Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
In the last 2 to 3 weeks i have encountered smokey exhaust problems which seem to be getting worse and worse. Start up is extremely smokey, and often runs quite lumpy.

The smoke is at its worst when at the lights, or when decelerating. It doesnt seem to be bad if i am accelerating (even very hard). The smoke is a white/grey colour

There doesnt seem to be any loss in power or consumption, however i have only had the car for a couple of months. It seems to be using a little bit of oil, but not excessive amounts. It isnt using any water.

The thermostat does seem to need attention, as it does take a long time to get to temperature, and also fluctuates slightly when it is at 'temperature', but i dont think this is the major problem.

Ok so it has done 140,000 miles, but it should be good for another 90ks right :-). I thought it may be injectors, valve stem seals, loss of compression, or air or water getting into the fuel lines? Can anyone help me?

Troubled Tom
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - IanT
White smoke can be caused by an air leak in the fuel supply. Air leaks sometime also cause surging - it's difficult to drive at a steady speed, the car sometimes speeding up of it's own accord. Have you noticed this at all?

Air leaks are also a common cause of starting problems - but can you confirm that it's still white smoke you're getting during starting? If it's black smoke, the starting problem is more likely to be your glowplugs.

Your description of smoking while decelerating points to valve stem seals. Theoretically, this should give blue smoke from the burning oil, but I'm sure I've seen cars with this fault emit white smoke.

The oil consumption also points to the valve stem oil seals - you should only need to top up once, if at all, between 6000 mile services (after all, it's not a Vauxhall).

Or it could be any of the other things you've mentioned. Except water in fuel - this should be picked up by the dashboard warning light, and it would be amazing if there was enough in the fuel to cause problems for a period of weeks without first destroying your fuel injection pump.

And except the thermostat, which has obviously got nothing to do with it. Even in this frosty weather, your temp gauge should have moved off its stop by 1.5 miles and be close to normal by 3 miles (or possibly 4 miles). What's yours like?

Ian
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - RichardW
Ian,

No valve stem seals in a XUD unit - only close fitting guides. Also no vacuum on diesel engine to speak of, so they don't tend to suck oil past the stems (maybe why they don't have seals?).

Back to the original question: White smoke (is is REALLY white, or does it just look that way?) suggest the timing is out I would think. When was the cambelt last changed?

Richard
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Thanks Richard,

The smoke looks white-ish I have only seen it on the drive when the engine is fairly cold, apart from the (rather bad) smoke when i have driven it. It could be burning oil, i will check it tomorrow after a little run (avoiding the local constabulary).

I have had someone suggest the timing, but the cam belt was changed in march 02, and the problem has only occured in the last 2 to 3 weeks. I dont think the timing can change as it is locked by m8 bolts. Am i right?

should i bother with injectors?

Tom
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Thanks for the reply Ian,

There is no surging and the car cruises fine.

As for the colour of the smoke, its definately not black, a kind of grey/white colour. It starts fine, so i think i can rule out the glow plugs.

There seems to be a fault with the light on the fuel filter so the light is always on, but i have cleaned out the filter last week (and it was replaced a year ago anyway). There doesnt seem to be any reduction of water in the header tank.

The oil does seem to be going down quickly, so there is a definate problem there.

As for the thermostat, it does get off the stop after about 1 or 2 miles, but doesnt reach temp even after 10 miles. On the motorway, the temperature tended to fluctuate slightly. I think i will put a new thermostat in, as they are cheap and not too hard to fit.

I think checking the timing will be my first priority just to rule this out, then i was going to buy a set of recon injectors, which would probably set me back about 120 if im lucky, although i am a bit reluctant to do that, as i think worn valve stem seals seem to be a fit diagnosis, which would explain the oil. I think that will cost quite a few quid at the garage or be a real job at home, but i will probably have a go myself :-). Does this sound like a feasible plan? or does anyone have any suggestions?

Tom




Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Andrew-T
Tom - the 205 Dturbo I sold last year used to show an oscillating temp on the gauge - it cycled about every 30 secs when the engine was fully warm. No other symptom of faulty running or high consumption. I just assumed the thermostat was opening and closing, but didn't see any need to dig any deeper.
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - IanT
I'll bow to Richard's judgement and accept that it can't be valve stem oil seals (the cars I've known for certain to have valve oil seal problems were petrols).

Have a look at www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=4&t=10...5 which is an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to diagnose a (slightly different) smoky diesel. We haven't yet had final feedback on that one, but the way it was going could be what's in store for you.

Another thought. It's not impossible for a loose timing belt to jump a notch, though it's probably very rare.

Ian
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Just checked the timing, and that is ok. Think the next thing im going to check tomorrow is the fast idle setting on the fuel pump, dont know if this could be out or have slipped. Does anyone know if they tend to advance or retard the timing when cold?
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Also is it worth checking the pump timing? Is that easy to do?
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - IanT
1. The fast idle lever increases tickover revs when the engine is cold, and has no effect when the engine is hot. So it's unlikely to be related to your fault. You can check that the lever moves with temperature and you can adjust the amount it moves.

2. As far as I am aware, there is no advance/retard action (or if there is, it's not adjustable).

3. Injection pump timing is difficult. Requires two dial gauges and some probes and mounting brackets. If you want to try it (not recommended), it's fully documented in Haynes "Peugeot/Talbot Diesel Engine 1982 to 1988 1.7 litre 1.9 litre".

Ian
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Ross_D

You are half correct when saying the XUD units dont have valve guide seals, those with an L suffix, eg XUD9L or XUD7L actually do have the normal rubber type seals.
RossD
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - FergusTheDog
You should do what most Peugeot and Citroen diesel drivers seem to do - ignore it and drive on regardless.
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Well i have changed the injectors for the sum of 90 quid. So not too bad. I ran them in and the engine was running like a dream. I took the car for a spin and it seemed that there was no smoke. When driving to work today, the old problems were back (but not quite as bad) the engine was misfiring slightly and smoke was evident at the lights and also when i took my foot off the accelerator.

Does anyone know what the problem might be? Could this be air in the fuel lines? I thought the problem was solved!!! no such luck.

Tom
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - dieselhead
Tom
Have you changed the thermostat yet ? if the engines running too cool this might cause the smoke as the fuel doesn't get vapourised properly causing unburnt fuel (white smoke) in the exhaust.
Very rough lumpy running on start up is either faulty heater plugs or air entering the fuel system. You can check for this by replacing the fuel line to the injector pump to filter (temporarily) with clear plastic tube. Modern self bleeding systems will run albeit badly with quite alot of air in the system unlike old buses/tractors etc.

hope this helps

Steve
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Bats
TT
You said earlier that the car was using oil. Is the crank case breather pipes/filter clear and is there any oil carry over in the air filter casing? I wonder if your engine is very worn and this is affecting compression and / or piston blow-by. A compression test may at least eliminate this theory - then I would say it is probably either fuelling related or timing related.
Let us know how you get on.
Cheers
Bats
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Yes the car is using a bit of oil. There is some oil in the air filter casing, but i didnt think that this was too much of a problem. I have seen a diesel compression tester on the internet for around 45 quid. Any ideas on whether this would be worth doing, seing as getting it done in a garage will probably cost that much anyhow?

Tom
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Thanks Steve,

Thermostat housing screws thoroughly corroded into thermostat housing, so am going to leave that one for a while. Will try the clear plastic fuel line trick.

Tom
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - dieselhead
Tom

Had the same problem with mine - cure was to heat the thermostat housing around the bolts with a gas flame. If you change it make sure your thermostat comes with a new gasket and the split rubber sealing ring

Steve
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Can this cause excess smoke ross?


Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Now here is the revised problem:

Starts a bit lumpy
Smokes (blue) all the time (especially on decelleration) when cold
Runs fine when warm, but takes a while (10 mins) to do so
I put a plastic pipe in place of the fuel line between the fuel filter and the pump and there are bubbles of air-some quite large there. I have changed the fuel filter and gaskets.


Can this air be the cause of the problem?
The car has got lots of power and runs fine when warm.

Help!!!!

Tom
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - dieselhead
Tom

I would say that the air could be causing the lumpy running which you describe..i suggest you could temporarily by-pass the filter/heater unit with the clear pipe (i would advise fitting a disposable fuel filter between tank and pump if you try this)..atleast then you would be able to eliminate the filter if this stops the bubbles.

My own 205 diesel (98k miles) has a blue haze to the exhaust on start up (as did our old 305 diesel van after 100k) but as it clears once warm i don't think it's worthwhile dismantling the engine for..just a thought what sort of oil are you using - if its very thin synthetic stuff too much could be finding its way into the wrong place.


Regards
Steve
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Are you sure that synthetic oil is not better at reducing smoke? Has anyone else got any take on this?
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
ps: and it has had new injectors which has helped a little bit but not solved the problem
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
I have now changed the fuel filter and cut off the end of the fuel pipe that looked slightly stressed. This did not seem to solve the problem as it was still lumpy when cold, although better.

What seems to have solved the problem i dont know, but it is now running fine. Having taken the car to a specialist who revved the engine for a while at 4500, he said the engine was fine, and dont worry about the smoke. I then took it for its MOT which passed ok on the emissions. Now it seems to be running fine having had a few blasts at full revs.

Thanks to all that have helped.

TT
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - martin
i had exactly this porblem with my 309 last year, same symptoms exactly. Turned out to be Head gasket, needed skimming and £300 in a good garage to sort it all out, seals etc. I am no mechanic, but if it is your gasket (and i understand 309s are prone to this problem) then get to a garage ASAP, you do not want it to cost you more than it has to!!!
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - Troubled Tom
Thanks Martin,

can you just confirm the symptoms- you had misfiring when cold, and smoke from that, and then smoke plumes when decellerating?
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - martin
Hi TT

yes my old 309. Basically it sounds like from what people are saying above you've got it sorted, but I?ll tell you what was wrong with my 309 GD. White smoke on start up, hated cold starts but would get going in the end. I mean a lot of smoke too, more than a diesel engine should produce. Very jerky driving for first few mins. Occasional smoke thereafter but decreasing and general drive of car improving as it warmed up.

I drove the car for some 3000m before it really started to get bad and not start well at all. My local garage said that in the end the gasket would blow costing me considerable more to sort it out. I don't know what tests the mechanic did to diagnose the problem, but I trust the bloke, which says a lot.

Anyway, if you are still having problems then get it looked at, ask specifically about the gasket as I know for sure that dealers were always looking at 309s as potentially having this problem - it seems to be a build fault after a few yrs driving!

Best of luck
Diesel 309 Smoke Problem - martin
I forgot, smoke plumes when decelerating too and more jerky driving.

I suppose there are many things that can cause these symptoms but please get it checked sooner rather than later. The gasket is a common fault as i emphasised above!
 

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