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Old 18-10-12, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default 307 sw 1.6 hdi - 126k - smoke and oily turbo

Driving along happily - glanced in rearview mirror - clouds of whiteish smoke. Not misfiring or any other noise, no 'STOP' inicator. NB engine management light had been on for 2 weeks with 'antipollution fault'.

Called AA - man checked oil - noticed that it was above the max line. BUT did not smell of deisel, nor was it milky, nor was the water level low. Undecided why level high. He also noticed the the pipe between turbo and intercooler (to the left of my hand in the photo) was oily.

Local garage wouldn't repair it. SO -bought Haynes manual and decided to have a go myself, suspecting turbo oil leak.

So, on dismantling the first thing I notice is the inlet pipe to the turbo is oily. This is the pipe to the turbo (to the right of my hand in the photo). Oil leaking from the turbo would surely be on the downwind side - would it?

BUT then noticed a connection from this inlet pipe to the cylinder head (visible in photo) - a breather perhaps? - so one might expect this to be oily. Don't know.

So - my first question is - is it normal for the inlet pipe to be oily? Or is there an oil leak within the turbo that is causing the oily inlet pipe and intercooler pipe, along with the smoke?

My second question - which I suppose really ought to be the first - is: does anyone recognise these symptoms as being caused by a certain fault?

Thank to anyone reading and responding.
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Old 18-10-12, 06:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brommers View Post
Driving along happily - glanced in rearview mirror - clouds of whiteish smoke. Not misfiring or any other noise, no 'STOP' inicator. NB engine management light had been on for 2 weeks with 'antipollution fault'.

Called AA - man checked oil - noticed that it was above the max line. BUT did not smell of deisel, nor was it milky, nor was the water level low. Undecided why level high. He also noticed the the pipe between turbo and intercooler (to the left of my hand in the photo) was oily.

Local garage wouldn't repair it. SO -bought Haynes manual and decided to have a go myself, suspecting turbo oil leak.

So, on dismantling the first thing I notice is the inlet pipe to the turbo is oily. This is the pipe to the turbo (to the right of my hand in the photo). Oil leaking from the turbo would surely be on the downwind side - would it?

BUT then noticed a connection from this inlet pipe to the cylinder head (visible in photo) - a breather perhaps? - so one might expect this to be oily. Don't know.

So - my first question is - is it normal for the inlet pipe to be oily? Or is there an oil leak within the turbo that is causing the oily inlet pipe and intercooler pipe, along with the smoke?

My second question - which I suppose really ought to be the first - is: does anyone recognise these symptoms as being caused by a certain fault?

Thank to anyone reading and responding.
I'm sure that you have correctly recognised the breather... Dunno about the oil in the inlet pipe. My 1.6hdi has always been slightly oily but I tried not to worry too much about it. No visible white smoke yet either.

On the other hand, since you mentioned that the oil level was found to be over the MAX point, could it be that the engine was over-filled with oil and this is what is causing the white smoke? (Burnt oil)
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Old 18-10-12, 07:16 PM   #3
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Due to the way breather pipes are connected on turbo diesels all fumes/oil mist from the sump are sucked through the turbo (and often intercooler if fitted) if your car was overfilled with oil it is very likely that some can be suck into engine giving smoke. If oil had not been added shortly before the problem get the injection system checked as it must be diesel leaking into sump and raising oil level

When i used to work at GM we had a good few cars that got double filled with oil (tea breaks most common reason) which used to suck extra oil out of sump and the engine would run on it. Great fun as they would just rev faster and faster with clouds of smoke until they went bang, we could stall them or fire a CO2 extingisher into the airfilter housing to stop them
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Old 19-10-12, 06:30 AM   #4
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Guys, thanks for your prompt replies.

The oil may have been overfilled at the last service in August ( I did not check oil level afterwards). However, I have driven 2000 miles since without incident.

So, I think there must have been a sudden fault that caused the smoke - which may have been caused by overfilling, but not until last week.

Thanks for enlightening me on the breater.

I think I will assume the oiliness in the inlet pipe is normal, and continue with the tubo removal.

Thanks guys,

Adrian
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Old 21-10-12, 06:27 PM   #5
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Thanks to John_H for this superb guide. His engine is exactly mine, his instructions covered things that the Haynes manual did not. I was with him all the way until he got his masonry drill out:

DPF Removal and Clean Guide

Got the turbo off. Exhaust inlet to turbo (from exhaust manifold) is dry. Turbo outlet to DPF is very oily - dribbling.

Conclusion: Oil leak within turbo. Now, is this just 'old age', or is there a reason - eg oil return pipe from turbo blocked? Overfilling?

Will check and find out.

Adrian
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Old 01-11-12, 03:10 PM   #6
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I have found a couple of good resources regarding turbo faultfinding etc:

1. the Garret website, which has some interesting technical details on turbos: www.turbobygarrett.com/turbobygarrett/basic

One of the things that they mention is that too high an oil level can block the oil return from the turbo, thus causing oil to leak past the turbo seals.

2. BTN (UK company who supply new/exchange/recon turbos) website , which has more technical information (including a training course, with a free T-shirt!) and has a 'vehicle alert' specifically relating to a 1.6 HDi engine: www.btnturbo.com/spindoctor/vehicleAlerts.aspx

This vehicle alert has some frightening photos of a 110k mile engine that is heavily carbonised.

So, I think before I spend out on replaceing the turbo, I should check for carbonisation. The sump looks relatively easy to remove, and this gives me access to the gauze filter, oil pump pick-up pipe, and hopefully some oil galleries - including, perhaps, the return line from the turbo - where I can check for carbon deposits.
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