Just wondering.. how much smoke is normal upon acceleration?
If I let the RPMs go over about 2250 before I upshift, I get a real large cloud of diesel smoke behind me. This is especially evident at night when followed. (Although, I do see this as a benefit, as in most cases tailgaters tend to back off after a second treatment)
On a stock TDI, if you run clean and high cetane diesel fuel, it will not smoke at all, as people can see all the stock TDI's running as taxis over in Europe. Now, here in the US most diesel fuel is not up to the specs that VW recommends for the TDI. So you have about three types of options:
(1) Run on biodiesel (no sulfur, high cetane, more oxygen), and get it from a good source: see www.biodieselnow.com
(2) Run on low sulphur high cetane fuel, not easy to find: see www.tdiclub.com
(3) Use a cetane boost additive like PowerService, Amsoil, etc.: PowerService you can find at Walmart, PepBoyz, etc.
When we first got the TDI we took the smoke in the headlights at night as a sign of bad diesel, and that way we eliminated from our list many stations and brands in this area. Now with biodiesel in the tank, you can still run on some bad petro-diesel and not have the car smoke at all.
Summing up: a stock TDI will not smoke if you run on good fuel, which will also help prevent clogging with soot the EGR and intake manifold. Due to the EGR, any smoke you see at the back end is also coming around into your engine too!