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Loads of white smoke! EGR Cooler/ Head Gasket?


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Hey everyone, 

I had my exhaust changed on Thursday, and since then I’ve been getting huge amounts of white smoke coming from my exhaust. I don’t believe it’s anything to do with the new exhaust, I believe it’s a coincidence/ the old exhaust was masking the smoke. 

Doesn’t seem to happen under hard acceleration, happened in neutral at traffic lights, when I lift my foot off the accelerator occasionally and then essentially randomly when I’m driving. 

The car isn’t overheating, and there is no coolant in my oil (it’s black, needs changing, but isn’t creamy/ milky). But I have and am losing coolant, slowly but it’s happening.

I think I realistically need to get a compression test, and a coolant pressure test. 

Any suggestions/ ideas of other things I need to test/ look into? 

I’m really hoping it’s not the head gasket, valve stem seals, piston rings or anything like that! I’m beginning to think it’s the EGR cooler? 

Any help would be hugely appreciated! 

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You don't need a compression test unless you have performance issues. And you don't need to worry about rings or valve guides unless you have problems with oil consumption.

Loss of coolant could be down to a leak or a failed pressure cap, but your white smoke does sound ominous, I'm afraid. Best to get it checked over by a garage and take it from there.

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3 hours ago, xrhstosgr said:

Good Evening Does the white smoke come out when the engine is cold or when it is fully heated?

Doesn’t happen when cold, other than initial thin condensation. 
typically when on the 3rd bar of warming up it begins 

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And how much coolant are you loosing? It might be just condensation and at the same time a faulty water pump that is leaking while engine is running. You need to determine if there are any exhaust gases into the coolant, or oil. 

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1 hour ago, TonyHSD said:

And how much coolant are you loosing? It might be just condensation and at the same time a faulty water pump that is leaking while engine is running. You need to determine if there are any exhaust gases into the coolant, or oil. 

Not a huge amount, it’s dropped around half way between full and low within the past unknown number of weeks.

Its happening only when the engine is warm, and the quantity makes me think it is very unlikely to just be condensation.

Definitely no exhaust gasses in the coolant, gave it a smell after I had driven it and it smelt correct, same with oil!

My egr also has sticky soot, which I believe is an indicator of coolant or oil in the egr, but my oil level isn’t changing

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Is your car a diesel one, might be something to do with fuel delivery, injectors etc. White smoke can be also unburnt fuel. If diesel indeed I am not very experienced with them, been mostly a petrol head. 👍

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4 hours ago, TonyHSD said:

Is your car a diesel one, might be something to do with fuel delivery, injectors etc. White smoke can be also unburnt fuel. If diesel indeed I am not very experienced with them, been mostly a petrol head. 👍

Hey Tony, 

Unburnt diesel is possible, definitely, only reason I think it’s not this (Or only this) is because the EGR is sticky, and I’m losing coolant. 
 

But who knows! 😂 I just worry that if I take it to a garage, they’re going to assume head gasket without much investigation 😞 

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Didn't know it was diesel, thought an SR model would be 2.0 petrol, my mistake.

Does it have a water cooled EGR system? I don't know myself but could definitely be a suspect if it has. Another possibility is something to do with the DPF regeneration system. Some diesels have an extra fuel injector in front of the DPF to throw a bit of diesel in there and get it hot to start the regen process. Again, I don't know if your car has this system or even has a DPF fitted, these are just ideas.

 

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1 hour ago, Red_Corolla said:

Didn't know it was diesel, thought an SR model would be 2.0 petrol, my mistake.

Does it have a water cooled EGR system? I don't know myself but could definitely be a suspect if it has. Another possibility is something to do with the DPF regeneration system. Some diesels have an extra fuel injector in front of the DPF to throw a bit of diesel in there and get it hot to start the regen process. Again, I don't know if your car has this system or even has a DPF fitted, these are just ideas.

 

Hey! 
 

The SR180 is a 2.2 diesel, does have a DPF with a 5th injector. However the DPF, as far as I’m aware only actively regenerates when the car is above 2000rpm, and is normally a puff or two of smoke, this was billowing out the whole time I was sat at the lights.

It does have an EGR cooler, like a tiny radiator which cools the exhaust gasses before passing through the EGR (I’ve attached a photo of this system). 

6C1BDA30-5334-4CB5-B2B0-86DE0734BC4B.png

29E8B037-4BFF-476B-9CAD-B12FDC56E22A.png

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OK, thanks for the info. Since the 5th injector wouldn't be giving you the coolant loss, I would focus on the cooling system first. It will need to be pressure tested to confirm the leak and try to see where it's going

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My 2006 Lexus IS220D started to loose around 0.5 litres of coolant a week. Drove great, no running issues or overheating. No mixing of oil. Just kept topping up. Then one day noticed, no cabin heating, as stone cold. coolant was totally missing in reservoir. Left to cool, poured in 3 litres and was bubbling in fill reservoir and level eventually rising and running out the fill tank vent pipe down the fan/rad. Got to the point car not driveable and suspect head gasket at 187,000 miles. Got £350 for the car in scrap and bought an Auris Hybrid.

See if the header/refill tank has any bubbles in. Do it from cold to avoid pressurised hot water/scalding risk! 

James

 

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