C5, clouds of white smoke except in limp-home mode
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default C5, clouds of white smoke except in limp-home mode

    Hi Folks

    C5 Mk1 Exclusive 2.2l diesel, 2002

    I bought the C5 2 1/2 months ago - Now, I'm in a crisis...

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    The car started blowing clouds of white smoke on Thursday when my wife was driving it home from a moderate length day trip. Hmm, I thought - took it for a test drive and after few hundred meters returned home as completely undrivable (legally - during the day...). Suspicious that clouds of white smoke didn't indicate that the engine had shat itself, the night before last early in the morning, when the cops aren't looking, I took the car for a fast run in the country to see if I could blow out what ever was in it... Sure enough, after about 500 meters clouds of white smoke started billowing from the exhaust - so I drove faster! And, kept on driving... And, then the idiot light that indicates the ESP/ASP system had malfunctioned came on, the car went into limp-home mode, and - while hurtling in a forward direction with my eyes glued to the rear vision mirror - the clouds of white smoke completely vanished at precisely the same moment!

    Clearly something's up with the engine management system and I suspect the way the exhaust filtration system functions (malfunctions). But, what?

    Other symptoms (idiot light tell-tales):
    * Engine anti-pollution system faulty
    * ESP/ASP system faulty
    * Clean diesel filter as soon as possible
    * 1 tyre pressure sensor
    * Damaged tyre detected - STOP
    (Last 2 as a result of my having the tyre-pressure sensors removed)

    Of course, it's due a thorough service. But, right now - it's undrivable and the family needs it!

    Any ideas and thoughts would be really appreciated (including how to force limp-home mode, which seems to fix the clouds of white smoke in the short term).

    Many thanks.
    Regards,
    Morgan.

  2. #2
    Banned
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    The short answer is; it's serious. The car needs expert attention, before you get some unwanted attention from the EPA or the Police! We wouldn't touch a secondhand truck trade-in blowing any kind of smoke but particularly not the white variety......straight to the wreckers, they went....

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Yuk, dealer?
    M.

  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    It sounds like a turbo to me, but I'm sure that someone more familiar with C5s might know a bit more. Maybe on limp-home mode the turbo is set to minimum boost (if it's a variable turbo)?

  5. #5
    JBN
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    There is a cheap Lexia for sale on a previous thread if you want to do your own diagnosis.

    John

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger
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    We didn't get that model C5 in Australia, but the engine may have come here in a Pug. You could look for loose or split turbo air hoses in case it's just got low boost relative to the amount of fuel being supplied. Otherwise, get someone to read the fault codes as they will point in a more specific direction. If it has a particle filter, it could even be stuck part way through a regeneration.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Morgan,

    I am not a diesel expert, but typically white smoke (actually vapor) is indicative of water in the exhaust gasses. With a diesel, as I understand it, it could also be be oil - however in this case it would be more smoke like and not be as white as water. In either case it means something is very much amiss. As it only happens under boost it could be associated with the seals on the turbo unit. The car needs to be seen by someone familiar with the engine and soon. Putting it off may well lead to a situation that will ruin the engine and your bank account.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    In limp home mode the turbo is disabled. My guess is that there is some water leaking into the fuel circuit through some turbo related pipe.

    I can't remember which one, but there is a water heated pipe somewhere in the egr circuit. It could be the one at the back of the engine near the top and running horizontally. It may just need replacing, but it would need to be done soon. It is of course, a bit hard to get at, but it may not be expensive if that is what it is.

    Is it using coolant?

    An easier spot to check is the air intake at the rubber thingy that is closest to the beginning of the inlet manifold. If you undid this and looked in there, you may well see evidence of water coming in. If it is, then check the pipe that comes into it from around the back of the engine and running in from the gearbox side, as this is the one I think that could have the cooling circuit involved.

    Erik

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    I'd just like to say a BIG thank you to Ben Cowell in Baildon - UK (that's where I am now).

    First up: after it stopped blowing smoke - it didn't do so again... So, my firm belief is the clouds of smoke were some how tied up with the FAP that needed sorting out.

    Second up; FAP sorting: Ben was able to stick a Lexia on the beast and do the full regen cycle on the exhaust FAP (am I doing OK with the jargon?). It reved away like a bat out of hell and blew a whole lot of stuff out the back.

    Also, cleared up the flat tyre rubbish so I'll get past the next MOT here

    A whole bunch of other errors that'll need looking at before to long, but...
    For the first time since a couple of weeks after I bought it, I drove it yesterday without any warning tell-tails glowing!!!

    It seems the problems may well be explained by:
    Anti-Pollution Fault - Replacement of the Swirl Valve Actuator / Diaphragm Valve
    Which will get done in due course...

    Many thanks all,
    Morgan.
    PS for frenchcarforum discussion see here:
    http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/foru...hp?f=3&t=38943

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