Question about 1999 Volkswagen Passat

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White smoke from tail pipe

On my 1999 vw passat theres alot of white smoke coming out from the tail pipe the mechanic says its the turbo at foult and that I mneed to change it is he correct and the the turbo be repaired?

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  • josemin180 Jan 29, 2009

    ok thanks can this also mean that the problem wont allow the car to go more than 50 mph it just hums but wont go any faster..I recently also had an oil change could they have put more oil than what they would suppose to and the tray is overfilled?white smoke.

  • josemin180 Jan 29, 2009

    so the smoke has nothing to do with the turbo.

  • josemin180 Jan 29, 2009

    ok to sum this up the turbo may not be at foult for the smoke even though it wont go any faster than 50 mph.so check the oil level if its over filled dump some of it off and change the head gasket.

  • josemin180 Jan 29, 2009

    well they did try to speed it up about 3 times to see what the issue was but all it did was blow smoke no advance...sorry if I'm over asking but I just dont want to spend money on things that dont need to be repaired.what can I look for on a bad turbo?thanks

  • josemin180 Feb 02, 2009

    ok mike I'll have the mechanic check this area out.
    thanks for the help.


  • josemin180 Feb 06, 2009

    hey fellows.ok had those areas checked out but mechanic say there fine.he noticed that on the hose that goes to from engine block to the turbo coolant radiator the small radiator on the bottom left side of the hood there was small motor oil resedue inside the hose and also on the oil line the go into the turbo there was also like dry oil resedue.so he's saying that it could be the turbo...should I let him open up the turbo to see if its not broken?

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Its your coolant burning.you have a blown head gasket.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

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Head gasket knackered,

Posted on Feb 08, 2009

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Hi Josemin,

As a rule:

  • Black Smoke = Unburnt Fuel, incomplete combustion, bad mix
  • Blue Smoke = Burning Oil
  • White Smoke = Water Vapor, Water getting where it shouldn't be.
White smoke is common in cold weather when you first start your vehicle. It's from condensation. But it should stop as the engine warms up. If it doesn't, the moisture is from another source.

I've read through your exchanges so far. I concur that the turbo is unlikely to be the source of your problems. The lack of power may point to this at first, but the other symptoms don't jive.

A blown head gasket does fit the bill. Why?
  • Uncontained compression in one or more cylinders = lack of power
  • Coolant seeping into cylinders through the gasket breach creates white smoke
Things to look for:
  • Coolant levels low. As the coolant is burned off, you'll notice the levels are lower
  • Oil in the coolant. If oil is present in the radiator, it's coming from the engine. Another indicator of a failed head gasket. Only a confirmation though, lack of oil does not rule out the possibility.
  • Water in the oil. You recently changed the oil. It should be clear and clean. Pull the oil dipstick. Is the oil still clear and clean? Or is it milky and frothy? If so coolant is getting into the oil. Again, an indicator, not a confirmation of a blown head gasket. Lack of blue smoke says that oil contamination is unlikely. On the other hand, the oil volume has to be coming from somewhere.
The quickest, easiest and (most importantly) cheapest confirmation of this is to run a compression test on each cylinder. I'm surprised your mechanic didn't suggest it.

The test should show high and fairly close compression (100psi or more) on all cylinders. If any of them are significantly lower, something is allowing the gasses to escape. Since valve problems are usually accompanied by horrendous noises and piston ring failures would produce blue smoke, that leaves the head gasket.

If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, testers are available at any auto parts store for under $30.00. If you don't, any shop can do it in under half an hour.

All this is to pin point the problem. Then you know what you are dealing with.

Comment me back with your findings.
Mike

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Feb 03, 2009

    Best of luck to you
    Mike


  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Feb 06, 2009

    It's hard to diagnose things unseen. If the compression test came out ok, that is good news. Other options need to be explored.

    Have your mechanic do an exploratory. He is the one on the scene. I wanted to make you aware of the other possible causes before incurring unnecessary expense. The compression test rules out those possibilities.

    Best regards
    Mike

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It often means that you are burning antifreeze. You asked if it needs antifreeze, have you noticed any leaking out of the reservoir tank while you are running it? Sometimes when the head gasket goes it will produce a passage for the antifreeze to pass from the capillaries into the combustion chamber. It is easy to check if you have an air compressor. Remove one of the rear sparkplugs and the radiator cap. Fill the radiator and then push some air into the sparkplug hole (get a good seal in case a valve is open). Repeat with all the cylinders and watch for air bubbles coming up into the radiator. If bubbles come up or fluid is pumped out, the head gasket is blown and must be replaced. It is more likely to happen at the back of the engine because it is farthest away from the fan and therefore gets less cooling. Also check your oil for discoloration. If it is a brownish color it could mean your oil and antifreeze are mixing and has the potential to damage your bearings.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

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  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Jan 29, 2009

    Yes chances are there that oil is being sucked into the combustion chambers through the valve guides. A quick fix for this problem is by replacing the valve seals. Valve seals are small, umbrella shaped pieces of rubber.



    Do rate the solution.

    Thanks

  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Jan 29, 2009

    To see what type of smoke you are getting and what is the solution, visit this link.

  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Jan 29, 2009

    No i don't think your turbo is affected, it is the oil that is being sucked into the engine. Get it fixed or else it can get worse.

  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Jan 29, 2009

    Turbo is not at fault and that is for sure, the car doesn't go higher than 50kmph is due to entry of oil in engine. And, get that oil out of your engine. Also, turbo can get affected only if you have accelerated your car when the oil had entered and you tried to speed it up, even when it was not allowing you to. I don't think tried to gas it to full even though it wasn't speeding up.



    Do rate this solution...



    Thanks

    Rylee

  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Jan 29, 2009

    It's fine even i don't want you to spend on a new turbo. Just go over there get it checked wheather the oil has entered the engine or not (atleast getting it checked would cost you much less than a new turbo) and then if they say that its not the oil then you can get the turbo replaced.

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