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Clouds of blue/white smoke on start - taking a while to clear


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Gosh, what a couple of months I'm having just now.

My One Ten with a 200Tdi has just come back from the garage after having a recon FIP fitted and I noticed a lot of oil dripping off the front cross member. On closer inspection it seemed to be around the nearside engine mount/ dipstick area and was dribbling down the chassis rail and coming off the cross member leaving a fairly substantial puddle.

I cleaned it all up with a rag and gave the engine bay a bit of a clean with a pressure washer making sure to keep to the chassis as much as possible.

The good news is that this morning there was no oil on the chassis or ground and also after work there was still no oil. Seems it may have been spilt oil dripping off and not a leak. But why? The garage shouldn't have been playing with oil if all they were doing is removing/fitting a FIP? Or am I wrong here?

What scared lots of little poos out of me was this morning when I started it up there were clouds of blueish/white smoke which seemed to go on for ever. After a while it did clear and I drove as normal. After work there was again a little blue smoke and it cleared pretty quickly and was no way as bad as in the morning.

Could this be caused by me washing the engine bay out? Did I manage to get water into something causing this? It seems odd that the two days previously it started with no smoke at all (apart from the normal black puff it gives) but today it was like a tank laying a smoke screen on maneuvers.

Thanks,

Hedley

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Only oil feed on that side of the engine is the turbo feed and return (feed being high pressure and on the top of the turbo). Return being underneath it and down to near where the dipstick tube is. Going round the back is the rocker cover gasket, which has a semi-circular section on it which has a habit of leaking. Non of this shoul have been touched when the inj pump was replaced (unless they did it in a new and interesting way :) ) The smoke - does it smell of diesel and does it gradually disappear as the engine warms up? If so, then suspect inj pump timing or injector fault. The 'tank' comment - was that a description of a noise it makes? If so - then timing out (advanced).

Les

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Hi Les,

the smoke did go after around 30-40 seconds. Not sure if it was diesel smell or not but will check tomorrow. The tank reference was in regards to the way tanks spray fuel on to the exhaust to create a smokescreen rather than the noise.

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If the white smoke stops after a day or so, then perhaps just a result of the job they did. However, if you get the same thing every time you start from cold, then the timing is out. On the 200TDi this might require the timing cover to be removed to check/adjust it.

Les.

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Les,

the smoke does smell of diesel and does fade as the engine warms although I can still see a slight haze even after 10 minutes of driving.

I have uploaded a video to You Tube if that helps.

The good news is that the oil leak is no more as I haven't had a drip since I cleaned it all up. One step forward.

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Looks like a timing or injector fault to me. The reason the smoke appears to clear is not that it stops doing it - rather manifold heat reduces it, so it's still there. A recon inj pump - fitted correctly and the engine timed correctly, should run perfectly with the timing at factory settings.

Les

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The engine is still blowing smoke, although not quite as much but I did get the car back on Friday last week so I think it has had enough time to sort itself out by now.

I spoke to the garage last night as I was driving past and they said the timing definitely wasn't out as they locked it all down when removing/fitting the pump so I can only assume it is the injectors at fault.

Let me give you some background to this issue.

I was running low on fuel and had been in the red for a couple of days so I decided to fill up at the garage around the corner from my house. There was a tanker in so I pulled away and felt a slight lack of power. I drove the 3 miles to the other garage and filled up with half a tank. I think I felt the lack of power on the way.

Within a few miles of leaving the garage the lack of power became quite pronounced until all of a sudden I could only crawl along so I pulled over and stopped. After a few checks which amounted to my entire knowledge of engines ("is it still there" being pretty much it), I called the AA out.

Fast forward a week and the garage tell me that the FIP is at fault and that they found petrol in it, the fuel tank and the fuel filter. The tank wasn't all petrol but a mixture of diesel and petrol, but there was quite a lot of petrol in there. They say that the petrol killed the pump.

Now, I still don't understand how this all happened as I have never misfuel'd in my life and and the car was exhibiting symptoms before I filled up when I had an empty tank and I had been driving round for a couple of weeks on that tank. Maybe the petrol was sitting on top of the diesel left over from previous owner? But that would be almost 3 years ago so unlikely.

Anyway, putting aside this mystery... are the injectors likely to be damaged because of this? If so what is my course of action?

Also, Les you said "The reason the smoke appears to clear is not that it stops doing it - rather manifold heat reduces it"

Is the hot manifold burning off the unburnt fuel thus reducing the smoke?

thanks.

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