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1.8T White Smoke & Bad Smell

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1.8T White Smoke & Bad Smell

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2014, 02:31 PM
1st Gear
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Exclamation 1.8T White Smoke & Bad Smell

I fired up my A4 this morning before work, then went back inside to pour my coffee. When I came back outside there was a cloud of white smoke pouring from the exhaust. It's cold out, so I'm used to some white smoke/vapor in the mornings, but this was different. It had a nasty burnt plastic odor and was thicker/smokier than just water vapor.

I checked the oil and coolant levels, which were both ok. No warning lights on the dash either. I drove it to work - it's only about 10 minutes - and kept an eye on the temp gauges, which never got too high. It was still smoking when I got to work, though not as bad.

From what I've read it sounds like the turbo may be leaking oil. Is there any way to confirm this for sure? If it is the turbo, how hard/expensive is that to fix? Is it ok to drive the car while it's like this, or should I get it fixed ASAP?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2014, 03:14 PM
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If it was the turbo, the smoke would have a blue tint to it. Did the smoke have a sweet smell to it? Was it thick white or more of a see through white?
 
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2014, 03:42 PM
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Is it an automatic transmissioned car? Do these cars have a vacuum modulator for shift modifications, like US cars? I had the diapraghm go on a car once and it sucked transmission fluid up the vacuum line and into the intake, it was a horrid smelling white smoke, very acrid.
 
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2014, 04:54 PM
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The smoke a thick white, and definitely did not smell sweet. I didn't notice a blue tint...

Yes it's an automatic/tiptronic. I have no idea if the A4 has a vacuum modulator though.
 
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2014, 07:05 PM
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Seems like it was anti-freeze that was burning. pbcrazy is on the money with the color of the smoke with a blown turbo, smoke would not be white.


Could be burning oil on the manifold.

Do you know of a leaky PCV system in your car?
 
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2014, 05:37 PM
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Whatever it was, it seems to have cleared up. The last few days have been nothing but water vapor.

Regardless, I'll be keeping a close eye on my oil and coolant levels...
 
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2014, 05:57 PM
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I've seen a bad turbo blow clouds on clouds of white smoke as soon as it hit boost, it looked like seafoam smoke times 5. Remember these turbos also have coolant running through them. If there's anything I've learned from working on German cars it's that you should never, ever dismiss a potential failure point no matter how ridiculous and improbable it seems.
 
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