!).

    Car goes back to local independent first thing this morning and gets dumped on their forecourt.
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  5. VAGMAN1
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    VAGMAN1 Member

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    [Mar 16, 2006]
    did you get it sorted?
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  6. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 17, 2006]
    They've been checking sensors one at a time and road testing. I'll be calling in late today to find out what the news is.
    #5
  7. Rev-head
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    Rev-head Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Any Joy with the car ..have been reading this thread with great interest
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  8. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    No joy at all.... I picked it up Friday evening and on Saturday morning went for a blast on the M5 to burn out any residue of oil that may have remained in the exhaust system - my friendly neighbourhood VAG specialist having told me there was now no smoke at idle but a bit when driving. This, they reckoned, would 'burn off' with use.

    As I came off the motorway and stopped in traffic for the first time there was the usual cloud of white/blue smoke - grrrrrrr...!

    It has been suggested that the Revo re-map might have a bearing on the problem so today I had it remapped back to standard - which hasn't made any difference to the smoke output.

    I took it in to my my friendly neighbourhood VAG specialist again this afternoon and told them I thought a second opinion would be a very good idea. I'm now getting extremely frustrated - not to mention out of pocket! Both local Audi dealers are unaware of this problem but my local guy is going to make some phone calls to Audi tomorrow.

    I really believe he's done his best but it's got him beat. I've trawled every on-line forum (not just VAG ones) but whatever has been suggested has been done: head gasket, valve stem oil seals, injectors, EGR valve, MAF etc.

    Stay tuned for the next episode....
    #7
  9. Rev-head
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    Rev-head Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    Well today at work me and my Head Chef were discussing your problem ,he is very mechanically minded like myself ,and we came up with some options

    The cheapest one is that you have water in your tank which is causing you to get this smoke only when on tick-over ..have you checked this?

    Have you had any power loss?

    The next was if you have crack in your head, smoke only opens when car heats up thus giving you smoke when idling and when driving not noticable as much, have had head pressure tested and have you had do compression test on Cylinders when hot?

    Is your water level dropping at all?

    The smoke you say is white/blue?..this usually indicates water/oil

    Next have you had the car emission tested this will give you a better idea of what the car is burning and give you a comparison on last year emissions test that you will have with old MOT(do you have this?)

    Some thoughts on it
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  10. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    Rev-head,

    Thanks for giving this some thought 'cos it has us really stumped and I'm starting to get a little frustrated ...

    Water in tank - will investigate. The smoke only started after the head gasket was replaced due to coolant loss so there may be something in the water theory, from the tank or elsewhere.

    Cracked head - impossible, or at least extremely unlikely. What I didn't mention earlier is that it has a new head, my local guy had one on the shelf after using the block on another job so switched it 'just in case'. It has smoked with both the original and the new head.

    Water level - no drop.

    Smoke colour - blue/white/light grey but with a very strong 'sooty' smell.
    It looks blue/white in the mirror when idling in traffic but after idling for a while when stationary and when looking at the exhaust it's more light grey - definitely not black or even dark, but there's that very strong smell which I haven't smelt before, not even with a TDI before .

    I don't think an emission test has been done recently but will investigate tomorrow (why didn't I think of that!!).

    As you might imagine, this is causing me a real headache - and a hole in my wallet. I haven't been able to use the car for months that is really p/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gifg me off!
    #9
  11. peteA3tdi
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    peteA3tdi Member

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    [Mar 23, 2006]
    have you got vag-com ? if so do some live readings on ect (engine temp),fuel temp and intake temp to see if you have any mad reading ie -40 or +200 as it sounds like its over fueling at idel, also try unpluging the vac pipe ontop of the egr valve (block the vac pipe up with something) this stoped mine smoking/smelling when cold
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  12. Jason
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    Jason Member

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    [Mar 24, 2006]
    Hi Tub Tub

    Sorry to hear that you are still having problems!!!!

    What initially happened before you had coolant loss and had to change the head/gasket?
    Overheat?

    Not convinced about the water theory, I went down this water/Air possibility with our V6 when she was smoking.
    Changed fuel filter (which should have a water purge anyway),pipes,cleaned tank,checked tank pump ...etc..to no avail-also water don't stink!

    Sorry but it sounds like the ******* EGR valve to me, are you sure that it has been properly cleaned/changed?

    It's the smoke smell that you explain that convinces me,sooty old oil fire central heating boiler smell (unburnt diesel)

    Have you tried feeling the inlet manifold temperature when it's smoking? It will obviously be hot but if the valve is stuck open it will be too ******* hot to touch because of the continuous flow of hot exhaust gases.

    As Pete tdi says taking off the rubber hose and blocking it off with a 6mm bolt (manually disabling the EGR) might cure it but only if the EGR is not stuck open & closing properly.It's a valve and even if it's not sticking open you have to make sure the valve seating are not carboned up preventing a 100% seal.

    I have also heard of a temp sensor which advances the timing for cold starting that can malfunction which when warm and timing still advanced due to dicky sensor results in running rich and lots of stinky smoke!!!

    Good luck mate!

    Jason
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  13. dan1
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    dan1 Member

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    [Mar 24, 2006]
    Hi

    Is it hard to start? does it start ok or smoke when starting? Have you had it Vag-comd?

    Have you had the injection timing checked? After the head change they should have reset the timing... a right bugger to do on the V6....

    Is it noisey on running? (yeah... ok its a deisel... bound to be noisey... lol)
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  14. Jason
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    Jason Member

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    [Mar 24, 2006]
    I cant remember Tub Tub whether this concerns you car or not but it's worth mentioning all the same.All V6 tdi's from 1998-2000 suffered from a design fault within the oil filter unit concerning the block breather filter. This filter is prone to blocking up and putting the engine through extreme block pressure as the engine is not breathing anymore and forcing oil places where it shouldn't be resulting in oil being burned and subsequent smoke!!

    The oil seals then leak but the smoking stops which is the case of our 1998 A6 which unfortunately we bought after the damage had been done and I'm looking into changing the crank shaft oil seal in the near future.

    A simple test is to stop after a short run and open your oil filler cap if it hisses like the opening of a fizzy drink you know you have a problem!!!
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  15. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 24, 2006]
    I'll try to bring you up to date ....

    Yesterday we went out with the car; wife driving, me following to determine exactly when it smoked. There's no smoke on part or full throttle but on a very light throttle e.g. at 40mph in 4th there's a gentle waft of blue smoke and with no throttle e.g. stationary after a second or two that's when it really belches smoke and it smells quite strongly too.

    There has never been overheating or oil loss, just coolant loss prior to the head gasket replacement and only after that did the smoke start. There's no loss of power; the car is totally unaffected but for the excess smoke.

    I'm not able to carry out any checks on the car myself; I don't have a vag-com but I've watched when one showed up no error codes and also when a Snap-On similar thingy showed the same. (Must put one on my Christmas list.)

    My local guy is carrying out a compression test today and (at my insistance) an emission test 'cos the MoT and tax are now due (it doesn't get any better does it...?)

    I've lost faith in his ability to diagnose the fault; he probably doesn't have enough experience with this engine. He says he did a 'leak test' on the bores: pistons all at the same height and poured the same amount of petrol in each. The level in number 4 sank faster than the rest so he thinks maybe a ring problem. Maybe the compression test will also indicate this but so far I'm unconvinced - I've already coughed up for a new turbo on his say-so.

    I've now booked it in with Taunton Audi next Friday as I can't justify spending the telephone numbers my local guy is quoting for an engine rebuild or short engine and want a second opinion.

    I'll try and follow up all your suggestions - for which I feel I owe you a pint or two /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif but I have other pressures at present which mean even if I did have the kit or the know-how I don't have the time.

    I hope it has a happy ending... the ironic thing is that when we bought our '97 TDI saloon in 2000, this (the 2000 Avant TDI) was the car I really wanted but couldn't afford when new /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
    #14
  16. mikeA2B
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    mikeA2B Member

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    [Mar 24, 2006]
    Tubtub, how many miles has the car done?
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  17. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Mar 25, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Tubtub, how many miles has the car done?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    77,000 - verified from MoT certificates.

    Yesterday's compression test showed all four cylinders to be OK; readings high on all four with virtually no variation between them.
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  18. OutLore
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    OutLore VOIP Dude

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    [May 11, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Tubtub, how many miles has the car done?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    77,000 - verified from MoT certificates.

    Yesterday's compression test showed all four cylinders to be OK; readings high on all four with virtually no variation between them.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A compression test wont necessarily show the state of the oil control rings on the piston - it will show the compression rings though.

    What might be an idea is to take a picture of the smoke?

    I'd be tempted to go with the idea of excessive crankcase pressure causing it, not helped by a dodgy ring on one of the pistons.
    #17
  19. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [May 11, 2006]
    Having taken the car to an Audi dealership (local independent has been suggested bottom end rebuild/new short engine or ECU - i.e. BIG money) we now seem to be on the verge of solving the problem.

    Dealership says the timing was out (despite me asking the independent several times if they'd checked it). After correcting the timing the car ran much, much better: smoother, less noise and vibration - but still smoke!

    Went back to dealership who say injectors were not installed or set up correctly after head gasket was replaced and because the car has run with them 'incorrect' it's now impossible to 'correct' them

    They've set them up as near to correct as they can and there is less smoke; more correctly, the smoke takes longer to appear after engine speed drops to idle and isn't so bad - but it's still noticeable. The cure, according to the dealership is four new injectors.

    I've been back to local independent and given them the dealership's story and the two are (hopefully) talking to each other - the dealership supplies the independent with Audi parts so they know each other.

    I shall be expecting the independent to supply new injectors f.o.c. and the dealership to fit them.

    More shortly.

    BTW; I wondered about excessive crankcase pressure too and have mentioned it to both independent and dealership, both have discounted it - we shall see...
    #18
  20. mortones2
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    mortones2 New Member

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    [May 11, 2006]
    I don't think anyone has talked about the possibility of dribbling injectors. Oil will not be atomised, and more noticeable when the demand is negligible as at idle. This has been mentioned elsewhere, and the injectors can be reconditioned to cure this, I believe. Might be worth asking about.
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  21. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [May 11, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't think anyone has talked about the possibility of dribbling injectors. Oil will not be atomised, and more noticeable when the demand is negligible as at idle. This has been mentioned elsewhere, and the injectors can be reconditioned to cure this, I believe. Might be worth asking about.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Brilliant! Thanks - this new-fangled technology is beyond me (my 1954 Riley sometimes stretches my technical know-how) but given the circumstances, your comments make sense. I'll keep you posted.
    #20
  22. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Jun 24, 2006]
    Finally....after over six months of faffing about the smoke problem appears to be cured!!

    Taunton Audi diagnosed an injector problem and reckoned that one or more was dribbling and causing the smoke at idle. They'd tried to set the injectors up according to the book but reckoned it wasn't possible as it had been driven for several months with them not right - not too sure what's involved; alignment and adjustment I guess.

    My local independent fitted a new set yesterday and I took the car for a blast along the M5 this morning.... and after I got home and let it idle - no smoke!!

    Not only that but a previous annoying vibration/buzzing has now gone!!
    :D
    #21
  23. ScottyBoy
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    ScottyBoy Audi A4 TDI Owner

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    [Jun 26, 2006]
    pleased for you its all sorted now mate
    #22
  24. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Aug 30, 2006]
    Guess what - the s*dd*ng smoke's back!!

    We were away a lot during July and early August so the car wasn't used much. When we set off for a trip to France three weeks ago we got ten miles, stopped at a T-junction and I noticed smoke billowing up again.

    Throughout the four day trip we had smoke at every stop - really embarrassing in the queue for the ferry!

    So it's been back at my local independent for a week where they're 're-set the injectors' and pronounced it OK. I took it for a half-hour drive, got it nice and warm and parked it on their forecourt with smoke pouring out.

    How do I feel? The swear filter would probably melt-down trying to delete everything I'd like to write....
    #23
  25. rickquattro
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    rickquattro Member

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    [Aug 31, 2006]
    TubTub, does your car have an intercooler? Could it be sludged up to the extent that it could be drawing gunk into the engine and causing the smoke? I believe they do clog, needing a paraffin rinse to clean them up.

    Also, tried the TDi Club site, its pretty techy and comprehensive.... http://forums.tdiclub.com/

    Good luck mate...
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  26. Jason
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    Jason Member

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    [Sep 1, 2006]
    Hi Tub Tub

    Sorry to hear your still having problems.

    When we had a similar problem with our V6 tdi I made an appointment with a long standing local Diesel specialist who practically guaranteed me that a dodgy,dribbling,knackered injector couldn't cause smoke like what we where getting and just for reference a dodgy injector makes a severe knocking sound.
    #25
  27. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 2, 2006]
    TBH it sounds more mechanical, i.e a broken oil ring or similar, maybe caused by bits of gasket/coke going down the cylinder when the gasket was changed. It would still hold a good compression but would "seep" more oil into the cylinder at idle due to a probably high crankcase pressure due to you high ish miles,I hope i am wrong, but this is costing you loads,on your indies best guess

    HTH
    #26
  28. tubtub
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    tubtub Member

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    [Sep 11, 2006]
    It's strange how a set of new injectors cured the problem for a few weeks (admittedly the car wasn't driven much in that time).

    Now we're back to square one, loads of smoke at idle and a nasty harsh vibrating/buzzing when driving. It'll be going back in shortly. At least my independent guys have seen all the smoke now, I doubt they'd driven it enough to get it hot enough before.

    They've now said they'll 'contact someone from Audi'. I wonder what the chances are of getting a new AJN short engine....
    #27
  29. A3-frankie
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    [Sep 26, 2006]
    just read the whole of this post, You've had a bit of a nightmare. i'd be tempted to get to another audi dealer and part ex the problem away.
    #28
  30. meuton
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    meuton New Member

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    [Mar 1, 2007]
    Hi sounds the same as my A6 which has a blocked breather system try removing oil cap and replacing with a foam filter u can use a yello wna green foam pan scourer if you don't have a foam fliter that size handy

    just a suggestion Doug
    #29

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