06 Jetta TDI White Smoke, Loss of power?

Discussion in 'Mk5 VW Jetta, Sportwagen, and Audi A3 TDI forum' started by hemiboss11, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    2006 Volkswagon Jetta TDI
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    Hey guys, I just bought a 2006 Jetta TDI and having some issues. Upon start up and for the first few miles driven, I'm getting a significant amount of white smoke out the exhaust. Also, there is no kick down. I can mat the pedal down and get nothing, just bogs down and slowly accelerates. My wife drove the car as I followed behind her in my truck and I could hear an odd sound from the engine. Its kind of a humming noise. I don't know much about these diesels but sure seems something is wrong to me... Now, I had it inspected and it is due for it's second timing belt. There is 185k on the car. Also there is a very small oil leak at the turbo, but I was told it is not to worry about. Could a worn timing belt cause these issues? How can I diagnose this issue? Ive been reading up and found a few possibilities but I cant pin point it. Thanks a lot!!!:panic:
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  2. MT_Golf

    MT_Golf Member

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    White smoke = bad news. Check coolant level. If it's low, fill it up with the required VW stuff (pretty expensive) and drive it again, then check coolant level again. White smoke usually indicates a blown head gasket and/or cracked head, which explains loss of coolant if that is happening.

    When you get this fixed, also do the timing belt and water pump.
  3. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    Read the low power checklist and the mk5 early Jetta buying guide to start. Probably not related to the timing belt, possible it's burning coolant = white smoke. Can't tell you more without more clues on your end. Camshafts are common problems.

    oil leak at turbo = where is the oil leak coming from exactly = determines how serious it is.
    hemiboss11 likes this.
  4. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Hey guys sorry for the super late response lol. The Jetta had the wrong type of coolant in it but flushing and replacing it with the right stuff solved nothing, just piece of mind I guess. $175 piece of mind. But that was 5 months ago and there has never been a leak then or now according to this mechanic. He told me the white smoke may be due to that small oil leak at the turbo. Im not sure of the exact location, but he said its very common and ignorable for the most part. Anyways, my problem has escalated severely. When accelerating, the car losses A LOT of power, and starts hesitating very badly. I tried the manual shift mode to see what would happen. The car will rev up consistently, and then no acceleration. I mean it does NOT accelerate. When cruising, I don't notice any issues. Seems to me like its getting air and fuel because of how the rpms do not hesitate, only the power. I did discover that it had the timing belt replaced at 147k, and it has 195k now. There are no engine codes, and never has been. The EGR cooler is broken in half, but was half ass repaired with zip ties and sealer (I guess that's what the humming/whistling noise was) There is still white smoke upon start up and first few miles driven. Another thing is when idling, the car will periodically make a pretty loud knocking sound (sounds exactly like drums at a high school football game) for several seconds and up to maybe 2 minutes then stop on its own. My wife can hear it from inside the house when I'm in the driveway. This here mechanic seemed to not be really concerned about that. As a matter of fact, he implied that there were no serious red flags to him after paying him $85 TWICE to check it out. Theres $170 down the drain. Well, now the power loss is so bad that I can mat the pedal down and get up to 4000rpms and no acceleration at all. It will jump and bog and jump and bog unless I am very easy on the pedal... This may be unrelated, but all this severe stuff seemed to start occurring shortly after I topped it off with fuel, and I only fill up maybe once every 2 weeks if I drive it every day... Do any of these symptoms sound like a bad Cam shaft? Plugged exhaust? Transmission? Turbo? I am a moderately experienced mechanic, and I almost always fix my own stuff, but this TDI has me stumped. I've spent hours reading about them. I can't even find oil for it around here. What do you guys use? The VW dealer told me 5W40 Castrol Edge with Syntec, but I read that my Jetta must be 505.01 approved and this oil says 505.00 approved... SERIOUSLY!? Losing faith in VW....
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  5. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    You say it's auto-DSG, the flywheel is highly suspect. Shouldn't cause power loss (until it blows up or jams), did you check the camshaft? Best way is to look yourself, there are example videos in the camshaft inspection/replacement DIY.
  6. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    I am going to check it out now when I change the oil. Is Castrol Edge with Syntec ok to use?
  7. hytron

    hytron Member

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    I buy my oil at the dealer. They have Castrol Professional OE 5W-30 and it is 505.01 rated so you should buy ONLY the oil that has that written on the bottle. I recently dicovered Valvoline makes some oil that is 5W-40 and it states that it conforms to standards VW 505.01. Walmart sells it, but it is a bit more expensive then the one at the dealer. Paying $7.50 per quart of oil is OK price I think. Castrol EDGE is only 505.00 certified, you NEED 505.01 - DO NOT USE anything else or you could have issues with your camshaft.

    White smoke is usually indication of coolant in your combustion chamber - this is just from my experience with gasoline engines, but I am pretty sure that is what it is. Maybe you can perform a compression test on a diesel? Using the glow plug hole? Not sure about that one...maybe someone will add some more info on it.
  8. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    The Camshaft is shot. The lobes have very sharp and jagged edges. The Cam and Lifters are the chrome steel, not the black hardened steel (assuming is factory). I'm also noticing the engine is ticking significantly at idle. Will the bad Camshaft cause the loss of power? Also, the oil was extremely black and gritty (I assume because of the wear from the lobes and lifters). I changed the oil with Valvoline 5w40 synthetic which is 505.01 approved. Found it at Autozone believe it or not. Got a really good deal, $32 for 5 quarts plus ATP Oil Filter (normally $9 a quart). I will leave the car parked until I get the new Camshaft in. I also discovered a couple tablespoons of oil in the EGR pipe, is that normal? It was pretty clean (no soot build up) but I thought that was odd to see that much oil in there. There was also a slow oil drip coming from that crack in the EGR cooler. I definitely found a slow oil leak behind the block where the turbo is too. I assume that's the turbo leak the mechanic was talking about. Could any of this be causing the white smoke? The air filter also seems pretty black, but wasn't sure if that was normal for the TDI... Any comments on what I have described so far? All I'm finding is that it needs the Camshaft replaced. I also got a fuel filter and air filter since I'm doing all of this. Where should I order the Camshaft from? And where do I get the tools to do it? Thanks a lot guys!
  9. hytron

    hytron Member

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    Hmm...I don't see how a bad camshaft could cause white smoke to come out. Something is burning inside the combustion chamber to cause it to be white. It is pretty normal to have black oil in a diesel engine...I changed mine and it turned black right away...there is always some old oil left over, but this is something I read on a few different places online so I am just relaying the info as far as the oil color. Not sure about the EGR, I know on gasolne engines you are not suppose to have any oil...it connects exhaust with the intake...so I assume would be similar in the diesel engine. Not sure where the oil came from. A long time ago I used to own VW Passat, gasoline engine, and once had an issue of mixing oil with coolant. It was the oil cooler..when you mention the EGR cooler, not sure if coolant goes there and if it cracked, it might be mixing coolant with hot exhast gasses, causing white smoke as the coolant burns away....
  10. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Camshaft Bearing.jpg I am aware that burning coolant causes white smoke. The coolant is fine. I know the camshaft isn't causing the white smoke, I am concerned that the oil in the EGR is what's causing the white smoke. If not, then what is? This Turbo is cooled by oil, hence where the oil leak is coming from. It is supposedly common for these to have an oil leak there, my question is how much is too much? Considering the amount I found just in the EGR, I am concerned despite my knowledge on these cars. It was more than just "wet", there were small pools of it, and a drip from the crack in the cooler. And the oil was more than just black, like I said I could feel the friction between my fingers and was somewhat sludgy. This bad camshaft is more than likely the cause of that. So my questions are..... #1. Could the white smoke be from the oil in the EGR/ Turbo leak? #2. How much is too much oil leaking at the Turbo, and in the EGR? (contingent to question #1). #3. Do I need to repair/ replace Turbo? #4. Is this bad Camshaft the cause for the consistent low power, and also the sudden power loss? #5. Is the air filter suppose to be very blackened? Answers to those questions would be fantastic. I attached 2 pics of the bad Cam. One pic shows a deep scratch in what I believe to be a bearing which I thought was odd. Other pic is clearly the mushroomed and sharpened Lobe. Didn't get into inspecting the lifters, but they're getting replaced anyways. Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  11. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Here is the lobe. My phone died before I could get more pics. Camshaft Lobe 2.jpg
  12. hytron

    hytron Member

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    That camshaft does not look good, that is pretty big scratch. I still dont think that would cause white smoke... You definitely would have to change that...
    Setvin likes this.
  13. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Replacing it Thursday. Really wish I knew more about the oil problem... It was kind of low when I changed it too
  14. hytron

    hytron Member

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    I would say some oil, as several spoons of oil would be OK, anything more than that, you have a problem. When I used to have Passat a while back, I would drain about half of quart of oil from the lower pipe every oil change. That was a turbo problem. Not fun to work on them...
  15. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Jeesh. I didn't check the lower pipe, but I was about a half quart low on oil when I changed it. I though you would only find soot in there, not oil.
  16. Setvin

    Setvin Member

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    Check your turbo and its regulating system (vacuum) I had the same issue. A lot of white smoke and no power. Solved after turbo replace. Your camshaft and lifters are dead for sure. Since you have disassembled engine anyway I would also recommend to replace a repair kit for injectors.
  17. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Or ill put in this cam and sell the B%$&#. This is redic. What's all that gonna cost me? $2000?
  18. Setvin

    Setvin Member

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    Not worst decision. If parts are original and new it will costs more than 2000$.
  19. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Well my new camshaft has a chip near the tip of lobe #6. I tried filing it down a little, but I am still worried it may not be useable. I posted a new thread about this issue but I am in dire need of a quick response for serious reasons. I attached 2 pictures. First pic is of the original damage. Second pic is the lobe after I filed it down. Does anybody have professional knowledge about this and/or can tell me if this Camshaft can still be used? Thanks! cam 1.jpg cam 2.jpg
  20. hemiboss11

    hemiboss11 New Member

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    Well guys the Camshaft is in and Gretta (the car) runs A-mazing! I cant believe I didnt replace it sooner! Fixed the consistent power loss AND the sudden power loss issues! Cant wait til shes all broke in so I can really test her power! I haven't checked for white smoke but I highly suspect its the turbo like Setvin said, but as of now she has great boost so it will be staying for now. I think the timing could use a very slight tweek but I will do that tmrw.
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