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After having been a very happy T4 owner for 7 years, I recently bought a 2005 VW T5 T30 174 Kombi with almost 150,000 miles on the clock - and it looks like I've bought a complete dud.

I'm no mechanic but the problems with the van seem to be:

1. Losing lots of coolant
2. Starts fine from cold but trouble starting from hot
3. Lack of power in lower revs
4. One time spotted grey/white exhaust fumes coming out from under the centre of van

I've taken it to 3 different garages and got 3 different opinions.

1st. Camshaft and manifold need replacing
2nd. Injectors and water pump need replacing
3rd. Turbo, radiator and battery need replacing

Wasn't too impressed with first garage, which specialises in VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda, as they didn't seem like they were bothered about doing the work. They recommended I got it valeted and sold on! Took it to another garage for second opinion where they said they had a VW trained technician. They seemed confident that injectors and pump would sort the problem. Took it to third garage, a diesel engine specialist, hoping they would agree with one or the other but got third opinion.

When I told third garage about other opinions, after they had given me theirs, they suggested fitting new battery as it was testing faulty and take it from there. They did that and did not resolve starting issue and now they are saying they think there is also a problem with the head gasket.

As I say, I'm no mechanic but am completely confused and unsure of how to proceed with this. All garages are quoting over £2,000 to get the work done. Any help or advice would be gratefully received. I am based in Nottingham.
 

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1. Losing lots of coolant
2. Starts fine from cold but trouble starting from hot
3. Lack of power in lower revs
4. One time spotted grey/white exhaust fumes coming out from under the centre of van

No expert but coolant could be radiator seeping, how much coolant, have you checked your oil for any white sludge as this would then be head gasket.

Lack of power in low revs check your vac pipes, also look at the turbo and see if the actuator is moving up and down when reved as it could be sticking, also check your egr as it could be full of .

Smoke under the vehicle could be manifold or exhaust cracked and leaking, need to have a look for any soot around the manifold and cat.
 

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As you are not too far from Tamworth I'd suggest you take it to Tamworth Vehicle Services - Robbie there really does know his T5's.
 
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