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SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Monday 6th September 2010 quote quote all
Hi guys,

I've been scouring the web for any firm diagnosis on this but every thread I can find on it ends before the original poster confirms the fault. It's a 1.8TDCi focus and I've had the power loss/smoking before and in that case it was one of the tubes from the intercooler end having a massive split in it. This time there are no splits or leaks. Symptoms are as follows -

Car always runs at something like 60% power
Smokes heavily under heavy acceleration (looks like unburnt diesel rather than burning oil), usually around 2k revs but only once the engine reaches full operating temperature
There is whining sound that sounds to me like the turbo did when the hose went last time, but my mechanic has recently checked the turbo over and said the bearings seem to be in good condition, the whining sound also drops pitch and increases again while the turbo should still be spinning up (ie when revs are still increasing)

Based off what I have read online I guessed at an EGR fault though a lot of people report lower MPG with this whereas mine seems largely unaffected. I have removed the intercooler-EGR tube and sprayed a small amount of carb cleaner directly into the valve with the engine running which resulted in performance returning to normal for a short while (20 miles or so) but now it has reverted back. Upon spraying the carb cleaner into the valve, the engine struggles a bit for a second then recovers but so far as I can see the EGR inlet doesnt seem to be too coked up, certainly nothing like some pictures I've seen online. As it stands, I've ordered a new inlet manifold/EGR (they are one part on my model) from my local ford garage but this is all based on a hunch so wanted to run it past some people who know more than I do before I go there and pick it up next week as I'm not yet committed to buy. Other than the smoking, powerloss and whining sound the engine sounds fine. Any help would be hugely appreciated!

Cheers,
Sam.

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
Another thought, are there any sensors in the engine which could have the same affect as I have described above? It would most likely have to be air related, but the MAF has been checked by my mechanic and he says it seems fine, ie its clear of soot and the voltage seems fine. It would also most likely have to be a sensor that would have been affected by the addition of the carb cleaner to the EGR input as this temporarily increased performance, and the MAF sensor wouldn't be affected by this so far as i am aware as i don't think it deals with recycled air at all. Any input/insight would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

HellDiver

5,708 posts

69 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
You're correct in thinking the MAF won't have to deal with recycled gases - it's well ahead of where the EGR reintroduces gases.

Have you cleaned or checked the temp sensor in the inlet manifold? I can't remember the proper name for it, but it senses the temperature of the air coming from the intercooler. If it's thinking the air is cooler than it actually is, that could upset things in the way you're describing.

Fartgalen

5,016 posts

94 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
No error messages on a display or warning lights ?

Have you got access to an OBD reader ?

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
Cheers for the responses guys.

Helldiver - I haven't had the manifold off the car as the bolts are pretty seized on the EGR tube and exhaust manifold, and they both have to come for me to get at the inlet manifold on my car. My plan is to take it to my local mechanic to get the part(s) fitted once I have a sensible diagnosis. The manifold sensor in question is definitely a possibility then, as it would likely be hit by the carb cleaner when i sprayed it but I'll have to check my Haynes manual to see if that is accessible without major gutting of the exhaust systems. Cheers for the suggestion!

Fartgalen - Sadly, the ECU is being a bit tedious at the moment and not completing drive cycles so it won't output any errors. This is why my mechanic was reluctant to spend much time diagnosing the fault as he wanted the error codes, though he did check a fair few sensor voltages to see if any were playing up. It has been suggested that there are 2 specific sensors on my car that, if faulty, can prevent the ECU completing the cycle but neither are responsible for gauging air levels or have any connection with the fault. No warning lights on the dash though.
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SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
Another thought, your suggestion (Helldiver) on the sensor misreading temperature of the gases going back into the engine would presumably cause problems only when hot, whereas my car kicks out unburnt diesel when hot, but also suffers from a performance problem while cold. Would you expect the lower overall performance issue to exist if it was this sensor you refer to? Does the EGR problem seem a likely one to you, symptomatically speaking, given what I've described? I'm half hoping it is the EGR fault as it is then just a simple part replacement and I have already requested that my local ford garage gets one in just in case.

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
Someone has suggested blocking off the EGR valve using a plug over the vacuum port, as the valve is vacuum driven. Should blocking it off in this manner (if this is even effective) solve the problem if it is in fact an EGR problem? As this would be a very quick and effective test if so.

ladygooddriver

184 posts

50 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th September 2010 quote quote all
Sounds like the exhaust system is full of oil from a blown turbo (current or previous). Suggest splitting the exhaust from the down pipe, run it for some time and see if it smokes still. If not, whilst the exhaust is split at the first joint and hanging, run a hot pressure washer through it constantly for at least 10 or more minutes and see if an oil water mix comes out of the tailpipe. If it does, and you clear it, you have found your intermittent smoking and power loss. This would be best done on a ramp of course. Good luck.

Lady

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
I don't think there's a turbo fault, the car has been running fine for the 45k since I bought it and when I sprayed the carb cleaner into the valve the power was temporarily restored, turbo and all. My mechanic has also checked the turbo over recently and said the fins and bearings were in good condition. Thanks for the suggestion though Lady, much appreciated. The more suggestions that I have and can rule out the happier I'll be about getting the work done and any suggestions I can't rule out might save me money!

Busa_Rush

5,204 posts

138 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
SamIllingworth said:
Someone has suggested blocking off the EGR valve using a plug over the vacuum port, as the valve is vacuum driven. Should blocking it off in this manner (if this is even effective) solve the problem if it is in fact an EGR problem? As this would be a very quick and effective test if so.
Always block off the EGR valve, all they do is allow exhaust gas back into the inlet which on a diesel means soot, oil and sh*t.

Take the EGR valve off first and make sure it's closing properly - they can fail open or closed but usually partially open . . . clean it and put it back and block off the vacuum pipe which opens it.

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
Thanks for the advice Busa Rush. The only disadvantage here is that I wont be doing the work as I can't get the EGR tube or exhaust manifold off and they both need to come off to get the inlet manifold off, because in the case of my Focus model, is fused with the EGR valve. Without getting the EGR off the car I'm not sure how easy it will be to see if the valve is open or closed, or to get in far enough to force it one way or the other. I will try though.

ladygooddriver

184 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
The turbo might appear to be in good condition by feeling for play, but if the seal is leaking oil into the exhaust you wouldn't necessarily find it by feeling the turbo for play. Squirting any kind of volatile exploding juice into the manifold etc will increase performance momentarily. It's not possible to say that doing so made the turbo work ok again though.

I would at the very least check for an oil clogged exhaust system in the manner I suggested. I've seen this on Focus diesels where the exhaust looks normal, the symptoms you describe are present, and silencers are full of oil from failed turbo.

Lady

Edited by ladygooddriver on Wednesday 8th September 09:37

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
The carb cleaner restored power back to normal for about 30 or 40 miles, there's no way this was just from combustion of the cleaner, and during this time the turbo was functioning perfectly. I will ask my mechanic to have a look at the exhaust manifold and inlet manifold for excessive oil though, cheers for the advice.

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
One other thing, the smoke I'm seeing is black smoke, not blue. Would you not expect to see a lot of burning oil if the exhaust system was clogged? Presumably the turbo would recycle this oil back through the cylinders. Bear in mind I'm no mechanic, so if I have this all wrong feel free to correct me.

ladygooddriver

184 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
I hadn't read previously the smoke was black. I was expecting blue grey thick clouds from your fuller description of events. If you were to leave it standing at tickover for half an hour, would it smoke at all and if so blue smoke at that? Perhaps you don't have a turbo \ oil filled exhaust then?

Lady

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
I haven't tried that, I'll give that a shot when I get back from work today and thanks for the idea. Cheers for persisting with the thread Lady.

NISaxoVTR

265 posts

56 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
Sounds like you're on to the problem already, if disturbing the EGR valve has made the car run ok again then it sounds like it needs replaced. I'd guess the EGR valve is sticking open diverting excessive amounts of exhaust gas back to the inlet which in turn isn't being used to spool the turbo and also choking the inlet mixture. The ECU will be dumping in too much diesel for the reduced boost being made causing the smoke out the back.

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th September 2010 quote quote all
Cheers for the comment man, I am indeed hoping that I've got the right idea. Other peoples comments have helped me rule out other things which make me feel less reluctant to go ahead with buying the part. Any other ideas are still welcome though, I'm not buying the manifold until it comes in on Monday.

Edited by SamIllingworth on Wednesday 8th September 15:16

SamIllingworth

Original Poster:

15 posts

50 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th September 2010 quote quote all
Hey again guys, I'm planning to getting EGR blocked off as it turns out there's a mega back order on the EGR part I need. The only symptom I'm still not sure about is the whining, can anyone think of a good reason why there would be a loud whining sound, increasing in pitch as you accelerate? Last time I had this it was a burst intercooler pipe, so there was air escaping rapidly plus you could hear the turbo more clearly as a result. This time I can't find any splits in any tubes and I can't see how the EGR valve would cause the sound. I've tried (based on advice) lubricating the turbo vane actuator as if this sticks it can leave the vanes slightly open causing a whine sound, but the actuator valve was fine and I've put some WD40 on it for good luck anyway but it hasn't helped. I've also removed the vacuum tube from the EGR valve and this has not restored power but it has stopped smoking, which would imply to me that it's stuck partially open. Enough to reduce turbo pressure, and thus reduce low end boost, but not enough to cause incomplete combustion due to discrepancy in air-fuel mix. As I've said, main worry is this whining sound, which implies something else isn't quite right. Any ideas? If someone can think of a good reason why the EGR might cause this I'd be happy as that's the fault I'm working on fixing. Thanks for the help guys.

Busa_Rush

5,204 posts

138 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th September 2010 quote quote all
The whining could be the air escaping from the pressurised intake via the EGR into the exhaust ? I don't know if you'd hear that as a whine . . . but it's possible.

I'd get the whole lot off for a clean up and fresh gaskets, inspection etc, then you know where you are. You can also have the turbo checked. Well, that's what I would do. If you still have a problem after that, then you know it's worth taking it to a diesel expert.
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