We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Hot answers tagged

20

If it is burning it's oil, the oil is getting somewhere it shouldn't do - and changing the plugs and coil will make no difference to that! As the oil smoke is coming out of the exhaust, that suggests to me that the oil is getting into the cylinders - the most likely causes for this are a blown headgasket, failed valve stem seals, or failed piston rings. A ...


16

There are several methods to detect vacuum leaks of unmetered air into the fuel delivery system One method is to use soapy water in a spray gun. The real issue here is how are you going to detect a vacuum leak and how do you know you've found it. What is a vacuum leak in this context related to a fuel delivery system? Unmetered air in a fuel system is ...


14

One tool overlooked here is an ultrasonic leak detector. They work by listening to the noise of a leak. Obviously they would be better used in a totally quiet environment, but it's a possibility. I've used them to determine automotive refrigerant leaks, and for water leaks from outside to inside the passenger compartment of a car. For vacuum, dunno ...


10

Some people have stated listening for a vacuum leak noise and if located within a vicinity disconnect and add a new line of the same diameter and get a cigar and blow smoke from the cigar in the line. After blowing smoke in the new line cork the end and look around to see if any smoke is coming through. If you don't smoke you could always look into getting ...


8

@DucatiKiller gives a very good assessment of how to look for leaks. Using these same efforts, you can also use gas from a propane torch around the same areas described. When the gas finds a vacuum leak, you'll find a definite change in engine RPM due to the fuel which is found. Mind you, you are opening the valve and using the gas itself, unlit. You don't ...


8

One other way to look at this, sort of from a different direction. As I get older I really like being able to do more with less and do so safely. I think its sometimes awesome that an old guy with barely any tools can out perform the young guys with an expensive tool box. (And yeah, I used to have many of those tools... now I'm trying to downsize a bit.) I ...


7

Another way that has not yet been mentioned is artificially creating a vacuum or pressure in the intake. Vacuum is naturally there when the engine is working, but often the iconic hissing sound a leak makes is overwhelmed by the natural sounds of a working engine in the case of tiny leaks. If you reproduce the vacuum or create pressure with the engine off - ...


7

This is how I diagnosed a vacuum leak in my car. I removed the air filter from the intake pipe (mine was a turbocharged lancer evolution with an after market intake pipe) started the car. (Make sure your surroundings is not dirty and is very quiet). After starting the vehicle, I placed a book to block the air being sucked into the intake pipe (do not place a ...


7

From your description, it sounds like you have a plugged catalytic converter. The glowing red exhaust pipe and lack of power is what would clue me to that.


6

If it's a vacuum leak, it will be sucking in air, and you'll probably be able to hear it. With the rest of the engine making noise, using something to pinpoint the sound would help: Take a piece of rubber hose and hold one end up against your ear, moving the other end around the engine listening for the hissing/sucking sound. It's kind of like using a ...


6

There are usually two parts to this diagnosis: Establish that you have a vacuum leak If confirmed, find out the source of the malaise Confirming the presence of a leak My favorite trick to establish the presence of a vacuum leak involves physically blocking the air intake(s) using your hands or something suitable. It usually helps to remove the air filter(...


5

Nice engine you got there! While your issues do sound like a MAF problem (check the MAF readings via OBD!), some turbocharged Volvos are notorious for fuel pressure regulator issues. Basically the regulator diaphragm ruptures and fuel gets into the pressure regulation vacuum hose. Typically this causes poor starting (especially cold) because of an ...


5

I would not immediately assume the repair shop was out to get you. Its possible, but not likely. PepBoys is a national chain, and their best most profitable behavior is to quickly and efficiently repair customer's cars. Any national chain will also spot check the reliability of their individual repair centers. I'm not saying its impossible, it just doesn'...


5

Since it's a 1.2 I'm betting it's petrol, so you don't have some of the issues that diesels suffer from. White smoke is often water. Grey/black smoke will be oil. Either way, something is getting into the combustion chambers which really shouldn't be there. My money is on the head gasket, because that can fail in a fairly on/off kind of way, but as other ...


5

I've used a stick of burning incense. Cheap and simple!


5

There is nothing wrong, water is a byproduct of gasoline combustion. 2 C8H18 + 25 O2 → 16 CO2 + 18 H2O where C8H18 is the gasoline reacting with oxygen (O2) and giving Carbon-dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) as the byproduct. So, this simply is: 2 * Gas molecules + 25 * Oxygen Molecules → 16 * Carbon Dioxide Molecules + 18 * Water Molecules So the ...


5

Per your edit, you said the mechanic replaced a PCV valve that was stuck open, causing the excessive smoking. PCV in this case stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The valve is located on the side of the engine block, and serves to vent excess pressure out of the crankcase. The pressure is created by the churning and heating of oil, as well as some of ...


5

I'm 99% sure it's a head gasket problem. The more you drive it, the worse it will get until you'll ruin the engine. Does the oil look like café-au-lait? or is there some oil in coolant reservoir? Only an internal inspection will tell you for sure, plus tell you what other problems you have created by driving it with blown head gasket. The white smoke says ...


5

Smoke emitted from the tailpipe is likely either coolant or, more likely given the oil light, engine oil. The "wooooo" noise you described is in all likelyhood a boost leak. The wipers stopping mid-wipe and then restarting is likely unrelated to the engine problem. I've had a Volkswagen group car do this to me once and it never did it again since. I ...


5

From the description I'd suspect turbo failure.. and I'm sorry to say that if that's the case you're looking at another big bill.


4

A little water is normal especially in colder weather. It is not likely that it is coolant coming out of the exhust, if it was you'd have a lot of other symptoms. If you vehicle is leaving a noticeable black dusty or dark damp patch behind then this may indicate an issue. Along with that if your mileage has taken a slight dip as well as your vehicles power ...


4

It's hard to say exactly what's going on, but you are definitely leaking anti-freeze. Since it is coming from the back of the engine, it could be a bad freeze plug, busted heater hose, or cracked coolant fitting. I'm doubting it would be your coolant pump as that should be at the front of the engine. I highly doubt this is a head gasket leak. Unless you can ...


4

The Primary Reason for Excessive Soot in Diesel Dragsters is Incomplete Combustion Something to keep in mind regarding diesel dragsters is that they do not use any emissions equipment to more effectively burn unburned fuel and oil contained in diesel fuel which is essentially kerosene. Emissions devices NOT on a diesel dragster Exhaust Gas Re-circulation ...


4

Yes, the blue smoke is most likely the engine burning oil. When the oil burning only happens upon startup, this is usually a sign the valve seals are no longer doing their job. Oil bypasses them as the engine sits and runs down the valve stem to sit on top of the valve, to then be sucked into the cylinder upon startup. As the oil is burned off, the smoke ...


4

I agree with the suggestions that it is most likely a head gasket problem – I don't think it is a turbo or a piston ring problem. In my, somewhat limited, experience the VW TDI turbos are quite long lived. I've currently got two that are both closing in on 500,000 KM. So I would focus on the head gasket. I'd also suggest contacting VW to see if they might ...


4

In a word: NO! Please don't run the engine any more until you get some of it drained. You've got at least 8 quarts too much oil in the engine. This will cause damage to your engine if you run it. You need to drain the oil out where it sits to avoid damage. Please realize, the "oil life indicator" does not indicate how much oil you have in your engine, but ...


3

Brake dust on the rims is normal, although not usually after a short trip. It sounds like you probably have a stuck caliper. Did you replace the pads and rotors yourself? If so, did you lubricate the caliper pins? If not, get some caliper lube (the pads I usually buy come with a foil pouch of it, not sure if all do) and use it liberally on the pins. Remove ...


3

You should not have a leak in your cooling system, period. You need to get the car back to the mechanic if you have a coolant leak (albeit a small one). Over time you'll continue to lose coolant when the system pressurises and this is unacceptable as the car won't be reliable. Eventually the coolant will boil and the engine overheat when enough coolant has ...


3

If the smoke being emitted from the exhaust is white with a hint of blue, it is oil. If the smoke is white with a sweet smell, it is antifreeze. As Anarach pointed out in the comments below, yours is an air cooled engine so there is no antifreeze. If you're burning oil, it definitely could be leaking past the piston rings, which would likely be fixed if ...


3

My best guess is ... Did you use new head bolts when you put the head back on? The torque sequence on the head calls for a multi-staged approach of: 1st pass: 15 lb-ft 2nd pass: 44 lb-ft 3rd pass: 130° The third pass being in degrees indicates a Torque to Yield (T2Y) bolt is being utilized. These bolts are a single use items and require replacement. If ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible