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Callaway

Car Blowing White Smoke, Loss Of Power.

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Hey guys,

Well no sooner do I get her back together does she go down once again. My brother was driving the car back home for me today and he was running it through the rev range at WOT. He heard a loud pop and then the sound of rushing air. The car is now blowing white smoke when you rev it up, however, it still idles and revs smoothly. I backed it out of the garage and anytime you place load on the engine it starts to really billow out white smoke. My guess at this point is that the head gasket is blown, do these symptoms seem to indicate this to anyone else? My brother mentioned that after the incident the car had little power and struggled to get up to speed. He also mentioned that the boost gauge was sitting flat (all the way to the left) while cruising instead of at zero like it normally does.

I plan on running a compression test on it this weekend and draining the oil to check for coolant mixing, but I figured I would throw up a post and see if anyone had any input they could give me. Thanks!

Best Regards,

Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Edited by Callaway

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Heard a "pop"? Did you check all the turbo couplers? Is the check engine light on? Head gasket could be a possibility. I would check out some other things as well. Compression check is a good start.

Artie


89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Heard a "pop"? Did you check all the turbo couplers? Is the check engine light on? Head gasket could be a possibility. I would check out some other things as well. Compression check is a good start.

Artie

Artie,

I haven't checked the couplers yet. I just went into the garage and cranked her up and its not throwing a check engine light.

My first worry was that it hit some bad gas. A few days ago I wasn't paying attention and accidentally filled her up with 1.9 gallons of 87 octane (out of habit from filling up my Tahoe all of the time). I quickly realized I had made a mistake, and went ahead and finished filling up with about 13 gallons of 92 octane. I proceeded to drive a good 50-60 miles before hitting any real boost, just to make sure to burn a good bit of that lower octane gas up. I'm really hoping some of that lower octane gas didn't cause any knock, however the engine still idles and revs fine without and odd noises so I think I may be safe (crossing my fingers). I'm assuming the ECU would have retarded the timing had it started knocking too bad. I had also hit full boost a few times today before the incident without any problems. Thanks for the quick reply!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Edited by Callaway

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Hi, sorry if this is a bit simple but have you checked all the ignition leads are fully on, after changing my fuel tank i had similar symptoms and realised a had a bad connection

dave

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White smoke in the exhaust under load is a strong indication of burning coolant. Is the coolant level normal or is it low? Considering the "pop" you describe I would agree it is a head gasket. Worse case is a cracked head itself, but let's keep positive as gaskets are less costly!

Good luck.

Craig


2001 Esprit V8

1985 911 Carrera converted to 1974 RSR IROC race car

1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS350 convertible (goes fast and straight - limited handling!)

www.hollowayperformance.com

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Just a side note... but the knock sensor does not read at WOT... Thats when it runs on the stock base map. So, if you ran your engine at WOT with 87 Octane... it will knock without the ecu being able to do anything about it. Is it only blowing white smoke with load or does it blow white at idle as well?? Also, does the smoke decrease when under boost?

One other thing... is the idle slightly more lopey than usual?


Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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I'd suggest a compression test, that way it will either indicate engine compression issues or other.

If it is OK (and it could be based on it idling OK) then you may be getting coolant entering the induction sysyem via the turbo.

Andy

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On exercise in Germany we could always spot the Chieftain main battle tanks by the plumes of white exhaust smoke. The L60 engine was notorious for leaking coolant into the bores. I would guess you have the same problem. Start with a compression check.

Mike

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I had a similar issue with my vw TDI 2 weeks ago, lots of smoke and loss of power, was a collapsed turbo...... After fitting a new turbo I had head gasket checked on wed and got the all clear...

Mark


Mark MacKenzie  Elise S2 135 Sport 

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Hey guys,

Well no sooner do I get her back together does she go down once again. My brother was driving the car back home for me today and he was running it through the rev range at WOT. He heard a loud pop and then the sound of rushing air. The car is now blowing white smoke when you rev it up, however, it still idles and revs smoothly. I backed it out of the garage and anytime you place load on the engine it starts to really billow out white smoke. My guess at this point is that the head gasket is blown, do these symptoms seem to indicate this to anyone else? My brother mentioned that after the incident the car had little power and struggled to get up to speed. He also mentioned that the boost gauge was sitting flat (all the way to the left) while cruising instead of at zero like it normally does.

I plan on running a compression test on it this weekend and draining the oil to check for coolant mixing, but I figured I would throw up a post and see if anyone had any input they could give me. Thanks!

Best Regards,

Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Erik

I had the same symptons some months ago. First I thought it was the head gasket but it turned out to be the turbo exhaust side. The wheel was totally destroyed.

We think it got hit by small particle coming from the header. All very mysterious though.

Fortunately the housing was not damaged.

Check your turbo wheels, if you have not done this yet, just to make sure.

Stefan


Mind if I cut in ?

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the help! Unfortunately I've been busy and haven't been able to pursue this matter any further. I did want to add that when I said major loss of power I really mean MAJOR loss of power, as in the car BARELY accelerates. Lets just say you couldn't reasonably drive it anywhere!

With the car in neutral it revs fine, and the engine sounds fine. Very little (sometimes none) smoke at idle, but a fair amount of white smoke when revved in neutral and quite a bit more if you put in gear and try to drive it. My brother was telling me that on the way to the house after this happened he could go WOT (or at any throttle position for that matter) and the car just barely accelerated, he describes it as "the car felt like it had only 50 horse power and could barely move itself". He said that everything was still smooth (no bucking or missing), just no power.

Erik

I had the same symptons some months ago. First I thought it was the head gasket but it turned out to be the turbo exhaust side. The wheel was totally destroyed.

We think it got hit by small particle coming from the header. All very mysterious though.

Fortunately the housing was not damaged.

Check your turbo wheels, if you have not done this yet, just to make sure.

Stefan

Stefan,

I'll definitely check that out. Did you experience a loss of power to the extent that I described in my last post? Thanks for your help!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Dave,

No I haven't checked these but I will make sure to do so, sometimes it can be simple things so it never hurts! Thanks for your input!

Craig,

Haven't checked the coolant level yet, will add that to my list! :) I'm definitely trying to keep it positive lol!

Mark,

Thanks for the info, that's not good! I was hoping that since it was only a gallon 87 I had mostly burned it off, but you never know. Very little smoke at idle (with periods of no smoke at all). Boost gauge shows no vacuum whatsoever and the car won't boost at all (in fact the boost gauge stays pegged to the left and never moves at all now). Idle sounds like usual. Let me know what you think and thanks for your help!

Andy,

I'll definitely have to do a compression test, i'll report back when I find out more! :) Thanks for your help!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Edited by Callaway

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the help! Unfortunately I've been busy and haven't been able to pursue this matter any further. I did want to add that when I said major loss of power I really mean MAJOR loss of power, as in the car BARELY accelerates. Lets just say you couldn't reasonably drive it anywhere!

With the car in neutral it revs fine, and the engine sounds fine. Very little (sometimes none) smoke at idle, but a fair amount of white smoke when revved in neutral and quite a bit more if you put in gear and try to drive it. My brother was telling me that on the way to the house after this happened he could go WOT (or at any throttle position for that matter) and the car just barely accelerated, he describes it as "the car felt like it had only 50 horse power and could barely move itself". He said that everything was still smooth (no bucking or missing), just no power.

Stefan,

I'll definitely check that out. Did you experience a loss of power to the extent that I described in my last post? Thanks for your help!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Erik

It happened on the Motorway, I had to shift down due to a car changeing lanes and as I accellerated again, I heard this POP and saw lots of white smoke in the rear view mirror.

The car would not accellerate, total loss of power, as you explained. (Actually this statement got me answering in this thread as it sounded spot on to what happened to me.)

I instantly checked all control lights but there was no change ( higher temp, oil pressure etc.)

I was lucky as the next rest area was only 1 km down the road.

I parked, shut down the engine and closely examined everything. Could not find one thing being abnormal.

After a while I started the engine again, and instantly had big clouds of white smoke coming from the exhaust, where the

engine would run normally, idle at 1000 rmp, no temperature icrease etc.

Check your turbo first.

Stefan

Dave,

No I haven't checked these but I will make sure to do so, sometimes it can be simple things so it never hurts! Thanks for your input!

Craig,

Haven't checked the coolant level yet, will add that to my list! :) I'm definitely trying to keep it positive lol!

Mark,

Thanks for the info, that's not good! I was hoping that since it was only a gallon 87 I had mostly burned it off, but you never know. Very little smoke at idle (with periods of no smoke at all). Boost gauge shows no vacuum whatsoever and the car won't boost at all (in fact the boost gauge stays pegged to the left and never moves at all now). Idle sounds like usual. Let me know what you think and thanks for your help!

Andy,

I'll definitely have to do a compression test, i'll report back when I find out more! :) Thanks for your help!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4


Mind if I cut in ?

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Hi Erik,

What you are experiencing looks like a totally destroyed turbo + a completely blocked cat ...

I hope that the engine itself is fine though ...

Cheers

Marcus

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the help! Unfortunately I've been busy and haven't been able to pursue this matter any further. I did want to add that when I said major loss of power I really mean MAJOR loss of power, as in the car BARELY accelerates. Lets just say you couldn't reasonably drive it anywhere!

With the car in neutral it revs fine, and the engine sounds fine. Very little (sometimes none) smoke at idle, but a fair amount of white smoke when revved in neutral and quite a bit more if you put in gear and try to drive it. My brother was telling me that on the way to the house after this happened he could go WOT (or at any throttle position for that matter) and the car just barely accelerated, he describes it as "the car felt like it had only 50 horse power and could barely move itself". He said that everything was still smooth (no bucking or missing), just no power.

Stefan,

I'll definitely check that out. Did you experience a loss of power to the extent that I described in my last post? Thanks for your help!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4

Dave,

No I haven't checked these but I will make sure to do so, sometimes it can be simple things so it never hurts! Thanks for your input!

Craig,

Haven't checked the coolant level yet, will add that to my list! :) I'm definitely trying to keep it positive lol!

Mark,

Thanks for the info, that's not good! I was hoping that since it was only a gallon 87 I had mostly burned it off, but you never know. Very little smoke at idle (with periods of no smoke at all). Boost gauge shows no vacuum whatsoever and the car won't boost at all (in fact the boost gauge stays pegged to the left and never moves at all now). Idle sounds like usual. Let me know what you think and thanks for your help!

Andy,

I'll definitely have to do a compression test, i'll report back when I find out more! :) Thanks for your help!

-Erik E.

1994 Esprit S4


Marcus

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Erik

It happened on the Motorway, I had to shift down due to a car changeing lanes and as I accellerated again, I heard this POP and saw lots of white smoke in the rear view mirror.

The car would not accellerate, total loss of power, as you explained. (Actually this statement got me answering in this thread as it sounded spot on to what happened to me.)

I instantly checked all control lights but there was no change ( higher temp, oil pressure etc.)

I was lucky as the next rest area was only 1 km down the road.

I parked, shut down the engine and closely examined everything. Could not find one thing being abnormal.

After a while I started the engine again, and instantly had big clouds of white smoke coming from the exhaust, where the

engine would run normally, idle at 1000 rmp, no temperature icrease etc.

Check your turbo as Markus suggested

Stefan


Mind if I cut in ?

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An easy way to check to see if your headgasket is blown -- aside from a compression test -- is to get your engine up to temp with the coolant cap off. Then put your coolant cap back on and rev your engine up hard -- not 7000rpm, just up to about 3500-4000 at WOT. Then pull your rad cap off immediately and if there's a lot of pressure in the system then your head gasket is blown. However, with your other symptoms... I think the blown turbo is fairly likely. This would cause a fairly major restriction in the intake and thus more vacuum would register and you certainly wouldn't get any boost -- i'm speaking about a turbo that's actually ceased. The fact that your vacuum gauge doesn't move at all scares me. At WOT it should read 0, if it doesn't then there's a major intake plenum restriction....


Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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bugger seems on my vw it was both a collapesd turbo and a blown head gasket!!!! Arrrrghh.. Not overheating but pressure in the coolant is my new symtoms

Never rains but it pours

Mark


Mark MacKenzie  Elise S2 135 Sport 

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Did you find the cause of this as mine did it yesterday and is showing identical symtoms to yours.

Whats worse is my turbo is only one and a half years old with not even 20000 miles on it. It is 360 degree ceramic bearing so surely should not have gone so early.

I'm going to take the intake hose from air box off later to see if turbine is still free spinning and then remove the exhaust downpipe to ensure the turbine veins are intact.

One thing i have noticed is that at the base of the chargecooler hose into turbo it is caked in oil.

Car starts runs and shows no engine misfires.

No warning lights are present and oil / water temperatures is fine.

The car goes through the entire rev range fine however from 4000 revs a loud whooshing sound is present.

Any help would be muchly appreciated

Waynef ....Espritless sad times lol

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have you checked the oil level? my esprit a few years ago had about a pint too much oil and hey presto white smoke so i just drained off a pint and all was fine from then on.

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Hi Wayne,

If your c/cooler is covered with oil inside and your turbo makes a noticable not normal noise and your exhaust is blowing white and/or blue smoke, then I'm quite sure your turbo is shot ;)

If you are lucky, only the bearings have gone, but if you keep operating it this way you are risking a major failure (main shaft breaks and/or bearings will seize)

If this happens the turbo repair will be more expensive, because you will need a complete new center section.

Not to forget the risk that some small part may enter the engine ... ;)

Cheers

Marcus

www.PUKesprit.de

Did you find the cause of this as mine did it yesterday and is showing identical symtoms to yours.

Whats worse is my turbo is only one and a half years old with not even 20000 miles on it. It is 360 degree ceramic bearing so surely should not have gone so early.

I'm going to take the intake hose from air box off later to see if turbine is still free spinning and then remove the exhaust downpipe to ensure the turbine veins are intact.

One thing i have noticed is that at the base of the chargecooler hose into turbo it is caked in oil.

Car starts runs and shows no engine misfires.

No warning lights are present and oil / water temperatures is fine.

The car goes through the entire rev range fine however from 4000 revs a loud whooshing sound is present.

Any help would be muchly appreciated

Waynef ....Espritless sad times lol

Edited by Paula&Marcus

Marcus

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Hi Wayne,

If your c/cooler is covered with oil inside and your turbo makes a noticable not normal noise and your exhaust is blowing white and/or blue smoke, then I'm quite sure your turbo is shot ;)

If you are lucky, only the bearings have gone, but if you keep operating it this way you are risking a major failure (main shaft breaks and/or bearings will seize)

If this happens the turbo repair will be more expensive, because you will need a complete new center section.

Not to forget the risk that some small part may enter the engine ... ;)

Cheers

Marcus

www.PUKesprit.de

Hey Marcus

No sign of any smoke and also the noise only kicks in when the turbo reaches boost levels approx 3500 - 4000 revs.

It makes a loud whooshing sound.

No mechanical noise.

Any ideas

Will inspect pipes when i get back

Waynef

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Definately sound like you've split a hose dude.....

No smoke would indicate the seals in the turbo are ok as when they go you know about it.... and so does everyone else driving behind you as they'll just have a big dense cloud of smoke infornt of them.....

Residual oil in the inlet pipework may well just be mist from the crankcase as the breahter hose is fed back into the inlet pipework.....

Check your hoses for splits, make sure all you clips are tight, anything on the pressured side of the turbo thats leaking, all the way up to where it enters the cylinderhead can cause this noise.... even the smallest of pipes to a gasket etc......

As marcus says, if you think its mechanical or it starts spouting oil... any more mileage and your just going to destroy what could be a repairable turbo...

Do you have an additional blow off valve between the outlet of the charecooler to the secondary injector tube/housing thingy...???

If so this could be tossed and leaking pressure...... take it out and replace it with a standard hose and try again.....

Are you overboosting???? maybe something else to check......!!!!!

Plenty here to keep you busy for the afternoon..... ;)

Simon

Edited by Simon350S

Chunky Lover

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Definately sound like you've split a hose dude.....

No smoke would indicate the seals in the turbo are ok as when they go you know about it.... and so does everyone else driving behind you as they'll just have a big dense cloud of smoke infornt of them.....

Residual oil in the inlet pipework may well just be mist from the crankcase as the breahter hose is fed back into the inlet pipework.....

Check your hoses for splits, make sure all you clips are tight, anything on the pressured side of the turbo thats leaking, all the way up to where it enters the cylinderhead can cause this noise.... even the smallest of pipes to a gasket etc......

As marcus says, if you think its mechanical or it starts spouting oil... any more mileage and your just going to destroy what could be a repairable turbo...

Do you have an additional blow off valve between the outlet of the charecooler to the secondary injector tube/housing thingy...???

If so this could be tossed and leaking pressure...... take it out and replace it with a standard hose and try again.....

Are you overboosting???? maybe something else to check......!!!!!

Plenty here to keep you busy for the afternoon..... ;)

Simon

Thanks Simon

I do not have a blow off valve but will start dismantling the hoses and clips this afternoon.

I'll remove the air box plaus the inlet hose to inspect the intake side first.

Then i'll check both hoses and see where it is blowing from.

Oh joy

Waynef

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Ok i have just taken the whole system apart and am now really confused.....Veins on turbine seem intact, both ends and there is no play in the shaft. The charge cooler has no sign of oil inside and the car revs to redline with no smoke whatsoever.

The tube from the solenoid to the turbo was split is it possible that this has overboosted and killed my engine?

Weird thing is that the engine runs smoothly there are no warning lights on and there is no smoke the whirring sound only happens under load. If i have thrown a piston ring surely my car would not run smoothly?

I got my partner to reve the engine and there is no sound of escaping air?????

Am really lost now as only seems to happen under load.

Any ideas welcome as i'm totally out of ideas.

Waynef

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Ok i have just taken the whole system apart and am now really confused.....Veins on turbine seem intact, both ends and there is no play in the shaft. The charge cooler has no sign of oil inside and the car revs to redline with no smoke whatsoever.

The tube from the solenoid to the turbo was split is it possible that this has overboosted and killed my engine?

Weird thing is that the engine runs smoothly there are no warning lights on and there is no smoke the whirring sound only happens under load. If i have thrown a piston ring surely my car would not run smoothly?

I got my partner to reve the engine and there is no sound of escaping air?????

Am really lost now as only seems to happen under load.

Any ideas welcome as i'm totally out of ideas.

Waynef

If the tube is split on a car that senses throttle position, then its ECU is going to be expecting a lot more air in the combustion mix that it is getting. That's going to make it run rich. That's not going to help performance. although I doubt it would cause a total loss of power, nor does it explain white smoke (Black I could understand).

Replace the hose, you're going to have to do that anyway. Then see what the car drives like, but treat it gently. Possibly worth disconnecting the battery to get the ECU to go to default settings, that way it will have forgotten the very rich running it was trying to compensate for.

Andy

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