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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Smoking from Tailpipe

I was looking at a turbocharged car today that I'm interested in buying. Right at start up there is a noticeable amount of smoke that comes out, but then it doesn't smoke. When you rev the engine up, it smokes a tiny bit AFTER you let off the pedal.

The mechanic that owns it said it seems just like condensation that builds up in the Turbo, and then it's let off when you let off the gas. Or something like that But he wasn't actually there when I was looking at it, we just called him and asked.

Is this a thing I should be worried about? It only does it at those two times, it's NOT constantly smoking. What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sdavis872 View Post
I was looking at a turbocharged car today that I'm interested in buying. Right at start up there is a noticeable amount of smoke that comes out, but then it doesn't smoke. When you rev the engine up, it smokes a tiny bit AFTER you let off the pedal.

The mechanic that owns it said it seems just like condensation that builds up in the Turbo, and then it's let off when you let off the gas. Or something like that But he wasn't actually there when I was looking at it, we just called him and asked.

Is this a thing I should be worried about? It only does it at those two times, it's NOT constantly smoking. What are your thoughts?
That's a good one!

It is either motor or turbo related. If its the motor, the valve guides are probably going bad. If its the turbo, there is probably a seal going bad causing oil to be blown into the exhaust.

What kind of car is it and how many miles?

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 10:49 PM
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 10:58 PM
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Most likely, valve guide seals or the guides themselves.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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VW GTI 1.8T
100,000 miles

I'll at least give the mechanic the benefit of the doubt because he wasn't even there, and the guy who was selling it for him just asked about right at start up, because we didn't think about revving it up to see what would happen. I'll meeting with him on Wednesday because I really like the car and it's a very good price for the year and model, its about $2000 under blue book, and I truly don't think he knew about the smoke before yesterday. And, if the turbo is bad, I guess I could just replace it with a BIGGER ONE!

Also, just from looking around online, it doesn't seem like the typical bad turbo seal. It only smokes at start up, and RIGHT when you let off the gas when you rev it up and as the engine JUST starts to slow down, a tiny amount of smoke comes out. It doesn't do it at all at idle, or when revving up. When driving it around there was no smell of burning exhaust.

Edit:
If it is bad, what would be to consequences of buying this car and not worrying about it right now? I really like these cars, and this one is at a price I really like, but I know that's because it's got a few little problems, but is this something I could still drive on, and just keep an eye on the oil? Plus, saying "My turbo's got a blown seal" sounds so b.a. . Plus, it still KILLS my 3.8L.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 07:06 AM
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Its your world holms, I'm just livin in it..........I'd pass

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdavis872 View Post
VW GTI 1.8T
100,000 miles

I'll at least give the mechanic the benefit of the doubt because he wasn't even there, and the guy who was selling it for him just asked about right at start up, because we didn't think about revving it up to see what would happen. I'll meeting with him on Wednesday because I really like the car and it's a very good price for the year and model, its about $2000 under blue book, and I truly don't think he knew about the smoke before yesterday. And, if the turbo is bad, I guess I could just replace it with a BIGGER ONE!

Also, just from looking around online, it doesn't seem like the typical bad turbo seal. It only smokes at start up, and RIGHT when you let off the gas when you rev it up and as the engine JUST starts to slow down, a tiny amount of smoke comes out. It doesn't do it at all at idle, or when revving up. When driving it around there was no smell of burning exhaust.

Edit:
If it is bad, what would be to consequences of buying this car and not worrying about it right now? I really like these cars, and this one is at a price I really like, but I know that's because it's got a few little problems, but is this something I could still drive on, and just keep an eye on the oil? Plus, saying "My turbo's got a blown seal" sounds so b.a. . Plus, it still KILLS my 3.8L.
Have you priced any part for a VW lately?

The symptom you describe sounds exactly like a turbo seal. When you rev it and then take your foot off the pedal, vacuum goes very high.... smoke at that time means oil is getting sucked through a seal somewhere.

Before I bought it I would 1. Take it for a test drive while looking for smoke on hard acceleration and deceleration, AND 2. Take it to a VW dealership (or VW specialist mechanic) and have them do a full inspection with an eye on the turbo.

But just my .02.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 07:44 AM
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my thoughts would be some teenager had the car before, ran the piss out of it, and this is the end result.

I'd pass.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdavis872 View Post
Plus, saying "My turbo's got a blown seal" sounds so b.a. . Plus, it still KILLS my 3.8L.
Spoken like a true kid.....


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Originally Posted by _95badbird View Post
my thoughts would be some teenager had the car before, ran the piss out of it, and this is the end result.

I'd pass.
X2

My friend has a 01 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T with like 120K on it and it doesnt smoke. Smoke is not normal in any form unless it's condensation on a 20* morning.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Have you priced any part for a VW lately?

The symptom you describe sounds exactly like a turbo seal. When you rev it and then take your foot off the pedal, vacuum goes very high.... smoke at that time means oil is getting sucked through a seal somewhere.

Before I bought it I would 1. Take it for a test drive while looking for smoke on hard acceleration and deceleration, AND 2. Take it to a VW dealership (or VW specialist mechanic) and have them do a full inspection with an eye on the turbo.

But just my .02.
I will take it on a test drive again and look out for smoke. Also, the guy who owns it is a VW specialist mechanic, but I don't think he's driven the car a whole lot lately, and the amount of smoke is so small I'm surprised I even noticed it. I'm meeting with the owner tomorrow and will see if he's looked at it. Even after buying it, and rebuilding the turbo, it would still be under blue book.

We'll see. Thanks for the input. The VW community is pretty big around here so I think I might be able to get the turbo done for a reasonable price. One local VW guy owns a shop, but it's mostly just for club members.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Could be a head gasket? Which would cost more, roughly?
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 03:30 PM
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Head gasket or turbo seal, do you really want to buy a car that you're immediately going to have to throw money at?

Not only that, but I work at a shop, and we can't even order the head gaskets for it. Each gasket is $62 from VW, and it's a 6.6 hour estimated job. The turbo is 4.5 hours labor estimated to remove and install that $1125 part. From VW. My computer might not have the exact price that they will tell you, but it's right around there.
I can already tell you now, anything goes wrong with it, you'll have to get it from VW, and although your wallet will be considerably thinner, you won't be able to sit down when they're through with you.

Oh, and if you're looking for a turbocharged car, avoid Mitsubishis too... they're the same with parts. I had to call a Mitsu stealership earlier today about an idler pulley. He told me that it was a $120 dealer only item. I told him that I'd have to ask the person if they'd be willing to pay that much for a little pulley and he said simply "Good luck!"

Needs more stall.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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I actually talked with the mechanic today. And it wasn't smoking at all anymore. I'm almost sure that since I stalled it about 6 times before I noticed the smoke that that might be the cause. Plus, it wasn't really blue like oil smoke, just white like steam or carbon like when you get your injectors cleaned. It seems to be pretty solid. We'll see what happens.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 09:56 PM
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I actually talked with the mechanic today. And it wasn't smoking at all anymore. I'm almost sure that since I stalled it about 6 times before I noticed the smoke that that might be the cause. Plus, it wasn't really blue like oil smoke, just white like steam or carbon like when you get your injectors cleaned. It seems to be pretty solid. We'll see what happens.
Or when you have a blown head gasket.....


I don't think there is any chance on talking this guy out of this car.....LOL
Hey, if you get it though, good luck man and hope you enjoy it.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Or when you have a blown head gasket.....


I don't think there is any chance on talking this guy out of this car.....LOL
Hey, if you get it though, good luck man and hope you enjoy it.
Haha, Well, the oil is clear, and it's not overheating or doing anything weird coolant wise. I'm having it dropped off at a local stealership because they told me they can check the frame for free (carfax reported frame damage, but it was under the first owner, only a few months after the car was made, so I'm guessing insurance would have fixed it all right.) And I'm gonna see how much just a real basic once-over costs. I really like the car, and the price is pretty good. About $1600 under blue book (depending on which level you look at). I think it would be a very fun car. It would be the fastest car in the family (except my grandma's Lexus would probably keep up )
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 07:30 AM
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So let me get this straight:

1. It has been wrecked so bad that that was frame damage
2. It may or may not be smoking
3. You don't know how to drive a stick shift and stalled it 6 times
4. You haven't mentioned if you have priced any parts to see what standard, routine maintenance is going to cost. IN ADDITION to the monthly car and insurance payment.

It is definitely a good idea to have a dealership check it out. I would have them check EVERYTHING, not just the frame. It is the little things that can bite you. Like when was the last time a brake job was done? Do you have maintenance records of previous work including tune-ups and scheduled maintenance, i.e. has the timing belt been changed (if it has one), etc. At 100K miles I’m assuming a lot of things like that are coming due.

That’s just some simple advice from someone that’s “been there, done that!” :thumbsup

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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So let me get this straight:

1. It has been wrecked so bad that that was frame damage
2. It may or may not be smoking
3. You don't know how to drive a stick shift and stalled it 6 times
4. You haven't mentioned if you have priced any parts to see what standard, routine maintenance is going to cost. IN ADDITION to the monthly car and insurance payment.

It is definitely a good idea to have a dealership check it out. I would have them check EVERYTHING, not just the frame. It is the little things that can bite you. Like when was the last time a brake job was done? Do you have maintenance records of previous work including tune-ups and scheduled maintenance, i.e. has the timing belt been changed (if it has one), etc. At 100K miles I’m assuming a lot of things like that are coming due.

That’s just some simple advice from someone that’s “been there, done that!” :thumbsup
1. As long as it's fixed properly it should be fine
2. I don't think it is, I do believe the guy. He seems to be a reputable mechanic and two of my friends and their families have been taking their cars to him for years.
3. You gotta learn some how. I know HOW to drive a stick, I just haven't really had the chance to really do so.
4. Insurance will be more, but that's going to be almost any newer car. Right now I have liability only on a 12year old big slow car, it's not much. And I'm going to shoot to pay it off in a year. I've nearly got all the money for it so I could pretty much pay for it all now, but just so I'm not draining all my money at once I'll get a personal loan, and I have a solid job so I shouldn't have to worry about income. But that's gonna be any car, not just this one. And routine maintenance will probably be a bit more but not too much, especially depending on what your doing.

I know it sounds bad.

Brakes are new. Timing belt is new, water pump, spark plugs, clutch, flywheel (I think, I don't remember exactly). It just had a oil change. Uh, what else should I look into. I know it sounds sketchy, but I think it's alright. I just worry, so I ask about everything.

Don't worry, I will thoroughly make sure this car is solid before I drop the money on it. When I got my Thunderbird, I didn't look over it and immediately had to get brake lines drained, intake gaskets replaced, and tensioner pulley replaced. It was terrible, and ever since then I've been annoyed with my car. Every time I think "Ok, it's got to be fine for a while" something important comes up. So, I really want to make sure I get a good car, and with this one it already comes with a good mechanic.

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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 11:27 AM
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Cool. It sounds like you've done the homework. And it really helps that it is from a mechanic that you know. That makes a BIG difference (IMHO).

Good luck and post some pictures if/when you get it.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. It sounds like you've done the homework. And it really helps that it is from a mechanic that you know. That makes a BIG difference (IMHO).

Good luck and post some pictures if/when you get it.
I will if/when I do. The stealership wouldn't touch the car without $100, so I just decided, the owner seems to be a reputable mechanic, I'll just have him lift it up and double check everything and I'll do it with him incase I see anything that raises a question. The car has a few little things that make it cool that I would put aside, like cat back (I think, unless it's turbo back) exhaust, tinted windows. If it's all straight (and with how straight it drove it would have to be pretty straight) then with some paint on the hood and some detailing on the inside and out (which I can do) I think it would be one sharp car. The exhaust and tint is my favorite thing about THIS gti. It doesn't look like a "ricer", you can't see a huge muffler, just 2 tips, maybe 2.5-3", I'm not sure, but it's not loud like a fart can, it's just right. Probably the best sounding 4cyl I've heard. And the tint is very dark, which I like, though the cops might not, hopefully that wont be a problem, I wouldn't expect it to be. I'll meet with the guy tomorrow and probably snag some pics then. And if I get it (probably won't actually get it until tuesday or wednesday because of loan processing) I will spend an afternoon just cleaning it, and it should shine right up.
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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So I'm getting the car, but forgot to take pictures. So, tuesday I should have some, and it should be nice and clean by then.
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 09:43 AM
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What Year GTI???

they aren't that bad to work on, and you can get decent turbo upgrades for a little more then what was listed above for a stock replacement, like $1800 gets you a K04, Exhaust Manifold and intercooler from the likes of Kinetic Motorsports (my company deals with them.. even had a tour of their place ) heck shop around and you can get a stock replacement (new) for like $450-800

Also if you have a Laptop, i suggest going onto Ross-techs website, and getting their device.. Read Codes, Data log, Alter a few things things (if you dare), Upgrade/add items, all for like $400?

And i just recently swapped in a 2002+ GTI 1.8T DBW into a Replica Porsche.. (180hp in a 1800lb car, mildy scary ) using factory electronics
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 11:49 AM
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MazdaSpeed6's are known to have a smoking issue due to a bad turbo seal. If it idles for a while, then it will start to smoke. It is especially bad when exhaust work has been done; that is, if there are no cats.

Good luck with the car.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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2003 GTI. I seriously think the smoke was just from it being stalled so many times. I've driven it 3 times since and no smoke at all. The cats are still there, just from those on back has been done. The guy I'm buying it from is a mechanic and said "If you have any problems with it right after you get it then bring it back and I can fix it. Everything should be working well."
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 09:21 PM
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Check to see if the Divertor Valve has been replaced.. with the Audi TT version or other aftermarket (forged) version...

Well VWvortex.com is a great sire for information..
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Check to see if the Divertor Valve has been replaced.. with the Audi TT version or other aftermarket (forged) version...

Well VWvortex.com is a great sire for information..
What would that do?
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 01:33 PM
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Well the earlier non `upgraded' ones are known to leak/not close all the way specially the higher the boost levels... Mind you it'll throw a CEL if it wasn't working right.. (Yes the ECU is smart enough to know that)
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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No CEL's. Tomorrow I should finally be in possession of it (I hope). I was hoping to get it today but the current owner was too busy or something, I don't know. But I did tell him last week that I'll get it on Tuesday, so in his defense, it was unexpected for me to get it today. It's really annoying when the seller and the owner are 2 different people because trying to coordinate things are annoying. The seller is kinda like "Oh yeah, anytime, I'm flexible" and the owner is like "I'm too busy to do anything without prior notice, I don't even answer the phone unless I know you're going to call." So they have very conflicting availability.
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 11:26 AM
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No CEL's. Tomorrow I should finally be in possession of it (I hope). I was hoping to get it today but the current owner was too busy or something, I don't know. But I did tell him last week that I'll get it on Tuesday, so in his defense, it was unexpected for me to get it today. It's really annoying when the seller and the owner are 2 different people because trying to coordinate things are annoying. The seller is kinda like "Oh yeah, anytime, I'm flexible" and the owner is like "I'm too busy to do anything without prior notice, I don't even answer the phone unless I know you're going to call." So they have very conflicting availability.
Suggest you get that offer to repair the car in writing before handing over the cash.

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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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It was dark by the time I got home, so this was the best picture I could get. I'm gonna clean it up today and then take some more.



EDIT
More pics, after a thorough wash and an afternoon of detailing. I seriously didn't know the wheels would be that bright of a silver. It was pretty dirty, but cleaned up pretty well. I'm really happy with the car so far.






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