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Old August 7th, 2017, 22:04   #1
Mr Thistle
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Default White Smoke

Hello all. I'm a newbie to the forum and I have read a bunch of threads in regards to the issue I am having, but I cannot seem to get a straight answer from any of the threads.
I have 2002 Jetta TDI and when my daughter was driving it she hit something on a dirt road that hit the oil pan. Of course the oil drained out and the engine died shortly after the oil light came on she said. So I figured the engine has some sort of protection so you don't seize the engine by driving it without oil, but not before it destroyed the Turbo. Anyway I have the turbo out and it is definitely toast, the shaft is sheared and the exhaust turbine wheel is loosely banging around inside the housing and the compressor side is seized. Before I took the turbo out I replaced the oil pan and put oil back in it and it started right up, but when I put my foot down on the accelerator WHITE smoke was bellowing out of the exhaust. My question is why WHITE smoke? If it was just the turbo that was bad and oil was dumping into the exhaust, wouldn't it be BLUE or BLACK smoke? I want to make sure it is only the turbo that is bad before I buy another turbo. TIA.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 23:28   #2
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No boost == too rich == unburned fuel == white smoke . . .
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Old August 8th, 2017, 00:06   #3
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Idunno. I'd think overfueling would give black smoke. Unburned fuel due to cold engine, late timing, low compression etc, would be white.

Buncha oil in the intake burning off might appear white.

I'd pull the plugs, disconnect the fuel pump solenoid, spin the engine with the starter to blow out any oil and due a compression test.

There's no run outta oil, low oil pressure cutoff.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 06:07   #4
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So you have an event that blew lots of oil into the exhaust. Therefore, you have an exhaust that is saturated with oil. It is going to take a while before the oil gets burned out completely, and that could take quite a while, depending on how the car is driven.

Since the car started right up, it is not seized, but that is not a guarantee of no damage. The most likely place such damage would occur is in the bottom end bearings. Since you have already replaced the oil pan, you missed your best opportunity to check them. But let's set that aside for now.

You already have the new turbocharger ready to go. If you replace that, careful to correctly install the oil lines so that the fittings aren't broken, you should be OK. You will probably want to do another oil change soon, like in 100 miles or so. If there was any damage on the impeller side of the turbocharger, you will want to check for metal particles/debris in the intake plumbing, including the intercooler.

With that, you should be OK. And you all now are well aware that if that oil light comes on, the thing to do for the engine is get to the side of the road ASAP and then shut it down. The light coming on means it is too late to keep driving; it will only damage the engine, and the only thing you can do at that point is limit the damage.

Oh, and just be patient with the smoke in the exhaust. Like I said, it will take some miles to get it all out. And check the oil level before every drive, maybe even after just the first 10 miles or so, until you are sure you are no longer losing oil elsewhere.

Cheers!

PH
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Old August 8th, 2017, 06:10   #5
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Post-turbo-failure test drives are always fun. Usually I just run the car at about 2500 RPMs stationary with the tailpipe downwind, and hopefully there IS at least some wind. I've caused a traffic jam on the highway behind our shop once with a massive smoke cloud.

Then you just need to drive it, pretty hard, for a while. If you can, a nice 10 minute run down the highway in 4th gear helps.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 06:10   #6
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White smoke is usually associated with a coolant leak and sometimes it is associated with a sweetish smell coming out the exhaust pipe. Oil is mostly blue. Unburned Diesel is black.

Check your coolant level.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 06:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetta_Pilot View Post
White smoke is usually associated with a coolant leak and sometimes it is associated with a sweetish smell coming out the exhaust pipe. Oil is mostly blue. Unburned Diesel is black.

Check your coolant level.


Unburned fuel is white. Incompletely burned fuel is black.

OP likely has a ton of oil to burnout first but if there's still white smoke, I'd check for blowby potentially indicating low compression. Not that far fetched after an "out of oil" event.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 07:36   #8
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The white smoke is probably oil saturated exhaust. What oilhammer said...

But whenever there is an engine so toasted that it lost turbo like that, the easiest place to start looking for loss of oil damage is the #1 cam cap.

I also agree with powder hound, you should drop the oil pan and check bearings. The loss of oil was intense enough to blow up the turbo. It's likely the event didn't do other parts any good either.

When checking engine for oil loss damage, besides the #1 cam journal, we also check the #1 rod, main bearing and the oil pump. The reason for checking #1 bearings is the oiling path goes from the front of the block towards the back. The oil pump is a very effective crescent style pump that will actually push oil OUT of an engine. So, the first bearings to lose oil are on the timing belt side of the engine.

Any operation past 15 seconds of catastrophic oil loss usually means loss of turbo. Past 45 seconds usually means journal bearing damage.

To discount this investigation is to risk complete engine failure. To give you an idea, the failed #1 cam bearing worst consequence is the cam melts the cam journal and the cam taper with cam sprocket breaks off. It's ugly...

The first, easy place to start is the cam cap. You can remove just the #1 cap, but I would suggest removing the cam as the damage to journals is on the cam saddle.

Good luck.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 08:22   #9
Mr Thistle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadawson View Post
No boost == too rich == unburned fuel == white smoke . . .
This makes the most sense, as there is minimal smoke at idle and increases as I put my foot on the pedal.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 08:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLXD View Post
Idunno. I'd think overfueling would give black smoke. Unburned fuel due to cold engine, late timing, low compression etc, would be white.

Buncha oil in the intake burning off might appear white.

I'd pull the plugs, disconnect the fuel pump solenoid, spin the engine with the starter to blow out any oil and due a compression test.

There's no run outta oil, low oil pressure cutoff.
So can anyone give a reason as to why the engine died after the oil light came on? I figured there was some sort of protection but if not why did the engine die and why wouldn't it restart when sh tried to start it again. All I did was change the oil pan and put oil in it and it fired right up.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 08:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko6 View Post
The white smoke is probably oil saturated exhaust. What oilhammer said...

But whenever there is an engine so toasted that it lost turbo like that, the easiest place to start looking for loss of oil damage is the #1 cam cap.

I also agree with powder hound, you should drop the oil pan and check bearings. The loss of oil was intense enough to blow up the turbo. It's likely the event didn't do other parts any good either.

When checking engine for oil loss damage, besides the #1 cam journal, we also check the #1 rod, main bearing and the oil pump. The reason for checking #1 bearings is the oiling path goes from the front of the block towards the back. The oil pump is a very effective crescent style pump that will actually push oil OUT of an engine. So, the first bearings to lose oil are on the timing belt side of the engine.

Any operation past 15 seconds of catastrophic oil loss usually means loss of turbo. Past 45 seconds usually means journal bearing damage.

To discount this investigation is to risk complete engine failure. To give you an idea, the failed #1 cam bearing worst consequence is the cam melts the cam journal and the cam taper with cam sprocket breaks off. It's ugly...

The first, easy place to start is the cam cap. You can remove just the #1 cap, but I would suggest removing the cam as the damage to journals is on the cam saddle.

Good luck.
I paid $2000 for the car, it has almost 200,000 miles on it now and trying to weigh out whether all this work is worth it. If it was just the turbo then I would go for it, but with all the things you have mentioned makes me wonder if it's worth the time.
I appreciate all the recommendations. Thanks Franko6!
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Old August 8th, 2017, 10:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
Post-turbo-failure test drives are always fun. Usually I just run the car at about 2500 RPMs stationary with the tailpipe downwind, and hopefully there IS at least some wind. I've caused a traffic jam on the highway behind our shop once with a massive smoke cloud.
Then you just need to drive it, pretty hard, for a while. If you can, a nice 10 minute run down the highway in 4th gear helps.

tell me about it!!!

my EGR tube broke while 2000 miles from home. it happened in Sturgis, South Dakota. home of the Full Throttle Saloon, the worlds biggest biker bar, and just hosted 1.2 million bikers two weeks before. everything from Hells Angels to mom and pops doing one last ride before the old folks home were there.

anyways, I fixed the car all up in the NAPA parking lot after not having boost for the last 4 hours/150 miles. took the car onto the road, gave it some throttle... and boy did it ever "roll coal"... the puff of black smoke that it let out was incredible.... whats even more incredible is that the 4 patched up bikers behind me that I royally smoked out (accidentally) didnt kill me!!!! it totally looked like I did it on purpose and was the biggest A hole in the world to everyone that saw. was kind of embarrassing, and yet a little scary too. I think when I yelled "sorry" out of my window they thought I was screaming and wanting to fight... good times.
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Old August 8th, 2017, 14:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Thistle View Post
So can anyone give a reason as to why the engine died after the oil light came on? I figured there was some sort of protection but if not why did the engine die and why wouldn't it restart when sh tried to start it again. All I did was change the oil pan and put oil in it and it fired right up.
Pistons starting to drag?
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The Black Sheep (Only gasser): 85 CJ, 4.2 w/4.0 Head and Mopar FI.

Past: 85 Mitsubishi PU, 4D55T; 81 Rabbit, 1.6; 80 Dasher, 1.5; 79 Rabbit, 1.5
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Old September 19th, 2017, 16:46   #14
Mr Thistle
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***Update***
Just wanted to give feedback and conclusion on this issue.
So I bought a new turbo. The fist one I got was on Amazon (hold your comments I got it cheap... lol) and it had a different VNT than the stock one. I put it on anyway and of course it didn't work - no boost. I returned that and got a second one from ebay. I attempted to install that and because of the crappy casting it wouldn't mount flush to the engine block. They sent me a replacement and I installed it and the car is good to go. There was some white smoke still for a couple miles of driving while the exhaust cleaned itself out. But the car is good to go now. Thanks for all the help and advice. I think lobstahcookah and tadawson were right on the money about the white smoke being from unburned fuel. Thanks again!

Last edited by Mr Thistle; September 20th, 2017 at 09:54.
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Old September 19th, 2017, 17:19   #15
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Who was your ebay turbo from?
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