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VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old April 10th, 2012, 23:11   #1
Henrick
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Default Blue smoke on startup

Hello everyone.

So today my friend started my car while I was standing outside. Upon morning startup I saw a puff of blue smoke. After we made some 15 miles trip and the car wasn't used for half an hour, he started the car again to drive home. Blue smoke appeared again.

The car doesn't smoke while driving. I haven't noticed blue smoke on startup earlier, although never stood outside when the car was started.


Any clues if this is normal or should I start to worry? The car has got ~115k miles at the moment.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:24   #2
Henrick
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The smoke is similar as seen in these videos. Except the fact it happens on my 1.9 PD100.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PiADDOdnIQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7srPzqWAqO4

Oh, and glow plugs were replaced a year ago with genuine ones. Besides, it also smokes when it has sat for an hour or so even with outdoor temperatures >10*C

Last edited by Henrick; April 11th, 2012 at 10:29.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:46   #3
oilhammer
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Some is normal, especially when cold (even says so in the owner's manual).

I watched the salesman start my PD up cold when it was brand spanking new and it did that.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 12:53   #4
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Wife's 307 does it from cold, my Subie can occasionally do it hot or cold. Possibly valve-stem seals, possibly assisted by the low compression of today's engines, but definitely nothing to panic about.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 13:15   #5
Henrick
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How cold is cold? This happens even on warm engine.
Okay, valve-stem seals, piston rings... But what, at 115k miles?!

And the guy in the video has got only 36k miles on the car...

Strange but I've never noticed this happening on my car before.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:15   #6
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As far as I remember, the problem wasn't here before the timing belt change (3 weeks and 500 miles ago). Water pump, thermostat and coolant were replaced too. Is it possible something wasn't set right at that time? The shop did use cam and crank lock tools and let me check when the tensioner was tensioned. The arrow was within the small window. VCDS Torsion value is 0.0 and doesn't change when accelerating high. Since fuel consumption at idle (Group 015) is 0.6 l/h, I'm almost sure the 0.0 reading is actually 0.0 and not 'out of range'.

During the job fuel and coolant lines were disconnected from the aluminium lines above cylinder head to make room for TB change. Is it possible that some contaminants got caught inside the fuel system and possibly damaged one or more fuel injectors?

Also, could this excessive smoke on startup be caused by a clogged air, fuel or oil filter?

This issue makes me loose my sleep at night, I'm sure it wasn't there some time ago. There might be some serious problem(s) developing...
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Old April 12th, 2012, 14:21   #7
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Incomplete combustion due an excessively lean condition... Usually white smoke. Same as if gasoline is substituted for diesel.

Oil in exhaust system... Whitish to blue smoke. Keep an eye on your oil level.

Water in the system... White smoke. Make sure you have no antifreeze smell in the exhaust vapor.

In all three cases your smoke will have a definitive smell. Either unburned petroleum or coolant.

And one last thought... Northern Ireland in the spring. Cool damp air. Probably saturated at near the dew point. This is conducive to making water vapor until the tail pipe and cat warm up at which point the vapor becomes steam and is invisible.

Right now I'd not lose too much sleep.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 19:27   #8
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Blue smoke you say? Must be a smurf stuck in your intake.

(Nah but a little smoke on startup is always normal)
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Old April 15th, 2012, 19:36   #9
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My 2000 has done it since new even when it's 20C outside
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Old April 15th, 2012, 19:51   #10
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Completely normal. If smoke persists while driving or otherwise while fully warmed up, then worry. Puff on start, no big deal.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 03:31   #11
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I think oil level is dropping...
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:32   #12
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yes, all engines use some oil...
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Old April 17th, 2012, 05:38   #13
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From MAX mark to middle betweem Min and Max in 3 days / 150 miles?
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:30   #14
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that's either a puddle of oil, a smoke screen, or an inaccurate reading.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:38   #15
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You, sir, have a problem! The question is just where?

Obviously the turbo will be suspect. Best to remove and inspect the lower intercooler line for excess oil. If none, then at least you can pretty much eliminate the turbo on the intake side. The problem being that if your loss is on the exhaust side it will be a more difficult task to detect. (Intuition tells me this is where you'll find the problem.) Check for turbo shaft play.

Next suspect would be a valve seal. Is there a chance that you lugged the engine and overfueled over a fairly long duration? This would have caused your valves to have been exposed to excessive heat which might have resulted in either a valve problem or possibly a leaking valve guide. Obviously a crack in the head at the right place will cause similar problems.

Last but not least is a broken ring. Usually the wiper ring and not the compression rings, but not always. This is possible but unlikely as the bottom end of these engines are not known to have failures.

In any case I agree that every engine will use oil. The thing is that a healthy engine should easily go between scheduled oil changes without significant oil use. This is a lesson I learned the hard way on a Continental O-540. A couple of quarts missing after 10 hours and the manufacturer said the use was within limits. My intuition said otherwise.

Long story short... I pulled the cylinders. No. 5 wiper ring had disintegrated. In the process it had allowed No. 6 to be scored. So two new cylinders, rings, and seals. All of the sudden an engine that would go a full cycle without noticeable oil use.

In any case... Ouch! This isn't something you can ignore. Good luck.
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