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Focus 1.8 Tdci Smoking When Accelerating


William Hancock
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Ey up, thanks for looking and for any help.

I've been having a bit of trouble with my 57 plate, 112,000 miles Focus. It's smoking while I'm accelerating. I've had it in 2 garages (which I won't be gong back to) and both of them said they couldn't find anything wrong with it.

It only happens when the engine is warm, there's no loss of power, no error codes but if I'm on the motorway and I put my foot down the car behind vanishes in a cloud of white smoke! It's fine when I'm tootling along and maintaining speed but soon as I want to go faster there's a shed load of smoke.

The exhaust is fine (or so the 1st garage said) there's no cracks in any pipes (so the 2nd garage says) The 2nd garage also said they'd had it on the rollers and couldn't see anything. As I was leaving one of them said something about the DPF doing a regen all the time but wouldn't I get a loss of power? And would it fdo it every time I put my foot down?

I'm about £100 in for manual labor and still none the wiser.

Cheers

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Hey not sure this helps but ive got no DPF on my 04 focus 130,000 miles and it does the same thing only when its booted EGR is blanked oil has been flushed and treated after its change to Castrol A1 and diesel system has had a treatment with some recommended stuff that came in a green can and using Shell V power diesel think it might be the cat personally but im thinking of having a new exhaust without a cat or drilling it out

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Give a bottle of Wynns Diesel Treatment or Wynns Injector Cleaner for Diesels a try.

It's designed to eliminate black smoke and from previous experience, has worked a treat!

It's normal for the car to smoke when under heavy acceleration, but normally the smoke is a transparent vapour only seen at night in a cars headlights behind.

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  • 9 months later...

Update... I've still got the same problem.

I should add that the smoke isn't visible during the day. only at night when I'm driving in front of someone with their headlights on.

I had the car in another garage for something else and they had a look at this form me and couldn't find anything. They pressure tested something or other (I'm not great with mechanics)

I've also had the car in a main Ford dealer garage (the one I got it from) for the service and MOT and they couldn't find anything either.

Could it be un-burnt diesel if the timing was off?

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could be as simple as the EGR (have you blanked it off)

Also, if that isnt the case, thick black smoke is normally unburnt diesel, so I would check for any air leaks at all around the air intake, intercooler pipe etc.

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Unburnt diesel is NOT black smoke - it is white smoke

Black smoke is indicative of a fuel / air imbalance in the combustion chamber

my bad, brain new that, but didnt tell my fingers the right buttons to press :p, I had no sleep last night!

Mark is very much correct though, I had the black smoke issue on my CMAX, when the intercooler pipe had split down its edge, and when I put my foot down, I left a 3 foot plume of tar smoke behind me!

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its normal like said above to get a little bit of smoke on hard acceleration, i get the same myself. if you havent blanked the EGR with a blanking plate i recommend doing that ASAP, as it will help.

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Wow! Way more comments than last time, thanks chaps

It's definitely particulates of some kind as you can't see it during the day. Only when it's night and someone's headlights are shining on the rear of the car.

I do get black smoke when I floor it but not during normal driving.

The idle revs dip a little and it goes into anti-stall for the first 5-10 minutes after starting. It jumps around a bit when it's cold and I set off too. That's what's lead me down the timing route.

I'll get the inter-cooler pipe checked 1st

If it's still no good, have a go at this terraclean. There's a local garage ear me does it.

After all that I'll see about the fuel injection timing and / or faulty / dirty injectors and / or low cylinder compression.

That sound about right?

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You mention roughness after starting.and that the white smoke is only evident at night.

The ecu in a modern diesel constantly monitors and adjusts fuel timing etc according to driving conditions.

On these engines the fuel injection system uses the heater plugs for more than just start up

It's all about volumeric efficiency.....

Those nasty Nitrates that are giving VW a headache are caused when fuel isn't completely burnt

In order to try and reduce these, the engine management system will, acting on information from various sensors, use the glow plugs to help maintiain a higher temperature and more complete combustion

Before the engine has fully warmed up, or at night when the ambient temp is lower, the plugs will be utilised to raise the temp in the engine to help achieve a more complete burn which leads to less nasty pollutants

At 112K your heater plugs will have a good coating of carbon on them and so will not provide as high a temp as they used to.

Btw the cooler temp at night means it is quite normal to see the vapours produced from the exhaust, but if you feel it's excessive then it might be worth having the heater plugs changed.

Your local mot station would be able to do an emmisions test and if its still within the legal limits I wouldn't be too worried

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When the engine is running from cold, does it smell like fish at the exhaust?

No fish I'm afraid

At 112K your heater plugs will have a good coating of carbon on them and so will not provide as high a temp as they used to.

Btw the cooler temp at night means it is quite normal to see the vapours produced from the exhaust, but if you feel it's excessive then it might be worth having the heater plugs changed.

Don't think I've ever had my plugs changed, I'll check my paperwork from the service and MOT's

The list as it stands:

1 check the inter-cooler pipe
2 Replace the heater plugs
3 terraclean
4 check fuel injection timing and / or faulty / dirty injectors and / or low cylinder compression.
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