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Huge white clouds coming out of the exhaust, help is need ASAP


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Hi there all,

My 110 TDI300 started lately to take out extra white smoke from the exhaust, at the last few days it becomes unbearable.

It comes especially when I first start the engine in the morning and at drive time it is mentioned mostly when I take the foot off the throttle while the gear is still shifted & the engine slows down the vehicle.

The white smoke is so huge that you cannot see anything & no one can see me also.

It seems to me that it's something from the fuel system such a bad injector or maybe lift pump (or who knows maybe the injection pump or timing went off).

Does anyone here have a history of such big white clouds coming out of the exhaust?

How van I check if its an injector or lift pump or maybe even valve clearance?

Thanks, Gali

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I started the day by disconnecting the breather & checking the return hoses of the diesel fuel.

All seems O.K. the breather is leaking a bit of oil to the turbo inlet but it doesn't seem to be the problem.

Later on I checked the inlet of the turbo, there is a slight of movement of the compressor side up & down but not so significant.

No bubbles at the water tank, the oil is good (not milky) so I guess no big chances for head gasket.

I didn’t checked the timing today but I will do it within a day or two, at the mean time the vehicle is resting at the garage.

Is it by any good to check the valve clearance before the timing or should I jump to the water with the timing first?

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White smoke is normally retarded timing or possible crankcase oil being burnt. If the crankcase level is OK, check the timing and the injector spray pattern.

Hi Red90, how can i check the injector spray pattern?

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White smoke on startup is often caused by low compression which causes retarded timing. Could be wise to do a compression test if you can beg or borrow a diesel tester that fits. If you have low compression you will at least need to take the head off to get some idea of what is going on inside.

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Hi all,

I just finished with the timing. Seems that the timing belt "jumped" one step, the reason is that the master pulley bolt (27mm) been damaged also the woodruff key at the master crankshaft was damaged so all this pulley wasn’t balanced.

Since there been a freedom at the woodruff key the inside pulley of the timing belt suffered few impacts and then jumped one tooth.

I finished already with the timing & valve clearance (the master bolt was a bitch, more then an hour to open), I started the engine (with no master belt) for 5 to 10 seconds & the engine works like a clock – round & steady.

Now I should get a used pulley & I hope that the spot of the woodruff key at the crank wasn’t damaged so I can fit a new one with no problems, along with a pulley & a bolt (also damaged thread).

Thank you all, I really appreciate all your help, gave me the feeling that I'm not alone.

I'll keep you all posted.


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