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Is it possible to generate a massive cloud of smoke temporarily?

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by Conor, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    As the title asks really?

    I got caught out in local rush hour traffic the other day (Side note: Who includes driving in SW London between 8-9am in their daily schedule?!).

    As a result there was a huge amount of idling and stop start traffic. Then at a point I got to a bit of a clearing and put my foot down and accelerated up a slight incline (and probably off accelerator again).

    Now I might be mis-remembering, thinking I heard a little "clatter".. but when I looked in my rear view mirror all I could see was white. White smoke that is. I have never seen a cloud of white smoke that size in my life.

    I pulled up. Turned off the car. Walked back a little to see if anything had dropped on the road. Nothing.

    Turned car back on and drove off. Everything has been fine since. No fault lights, no strange sounds. Oil level is fine.

    Is that possible or is there no way in hell that my car produced that cloud? A mate of mine reckons there was probably a BMW with a 2.0 Diesel that just snapped it's timing chain as he says loads of them going "at the moment".

    It's confusing. And for what it's worth. I've been driving the car around since and no issues.
     
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  2. joderest

    joderest Senior Member

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    Hmm, just a guess, lots of idle and stop start, perhaps a build up of unburnt fuel in exhaust, and then when you went for it, the fuel burnt off giving the smoke ( white smoke could relate to unburnt fuel)

    Its just a guess.
     
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  3. KennyN

    KennyN Senior Member

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    White smoke is normally just condensation (moisture) burning off , more apparent with a warming up engine on cold mornings whilst moving off after idling for a while (ie traffic lights).

    Bit of a random stab in the dark regarding the BM comment, their diesels normally just burst into flames thanks to faulty EGR valves , in which case it is lots of black smoke followed by the sound of the fire engine.

    K
     
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  4. Doug1234

    Doug1234 Senior Member

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    I have had similar with the om642 in my Jeep, sat reading newspapers one cold morning for nearly half an hour with it ticking over and had a smoke screen covering nearly both lanes for about 500 yards or more and it was so bad I could not even see the road behind me.
    I replaced the crankcase breather unit as the diagram was completely split open and it has never done it again.
    I kept the revs high and it eventually cleared just before I got to work, it was fine on the drive home which confirmed my suspicion that the breather unit had gone bad.
     
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  5. Taffy7hfa

    Taffy7hfa Senior Member

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    As its a petrol engined car I think its unlikely to be unburnt fuel, would be more inclined to think it may have "inhaled" a small amount of moisture through the air intake, was it raining ?
     
  6. Doug1234

    Doug1234 Senior Member

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    I do not think moisture would do this as I have run diesel engines taking steam from wallpaper strippers to clean piston rings and cylinders out after running vegetable oil and even then there is hardly any cloud effect coming out of the exhaust despite up to a high tick over off around 1500-2000 rpm
     
  7. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    What engine did you do that on, I’ve heard water mist into the air intake on the older engines but not on anything new, not really relevant to the thread but just out of interest really
     
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  8. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    The last car I saw doing this was Alex Foti’s old CL55 when the cylinder liner failed...
     
  9. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Was that a constant blow.. or did it only produce smoke for a short period?

    It wasn't raining so not water intake.

    @Doug1234 was the smoking before you changed the PCV valve? I just changed the PCV valve..

    I am talking about the E class here.
     
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  10. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Could it be transmission fluid burning?

    I am just perplexed that it was a very quick thing and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the car now.

    I've checked the oil since and it was fine. I'll have a look at the coolant tomorrow.
     
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  11. Doug1234

    Doug1234 Senior Member

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    I did the water injection on a w124 and an om606 , would do it every oil change 5k mile ish.
    Frequent oil changes due to using veg oil.
     
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  12. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    It was indeed a constant blow
     
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  13. KennyN

    KennyN Senior Member

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    Any burning oil or coolant would leave a lingering smell , for a while.

    Coolant evaporating would emit a kind of sweet smell.

    The smell of burning oil would be pretty obvious along with the smoke.

    K
     
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  14. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Yea I figured that.. I'm beginning to think it might not have been my car.. but it ****** well looked like it.
     
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  15. Doug1234

    Doug1234 Senior Member

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    Yes smoking before I changed the valve.
     
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  16. Doug1234

    Doug1234 Senior Member

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    Have a look underneath the car for anything like a plastic bag etc that has got caught on the exhaust and melted or burnt and made smoke.
     
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  17. Jim2

    Jim2 Senior Member

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    With a bit of luck..it will turn out to be some one else's car....so drive on for the time being, and see what happens. I suppose that a scan did not turn up anything out of the ordinary???
     
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  18. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Good idea.

    That's what I am hoping.. it's very strange. I do know that I am on paranoid end of the spectrum when it comes this car lol. I did a scan and nothing came up.
     
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  19. Jim2

    Jim2 Senior Member

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    If you are not suffering from paranoia of one kind or another...there's something seriously wrong with you.....:cool::D
     
  20. davidsl500

    davidsl500 Senior Member

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    Could it be trapped water dropping on a hot exhaust system as you accelerated up the incline?
     
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