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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys/Girls,

Recently brought my first T4, a 1998 1.9 TDI 800 Special 'Stella", something I've been wanting for a very very long time!

We've had a great few months in her and have just returned from a family holiday in Cornwall and Devon. She drove perfectly with no issues apart from a 'blinking' Oil light. I'd checked the Oil before our trip and it was fine so left it.

On our return I decided to top-up the oil a little and slightly over filled it but not crazily.

Anyway a week on and...

Blue/Grey smoke on cold start, very lumpy then struggles .. once she's driven for a few minutes the smoke and lumpiness disappears but this has happened for the past few days to and from work and It's got me very worried!

I'm not naturally mechanical but I'm learning as I go on, however searching google has only scared me to wits end!

Any help or advice would really be appreciated, many thanks in advance!

I'm West Midlands (Black Country) based so if any of you guys/girls can recommend a good garage to take her i'd really appreciate it!

I just hope it's not to expensive :(

:eek:
 

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Flashing oil light can be an indication of low/high oil pressure, or more likely a faulty pressure sensor.

Theres a great thread on here about it somewhere (on me phone at min so hard to search!)

Dont put any more oil in if u think u've already overfilled...
 

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The first thing to check re. the lumpy / smokey start is the glow plugs, wiring and fuse. Even if they do work, they are probably shot by now if they haven't been changed for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice so far. . Stella is going in the garage tomorrow so fingers crossed its just the glow plugs etc and not what the other guy had.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok guys..

Things suddenly got 'a lot' worse :*

I took 'Stella' into a local garage (PJ's Auto's Dudley) which I have trusted many times before especially because one of the main mechanic's has had two t4's himself. Straight away he said the smoke was diesel (not oil) and that he thought the injectors needed replacing. The other more serious initial cause which would result in the engine being taken out and rebuilt due to leaking was discounted - phew i thought! - Can't fault these guys!

They couldn't do the injectors at Pj's so recommended another garage who test/refurb/replace injectors and re-build engines in Brierley Hill.

During the weekend between taking Stella from PJ's into the second garage I took her out twice (big mistake). She cut out on me returning late night from Wolverhampton until I really pulled on the cold start a few minutes later again she stalled, I managed to get her home however she hasn't started since :(.

We towed her into the second garage early Tuesday morning. Two injectors were finally replaced today (Friday) as they had failed on Wednesday when tested. She apparently started but they stopped her straight away due to the lumpiness and fear of the engine being wrecked further = £225 (2 injectors @ £65 + labour @ £60.00 + vat = reasonable?)

I'm now left waiting the weekend to learn her fate. NEXT to try they suggest is to test the timing and if that's the fault fix it. Otherwise they are going to compression test the engine and if it fails they have quoted £1,250.00 plus vat for a engine re-build! - EEEEKKK :(

Stella has been mine now for three months, I've always wanted a T4 and having a 17 month old son it seemed a great idea at the time to bite the bullet and buy her when i saw her on eBay for some enjoyable weekends away around the UK for a few years - this problem wasn't visible at the time of purchase!

All these problems started I believe when the oil light started blinking during a fortnight in Devon/Cornwall (Low pressure?). A few days after we returned she started with tghe thick grey smoke and lumpiness... although no loss of power after the first few minutes.

I'm not absolutely gutted, words cannot describe how gutted. I doubt I can afford a re-build on mine and my partners wage with a small son to think about so it looks like if that's the final outcome she will have to go.

Many of you might thing.. that you have to take these things on the chin and 'it happens' with old vans especially when driven by an idiot. But that still doesn't' make things any easier.

Thank's for all the advice so far, I suppose I just need some reassurance or something that A: I'm not being ripped off, or B: to jack it all in and give up on her.

Reading this all back it sounds sad going on about a bloody Van but when it's been your dream for a long time it's hard.

Again thanks in advance for anything you can offer.

Regards,
Matt
 

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Nasty problems, on the positive side if it ran lumpily initially, then cleared it won't be
piston compression, that doesn't cure itself.

The failing glowplug diagnosis sounds true, mine would start on one plug, smoked for a minute then be fine
all day. Eventually did the plugs and cables when the timing belt was due as it's a fuel pump off the get to a
couple of the glowplugs and is perfect again,

Overfilling the oil is not a good move as it soaks the catalyst in the exhaust.

It could well be injectors if it was diesel smoke, but again these don't tend to fix themselves.
Timing doesn't cure itself either, if it's out it's out and doesn't improve.

Hope it's just glowplugs on starting, but sounds like they are damaging injectors on test bench ?

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the kind words..

A week has gone by and Garage phoned me, all fixed they said 'your lucky'.

The timing was out and two of the injectors had been reconditioned. Come pick her up. . £260.00.

Great I thought!

Went to collect her. . Trouble starting, smoke then lumpy.

Told 'should clear, any problems let me know'!

Drove 5 mins down the road, smokey and lumpy then game over! A friend towed me home and I called the garage in the morning.

The garage came and towed her away, nothing for almost two days so I called. Told by the manager 'needs an rebuild' again £1250 plus vat.

So £250 lost .. what do I do?

Trust the garage or go elsewhere?

Wish something would just go right! :*
 

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Know you probably dont want to read this but I wouldnt leave my van with a garage that seems to have no idea what they re doing, apart from trying to get more money from you! would the first garage not be a better bet if the fitter there as knowledge of the t4 . Good luck with whatever you decide
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah,

My gut feeling says that they have ripped me off and seen me coming... I really do think the "engine rebuild" is just a way of them making almost £1500 out of to maybe fix a cheaper underlying issue.

I'm hopefully towing the van from the garage today, back home where she may be for some time.

Can anyone on here recommend a good reliable and honest garage or mechanic for a third opinion in the West Midlands / Black Country? I’ve heard good things of VW Rescue now (Auto Precision).

I've spoken to the first garage (PJ's) in Dudley however they cannot fit me in until next week the earliest and as they said it was the injectors in the first place they might be a while.

End of the day if she does need a re-build then I’m going to have to pay for it. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Pete and everyone here replied so far, I've found this forum so useful!

After two months apart I had my van back on Saturday. It cost just under £2k for a full engine rebuild a new vacuum pump.

However it looks like i shall be without her again as the grey smoke and lumpiness on cold start still hasn't been rectified, it's not as bad as it was but I'm totally stumped.

The engine runs better, however is much louder and it did initially seem to have a lot more power but after a few days of driving, the smoke is getting worse and it's struggling in first when starting. There's a knocking noise coming from somewhere when in 3-5th so I suspect that's something clutch/gear box related.

Add to the fact a very loud fan belt noise which i know is easily fixed oh and the fact that I now cannot reverse the van without blowing Fuse 14 which also leaves my aftermarket windows either firmly shut or half open.

The engine work was guaranteed for 12 months, but to be totally honest I've had enough.. I never thought I’d say this but I'm considering letting her go.

:*
 
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