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  1. #1
    Active Member Two Rings
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    May 23 2018
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    419301
    Location
    denver

    New Car - White Smoke - Dont think its turbos

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    i just bought another b5 ... 2001, 135k on the clock. got it for next to nothing so just decided to buy it.

    i was driving home from purchasing it last night, and noticed white smoke heavily pouring out at idle, and much less under load. i believe it could be burning coolant rather than blown turbos as the previous owner said the turbos are new (obviously it could still be the turbos). there is no excess turbo noise either.

    another thing to note, is the thermostat (H/C temp gauge) drops up and down while driving which makes me think the thermostat is toast. could this also be what is causing the white smoke/coolant to burn?

    the only other thing after searching is maybe the PCV is clogged? i pulled the dipstick and oil cap to see if that relieved crank pressure, but the smoke still just poured out.

    car had a few codes but i cleared them all and the only one that came back after driving for 10 minutes was the o2 sensor which i can easily replace.

    anyone have thoughts on this?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings CELison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 23 2010
    AZ Member #
    55053
    Location
    Lehigh Valley

    Step 1. Figure out if youíre burning oil or coolant. The smell is VERY different.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Three Rings m_haiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 24 2011
    AZ Member #
    74529
    My Garage
    Highland Green Allroad
    Location
    Oregon Coast

    check oil and coolant levels to see if either are low. check oil to see if the 2 are mixing.
    thermostat being bad (stuck shut or open) will not cause smoke unless it overheats and pops a head gasket.... hope you got it REAL cheap

  4. #4
    Active Member Two Rings
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    May 23 2018
    AZ Member #
    419301
    Location
    denver

    im pretty sure the smell is coolant ... its not colored smoke and it doesnt have a smell like oil or burning oil ... its more sweet i guess?

    the oil and coolant levels are fine, but they might have been topped off before i bought? oil looks normal on the dipstick, but ill be draining it tomorrow to check further.

    if it is coolant ... what are the next steps?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings CELison's Avatar
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    Feb 23 2010
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    Lehigh Valley

    Coolant in the combustion chamber is most likely a bad hg, warped head, or cracked head. I would lean hg.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 19 2012
    AZ Member #
    100733
    Location
    Saint Clair Shores MI

    Sounds to me like a head gasket. Hopefully that's all it is. Buy yourself a timing kit while your at it if you weren't already planning to do so. No use in being right there and not do a timing/ water pump service (don't forget to get a new thermostat and the updated metal pipe too) while you have everything pulled off.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Two Rings BB2001S4:Tim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 04 2006
    AZ Member #
    12288
    Location
    NY/NJ/CT

    Quote Originally Posted by stewey469 View Post
    im pretty sure the smell is coolant ... its not colored smoke and it doesnt have a smell like oil or burning oil ... its more sweet i guess?

    the oil and coolant levels are fine, but they might have been topped off before i bought? oil looks normal on the dipstick, but ill be draining it tomorrow to check further.

    if it is coolant ... what are the next steps?
    If changing the oil...consider sending it in for an oil analysis to blackstone labs. They would be able to see if there is any coolant in the oil.

    Here is one of my analysis a couple years back.

    blackstone001.jpg

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings VR6Bomber's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 13 2009
    AZ Member #
    42466
    Location
    NJ

    Head gasket
    Is the coolant in the reservoir milky?

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 04 2013
    AZ Member #
    128426
    My Garage
    stg 3 widebody, 1990 miata, '05 gsxr 1000
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by BB2001S4:Tim View Post
    If changing the oil...consider sending it in for an oil analysis to blackstone labs. They would be able to see if there is any coolant in the oil.
    if it smells sweet, test is already done. The only thing I didn't see confirmed was that it was coming out of the exhaust tips, but I think everyone's on the same page that it is.

    And yes the dash is most likely the temp sensor, and most likely unrelated (although HG's do cause odd heat cycles so maybe I'm full of it depending on what you're seeing in the needle). It's possible it's between there and the dash but not as likely.
    Last edited by james 408; 01-18-2019 at 02:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings Furly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 19 2013
    AZ Member #
    136650
    Location
    Bay Area, CA

    drain the oil and check for chocolate milk color. you most likely have blown HG.
    when my head cracked on my B6 the dipstick looked fine but when i drained the entire oil it was milky. but B5's most likely just gasket related.

    if so, remove heads, send for pressure/leak test and if they check out fine have them resurfaced and do valve seals while you're at it. clean block surface thoroughly with red scotchbrite or a roloc and you should be G2G.
    Audi Club Bay Area

  11. #11
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    May 23 2018
    AZ Member #
    419301
    Location
    denver

    alright team ... need a little more advice

    i drained the oil and it looked .... perfect and not milky at all. i flushed the coolant ... wasnt milky either.

    filled with oil and just water to see if it would still smoke the same (which it did). i only drained the coolant from the lower front radiator hose. i didnt drain from the block. it only took about 1 gallon of water, so i am assuming there could still be coolant burning.

    the goal here is to just make sure its actually a headgasket/burning coolant. if i drain from the block and radiator tomorrow, fill with water. it should not be bellowing white smoke correct? or am i just making this up in my head

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings CELison's Avatar
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    Feb 23 2010
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    55053
    Location
    Lehigh Valley

    Yes there will still be coolant in the system. Even if it were all water it will still steam a shit ton if itís a bad hg. Take a vid.

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 04 2013
    AZ Member #
    128426
    My Garage
    stg 3 widebody, 1990 miata, '05 gsxr 1000
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA

    or pour a capful of coolant on a hot manifold, and if same same smell, stop changing the fluids and yank it outa there.

  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 04 2013
    AZ Member #
    128426
    My Garage
    stg 3 widebody, 1990 miata, '05 gsxr 1000
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA

    fyi, you can pressure test the coolant, try to spot it (although you aren't really reporting leaking fluid anyway), but bottom line is you've got coolant in the combustion chamber, HG is most likely. All assuming you aren't the one guy on the planet that thinks burnt dinosaur blood smells sweet.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Three Rings ReggieNoble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 17 2016
    AZ Member #
    388492
    Location
    Fl

    I'm guessing that one of those "new" turbos blew a seal. Do you know what turbos where installed?

    Sent from my LM-Q710(FGN) using Audizine mobile app



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