Car just tried to kill itself! (Diesel Engine ran away)


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Nov 20, 2006
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Hi all, after 9months and 31,000miles looks like my car had enough of me and tried to commit suicide!
Started calmly enough, earlier in the day, accelerating, the car hesitated around 2,400rpm, with about 10-20secs of heavy white smoke, was fine after that, no warning lights or anything, but called Audi and booked it in to be looked at.
Had an appointment, left and drove off, about an hour later, at traffic lights, the engine just went haywire, all the way to 6,000rpm (the max for about 4 secs, was like a TV special effect with all the white smoke), it then went back to idle for 5 secs then up to 6,000rpm again, with lots of white smoke! Again no engine warning lights or anything.
Obviously pulled to the side of the road. RAC guy came along and switched on the engine, and was fine for 20secs, when fault re-occured, he jumped so far! Had no idea what the problem was but thought it could be the throttle sensor
Anyway, car is now with Audi, though on the plus side,getting an A6 tiptronic in replacement as courtesy car!
At least it happened for the RAC guy, every time I've called one out the fault's corrected itself and I look like and feel like a muppet.

Best of luck with it!
I'm sure someone more technical will clarify/put me right, but I believe that diesel engines that 'run away' often are burning the engine oil as a source of fuel.
I believe that the unrestricted supply of oil (rather than a fuel pump restricting the max flow rate of diesel) can cause the engine to rev higher and higher until goes bang.

I'm probably completely wrong but maybe the turbo has gone allowing oil to be blown into the engine and causing the white smoke you described??

At least its under warranty and it'll be fixed at Audi's cost!!:icon_thumright:
Oil tends to burn with blue smoke rather than white. It's definitely going to be something electronic causing it jump like that. Pretty damn dangerous that, I would pound your dealer for a bunch of freebies after that. Imagine the "what ifs"
Yes you can get a run away diesel engine when it runs to destruction using its own oil.

My mate who is a mechanic said that if one starts they all tend to find cover.

He also has me worried about the first MOT as to do the emission test on a diesel thay have to bounce it off of the governor. Ouch.

Electronics deffo.

If its away on its own oil the engine speed governor is inoperative and it just goes till it lets go. Seen a few truck diesels that have done this after a turbo failure and you would not believe the destruction it causes.
Just had a call fromt he guy at the garage, apparently something to do with a fuel pump 'in the rear' (a cam pump?), it was quite a bad line, reckoned it had become 'porous' and was letting in oil.
Will update when i know more!
They are keeping it in for an 'extended test drive' which propbably means if it wasn't broken before.....

Edit: Just been given a call this morning; also getting a new turbo charger, the old one was 'whistling' apparently, presumably due to all the oil and gumph that was put through it during the previous problem.

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