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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone...need some help here.

I have a 2002 1.8T with around 130,000 miles. A couple weeks ago the waterpump went out while driving. I immediately pulled over and turned the car off. I didn't drive it any longer. There was NO smoke out of the exhaust at this time, and after I was towed home it ran fine when idling for a few seconds (of course not letting it get hot).

I ordered the waterpump/timing belt kit from ECS and changed the waterpump, timing belt, tensioner, thermostat, housing, serpentine belt, etc...also flushed with new G12 coolant.

Started up fine. No codes. No noticable smoking. Drove to AutoZone for new oil and in the rearview mirror noticed a large amount of white smoke. Never noticed any smoking before this.

Car is now smoking white smoke, but runs good. Losing coolant very quickly in the reservoir. No external leaks can be seen. No oil in the coolant, no coolant in the oil. But again, lots of white smoke along with loss of coolant. No red flashing light, engine temperature is fine.

Sounds like a head gasket, right?

BUT...compression is GREAT. Compression test shows all cylinders between 175-185. They hold steady pressure; none leak down fast. Stand alone leak-down test has been done yet.

Granted, I have NOT done the proper burping procedure to get out any possible air pockets. But air pockets won't cause white smoke, right?


What is wrong? If the compression is OK, shouldn't the head gasket be OK? What else will cause white smoke in the exhaust and loss of coolant so quickly? Could it be the turbo?

Please help...

Thanks again!
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Head gasket, or, coolant being sucked into the turbo perhaps? How's the oil look?
The oil looks fine. There is no oil in the coolant and no coolant in the oil.

However...I haven't had the chance yet to research what the signs of a failing turbo are as I've never had any issues with mine. Would a failing turbo cause white smoke and loss of coolant?

As I asked prior...how could it be the head gasket if all cylinders have great compression?

Thanks again,
Jeff
 

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Does the white smoke go away after the engine warmed up? During colder weather condensation is very common which in turn causes the white smoke, however after about 20 minutes or so the white smoke should be gone.

Since you just did the water pump and it hasn't smoked prior to your timing belt and water pump replacement I would retrace your steps. perhaps the water pump didn't seat properly and somehow coolant is sucked into the combustion chamber.
Did you try and smell the white smoke? Doest it smell like coolant or oil? You said you are refilling your coolant reservoir. How much coolant are you using/loosing on a daily basis? Have you checked the oil cap to see if there is any condensation or milky substance. Does smoke exit the Crankcase when you open up the oil cap? Did you check the oil pressure?

I still say it is something that has to do with your recent timing belt and water pump replacement. Were you careful with the jack underneath the car when you removed the motormounts? I know of some people that have pinched an oil line underneath by placing the jack incorrectly or raised the engine too high.

I hope you find the cause soon! Keep us posted. Inquiring minds want to know ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Does the white smoke go away after the engine warmed up? During colder weather condensation is very common which in turn causes the white smoke, however after about 20 minutes or so the white smoke should be gone.

Since you just did the water pump and it hasn't smoked prior to your timing belt and water pump replacement I would retrace your steps. perhaps the water pump didn't seat properly and somehow coolant is sucked into the combustion chamber.
Did you try and smell the white smoke? Doest it smell like coolant or oil? You said you are refilling your coolant reservoir. How much coolant are you using/loosing on a daily basis? Have you checked the oil cap to see if there is any condensation or milky substance. Does smoke exit the Crankcase when you open up the oil cap? Did you check the oil pressure?

I still say it is something that has to do with your recent timing belt and water pump replacement. Were you careful with the jack underneath the car when you removed the motormounts? I know of some people that have pinched an oil line underneath by placing the jack incorrectly or raised the engine too high.

I hope you find the cause soon! Keep us posted. Inquiring minds want to know ;)
Hi there...

It never stops smoking.

Smoke smells like coolant. I'm not adding fluid on a daily basis because I'm not driving the car. It was driven about 10 miles to AutoZone and back and that was it. It has been idled a few times in the driveway. It will lose 1/4" of coolant in several minutes. It's fast.

There's no milky substance on the oil cap, and there is no smoke. The engine idle changes a bit when you remove the oil cap while idling, but it always did this since new.

I haven't yet checked the oil pressure, It's not losing any oil, and the oil looks fine.

Nothing that I can see was pinched while it was jacked up.


I'm still trying to find out if a failing turbo can cause white smoke and rapid coolant loss like this.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

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Hmm, sound like a very interesting problem. I believe a failing Turbo can cause smoke but it would more than likely be smoke from oil not coolant. You could pull the TIP and see how much play the shaft has. That sometimes is a good indication if the Turbo is going bad. I just don't think so.
You didn't have any issues until you did the Timing belt and water pump service so something must have happened during that procedure that caused this smoking issue.
You could do a leakdown test to see if there is an issue with the headgasket.
Hopefully you solve that mystery soon!.
 

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Sounds like either a bad turbo seal. Really odd headgasket failure.

Or (And this is a long shot) from a generic trouble shooting stand point a small coolant line and vaccum line are crossed.
 

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A leak down test would be more accurate than a compression test. I have seen good compression and a problem show up through a leak down test. Compression test will only show a major problem.


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Or (And this is a long shot) from a generic trouble shooting stand point a small coolant line and vaccum line are crossed.
That actually doesn't sound too far fetched. Since the OP just did the Timing belt/Water pump service. Perhaps he did mix up a line during reinstallation?
I think something similar happened to a couple of friends of mine when they did the timing belt service on their 2001 Audi TT 1.8. Hmm, I can't find the post about what they did wrong but it had something to do with a coolant hose and or valve.
Since this issue started "after" the timing belt service was performed it logically points to some thing that happened during this procedure. I don't think it's a bad Turbo. It wouldn't smoke like that during idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi everyone...

Here's an update, and a new dilemma.

As stated in this thread after the water pump and timing belt were changed, after a little test driving the car started puffing white smoke. It did not smoke whatsoever immediately after the water pump died. Had good compression in all cylinders. But, it still puffed white smoke as in the pictures above in this thread and was losing coolant super fast.

So, everything was torn down again. Had the head milled and installed a new headgasket.

The idling white smoke stopped, and the car runs pretty good. It's not losing coolant. No codes.

But, at higher RPMs the car NOW smokes...and there is also a little oil in the downpipe. No noise in the turbo, the car has power, no lag, no hesitation...runs fine, just smokes at high revs.

So...it looks like it IS after all the turbo???

What are the odds that the turbo JUST HAPPENED to fail at the exact same time the water pump went out?

I can't for the life of me figure out how the water pump, head gasket, and turbo all went out at the same exact time.

Any ideas? Sounds like the turbo to me...what else could cause the symptoms I'm having?


Thanks,
Jeff
 

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What are the odds that the turbo JUST HAPPENED to fail at the exact same time the water pump went out?
0% of this happening... unless some one starts a thread saying right after the local VW dealer did the water pump and now the turbo looks bad. Then everyone will claim it must of been the dealer screwing it up. :rolleyes:

But yeah, crap like this can happen. I dealt with a shop today that did a timing belt/water pump on a 2003 GTi, now the car won't start. Only getting 3 volts to the injectors, but has good battery voltage at the fuse. Car ran fine prior to the job. I have no clue how these weird things happen, but they do.
 

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What are the odds that the turbo JUST HAPPENED to fail at the exact same time the water pump went out?
Maybe higher than you think. The coolant lines to the turbo are fairly long and narrow. When the water pump fails and the pressure that it can generate goes down the first thing to suffer will be the flow through the turbocharger. I'll bet that the body of the turbocharger cracked and that allows coolant to flow into the intake without affecting the oil. When the turbo was removed from the head to replace the head gasket the stress in the metal was relieved and the crack closed up. Now the crack opens at high temperature instead of low.
 

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Check out XSboost I think it's.com, they have really good deals, and a quality product also.

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Just throwing this out there...Is your coolant level staying full but still smoking white exhaust?
When oil is burning you get blue smoke.
When coolant is burning you get white smoke.
I'm a retired mechanic and used to work mostly on domestic brands. When a head gasket failed it would sometimes pass a fair amount of liquid coolant into the muffler chambers and during the road test after the head gasket replacement it would smoke heavily on the highway but would only occur once the engine reached peak operating temperature at higher engine speeds. This would occur because the exhaust would have to get pretty hot to start burning the residual liquid coolant left inside the mufflers. Perhaps this is totally unrelated to your situation but just wanted you to know about this phenomenon.
 

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Maybe higher than you think. The coolant lines to the turbo are fairly long and narrow. When the water pump fails and the pressure that it can generate goes down the first thing to suffer will be the flow through the turbocharger. I'll bet that the body of the turbocharger cracked and that allows coolant to flow into the intake without affecting the oil. When the turbo was removed from the head to replace the head gasket the stress in the metal was relieved and the crack closed up. Now the crack opens at high temperature instead of low.
I didn't think the turbos on these used coolant? I thought they were just oil cooled?
 
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