White smoke from the engine

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

DinuIoan
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Dec 2016, 19:52

White smoke from the engine

Post by DinuIoan »

Hello,

When I start my car with the engine cold, a white smoke is seen around the engine, for about 2-5 seconds, then it dissappears. It can be seen only when the engine is cold and it has a strange smell.

What can it be?

Thanks.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 22105
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2249

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Where is the smoke coming from? Is it from the Engine Fusebox behind the battery?

User avatar
myglaren
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 19124
Joined: 02 Mar 2008, 14:30
x 1290

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by myglaren »

Possibly a leaky injector - they have a habit of coming loose on the 1.6.
Look for signs of a coal-like substance around the base of the injectors.

The brackets holding the injectors are said to be easily damaged. The torque for the bolts is crucial as it is easy to shear them.

I believe new bolts are required each time, not just re-tightening the fitted ones.

Someone correct this if it is inaccurate.

DinuIoan
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Dec 2016, 19:52

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by DinuIoan »

GiveMeABreak wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 12:33
Where is the smoke coming from? Is it from the Engine Fusebox behind the battery?
I can’t see exactly, it just pops out all around the engine I guess

DinuIoan
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Dec 2016, 19:52

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by DinuIoan »

myglaren wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 12:37
Possibly a leaky injector - they have a habit of coming loose on the 1.6.
Look for signs of a coal-like substance around the base of the injectors.

The brackets holding the injectors are said to be easily damaged. The torque for the bolts is crucial as it is easy to shear them.

I believe new bolts are required each time, not just re-tightening the fitted ones.

Someone correct this if it is inaccurate.
Thanks man! Would this be expensive to fix?

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 22105
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2249

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by GiveMeABreak »

No - if it is these that have come loose, just get them tightened to the correct torque.

User avatar
myglaren
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 19124
Joined: 02 Mar 2008, 14:30
x 1290

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by myglaren »

DinuIoan wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 13:51
Thanks man! Would this be expensive to fix?
Not usually. The brackets and bolts should be renewed as they break easily, also, depending on the severity of the leak, the seals and fire washers could need replacing, and the injector(s) seat(s) need cleaning - there is a special tool for this.

The problem with them is that if allowed to continue it can lead to more and potentially very expensive faults, one being a destroyed turbo.

If you have a look for similar faults on the forum, there are many tales of woe surrounding the 1.6 HDi if it is not well looked after and service intervals ignored.

Looked after it is a decent engine, don't be put off by the above.

petarc1971
Posts: 46
Joined: 01 Mar 2019, 20:50
x 7

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by petarc1971 »

Check if it loses coolant, it is possible that a little leaking antifreeze from the back of the engine goes to the exhaust pipe, as you start the engine the antifreeze evaporates in the form of white smoke. White smoke can also be from burning oil.

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6438
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1092

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by white exec »

petarc1971 wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 15:35
Check if it loses coolant, it is possible that a little leaking antifreeze from the back of the engine goes to the exhaust pipe, as you start the engine the antifreeze evaporates in the form of white smoke.
That was my first thought. When ethylene glycol is heated, it produces clouds of white fog. It is the basis of stage smoke! Our first BX produced whole streetfuls from the tailpipe under acceleration when the head gasket was on the way out. It usually has a characteristic sweet smell.

DinuIoan
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Dec 2016, 19:52

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by DinuIoan »

petarc1971 wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 15:35
Check if it loses coolant, it is possible that a little leaking antifreeze from the back of the engine goes to the exhaust pipe, as you start the engine the antifreeze evaporates in the form of white smoke. White smoke can also be from burning oil.
Yes, I have coolant loses, but I thought it was from the cylinder head gasket.

DinuIoan
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Dec 2016, 19:52

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by DinuIoan »

myglaren wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 15:10
DinuIoan wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 13:51
Thanks man! Would this be expensive to fix?
Not usually. The brackets and bolts should be renewed as they break easily, also, depending on the severity of the leak, the seals and fire washers could need replacing, and the injector(s) seat(s) need cleaning - there is a special tool for this.

The problem with them is that if allowed to continue it can lead to more and potentially very expensive faults, one being a destroyed turbo.

If you have a look for similar faults on the forum, there are many tales of woe surrounding the 1.6 HDi if it is not well looked after and service intervals ignored.

Looked after it is a decent engine, don't be put off by the above.
Really thanks for your answear. I will take it to a Citroen service.

admiral51
Donor 2019
Posts: 2114
Joined: 24 May 2007, 10:11
x 214

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by admiral51 »

Could the leak be coming from a weak or loose hose clip on the cabin heater side of the system, could be something simple [-o<

User avatar
xantia_v6
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 7631
Joined: 09 Nov 2005, 23:03
x 434

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by xantia_v6 »

Given that the symptoms are only stated to be present with a cold engine, I would not think it likely to be related to a coolant leak, as coolant doesn't produce white smoke until you heat it up.

DinuIoan
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Dec 2016, 19:52

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by DinuIoan »

xantia_v6 wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 20:27
Given that the symptoms are only stated to be present with a cold engine, I would not think it likely to be related to a coolant leak, as coolant doesn't produce white smoke until you heat it up.
Yep, but still, there is a problem with the coolant too. I’ve changed the oil cooler, because I had oil into the coolant, but I can still see pressure into the coolant sistem, because I loose coolant at the coolant lid. I hope this is not a cylinder head gasket problem (I don-t have coolant into oil, I just had oil into coolant). A lot of problems with my C5, but I hope I’ll fix them... [-o<

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6438
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1092

Re: White smoke from the engine

Post by white exec »

Over-filling the coolant (presumably at the expansion tank) will lead to coolant being expelled every time the engine gets up to working temperature. There should be an air gap above the coolant there, to allow for expansion. Check out the level.