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Hi all,

Was hoping for a bit of help and have read through quite a few of the posts on here and they have been v.useful so thanks in advance.

Just bought a VW T4 2.5tdi 2002 (Hightop camper conversion) from a dealer. Driven it to Germany and we have noticed we get white smoke when driving and smoke from the engine bay (between turbo and engine) when stopped after a decent run/long uphills, comes with bad smell.

The billowing cloud of white smoke happens at 60mph and experience loss of drive until I slow down and change to 4th! Happens when engine is warm and after a decent drive on motorway, also appears to be triggered by going downhill at high speed (60mph). It tends to only happen for 5-10seconds and it resolves immediately if you put the clutch in and change to 4th. Could this be to do with the fuel pump timing? Doesn’t happen every time but enough to be constantly worried about it.

The thin white smoke coming from just between the turbo and engine happens after long runs uphill. The engine was not overheating on the dashboard temperature gauge. Went away in ten mins, but left us with a worry!

Want to get an idea of how bad and what we need to get fixed whilst out here especially so we can go back to the dealer in first 30 days! He says that he replaced the cambelt, water pump and oil & filter just prior to purchase as well as the power steering pump. Oil level, coolant level are fine and with no creamy oil cap.

Sorry if this is all rather basic!

Am listing further symptoms below in case some of them are related and our inexperience is not leading us to the right conclusions! But help with any would be most appreciated.

  1. We have noticed that the pipe going from the N75 is connected to the N75 end (the bottom nozzle, which we presume is the air intake pipe) but then it isn’t connected at the other end. Should it be connected? What are the repercussions if it isn’t connected?
  2. Only in last 2-3 days we have had occasional issues with it starting. Turns over for a while but doesn’t start. Can take 3 attempts to start and have to pump accelerator to encourage. Could this be related to the fuel pump timing? Battery is fine.
  3. We think we have a oil leak but can’t work out where it is coming from. Oil level appears fine though.
  4. Clutch is a little clunky, doesn’t seem to pull off very well in 1st gear, can be sluggish uphills, notice a smell sometimes comes after a hill start. Is this the clutch? On 2 occasions the engine has stalled randomly at v.low speeds.
All in all it hasn’t been a great start. We are going to get ourselves to a garage, but we are keen to get learning about our van. Please help!!

Many thanks in advance
Doug
 

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All this does not sound good .Where is this white smoke coming from .The exhaust or is it coming from the engine area generally somewhere ?The valve you speak of ,from a little research ,subtly controls the operation of the turbo via electronic inputs from the ecu .One pipe goes to the diaphragm which operates the turbo waste gate and lets the boost go .One goes to the inlet (atmospheric pressure )side of the turbo .The last goes to the pressure side of the turbo .The ecu responds to the pressures in conjunction with demands from the throttle position ,load etc .SO ,yes it must be connected or else the ecu will not have a clue what to do ,and all kinds of things will happen ,maybe smoke .Poor starting could be pump timing and pumping the accelerator will make no difference since it is electronic and there is no direct connection between pedal and pump .Smell after hill start seems very much like worn out clutch slipping .MMM......
 

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Also, replacing the cambelt properly involves having to remove the sprocket on the other end camshaft which drives the injection pump ,which in turn requires the injection pump timing to be adjusted .Many ,many articles on this in the forum ,one of which I recently wrote a bit earlier in the thread- T4 turns over but wont fire ,running out of ideas-25 days ago .The sprockets on both ends are infinitely variable in position and hence the troubles.If the cambelt has been replaced ,has the timing been accurately set afterwards ?.It is not easy !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi thanks so much for your insights. Really helpful stuff.

Sorry, I forgot to mention the billowing white smoke is from the exhaust. Whilst the thin white smoke is from the turbo area in the engine bay.

The cam belt kit was replaced by the dealer/their mechanic so I couldn’t say for sure but I’m starting to think they haven’t reset the timing with any care. Other posts seem to suggest the pump timing could be the cause of white smoke from exhaust (unburnt diesel) at 60mph as well as poor starting.

Since posting this I took it to a local Swiss mechanic to reconnect the loose pipe and also run a VCDS diagnostic through their laptop. 2 error codes came back:

‘17965/P1557/005463 - Charge Pressure Control: Positive Deviation’

‘17656/P1248/004680 - Start of Injection Timing Regulation: Control Deviation.’

We noticed a few of the pipes connecting to the turbo pressure control and wastegate actuator were disintegrating/cracked so have been replaced.

Took it out for a spin and it felt slightly better. But may have just been optimism. I’m now fairly convinced that the pump timing is out, is it a problem to keep driving with the pump timing out or will that do further damage to the engine? Would ideally drive back to UK to sort it. Thanks again. Doug
 

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Well it looks like the air pipes would have been causing problems hence first code .Were they cleared then then tried again after reinstating the pipes ?.That code should be gone .No,I dont see how poor pump timing will damage the engine.It just causes poor starting and loss of power .All that is happening is that diesel spray is going in at not the quite right moment . I also think the smoke was caused by the turbo going haywire because of the missing pipe connections .The pump timing takes knowledge and experience and your general purpose garage usually does not have it. I understand it and could probably do it now ,but a couple of years ago when belts needed changed I was wary and took it to an independent VW specialist garage (and I know they had done VW for forty years)and they could not get it running again .They held up their hands and took it on a transporter to a DIESEL Injection place and they got it running perfectly in half an hour and it has stayed so since .The knowledge it takes is not VW knowledge ,but knowledge of the Bosch VE pump ,which is used in many small diesel applications .The second code indicates that the timing could be out ,and we are talking fractions of millimeters in the amount the pump has to be moved .Hope all goes better from now !
:)
 

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W.,hite smoke in engine bay was probably coming from the disconnected /broken turbo control pipes .Should be gone now .Also if the turbo was out of control it could fool the ecu into injecting to much fuel in sudden bursts at particular speeds and engine loadings .These pipes probably got pulled off /damaged at the time of the cambelt change ,although hard to prove with old vehicles .Bone up on the timing though .Best instruction is Brickwerks on Timing the TDI .Really interrogate your dealer and if they are really not up to it insist it goes to a proper diesel place .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stupidly didn’t ask to re-run the diagnostic to check if the code had been cleared. Will try to stop off at another garage to get this done again. Hopefully the first error code has been cleared now tho. I will cautiously continue driving and keep an eye on any further smoke from the turbo area. And will question the dealer on the cam belt change/pump timing. Think this will have to wait to get sorted by a diesel specialist, as you suggest.

All in all, going to give it some more driving to see if things have improved. Will update this thread with any conclusions or further developments. Thank you for your pearls of wisdom really has settled the stress levels knowing a bit more about what is going on.
 

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If someone has vcds you could get them to check the timing figure when reading codes and at least you would know if it's out. Should be 55 to 65 imo

Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk
 

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Hi all,

Was hoping for a bit of help and have read through quite a few of the posts on here and they have been v.useful so thanks in advance.

Just bought a VW T4 2.5tdi 2002 (Hightop camper conversion) from a dealer. Driven it to Germany and we have noticed we get white smoke when driving and smoke from the engine bay (between turbo and engine) when stopped after a decent run/long uphills, comes with bad smell.

The billowing cloud of white smoke happens at 60mph and experience loss of drive until I slow down and change to 4th! Happens when engine is warm and after a decent drive on motorway, also appears to be triggered by going downhill at high speed (60mph). It tends to only happen for 5-10seconds and it resolves immediately if you put the clutch in and change to 4th. Could this be to do with the fuel pump timing? Doesn’t happen every time but enough to be constantly worried about it.

The thin white smoke coming from just between the turbo and engine happens after long runs uphill. The engine was not overheating on the dashboard temperature gauge. Went away in ten mins, but left us with a worry!

Want to get an idea of how bad and what we need to get fixed whilst out here especially so we can go back to the dealer in first 30 days! He says that he replaced the cambelt, water pump and oil & filter just prior to purchase as well as the power steering pump. Oil level, coolant level are fine and with no creamy oil cap.

Sorry if this is all rather basic!

Am listing further symptoms below in case some of them are related and our inexperience is not leading us to the right conclusions! But help with any would be most appreciated.

  1. We have noticed that the pipe going from the N75 is connected to the N75 end (the bottom nozzle, which we presume is the air intake pipe) but then it isn’t connected at the other end. Should it be connected? What are the repercussions if it isn’t connected?
  2. Only in last 2-3 days we have had occasional issues with it starting. Turns over for a while but doesn’t start. Can take 3 attempts to start and have to pump accelerator to encourage. Could this be related to the fuel pump timing? Battery is fine.
  3. We think we have a oil leak but can’t work out where it is coming from. Oil level appears fine though.
  4. Clutch is a little clunky, doesn’t seem to pull off very well in 1st gear, can be sluggish uphills, notice a smell sometimes comes after a hill start. Is this the clutch? On 2 occasions the engine has stalled randomly at v.low speeds.
All in all it hasn’t been a great start. We are going to get ourselves to a garage, but we are keen to get learning about our van. Please help!!

Many thanks in advance
Doug
It sounds to me you could have a couple of issues that could be unconnected to each other IMO. I'd take it back to the dealer & demand they sought it out for you. The good thing about these vans is they rarely break down fully if the belts have been done & you should get back to the dealer safely. I personally wouldn't diagnose you until I'd physically seen the van. There could be a few possibilities.
 

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Interested to hear how things have worked out ,Doug .We can only learn if we know whether our theories have proved true or not .Hope you are still on the road and things looking up.
 
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