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Van smoke and power loss puzzle

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New User

Sep 29, 2016, 5:51 AM

Post #1 of 2 (629 views)
Van smoke and power loss puzzle Sign In

Hi to everyone,

I have a 2002 Ford Transit 2.4L diesel van that has done roughly 245,000kms (152,000 miles). I know this is not a unique problem, but my van is smoking and has power loss.

The most noticeable is at night which I know is more prominent because of the headlights behind me, but it billows out when I accelerate quickly or going up a hill. It also smokes at other times, and I have noticed it is more prominent around the 2000 rpm and upwards. When I accelerate quickly or going up a hill black smokes comes out, and at night time I notice what appears to be white smoke (I can't distinguish if it is white or grey, and I asked a stranger to push the accelerator down so i could see what colour the smoke was but of course murphy's law and no smoke could be seen on that occasion). I have noticed white smoke during the day time as well, and not just on start up.

So I know if it is black smoke then that means too much diesel is burning up, or too little oxygen is getting in. I have done some research and if it is white smoke then that suggests that the coolant could be leaking into the engine, or a possible blown head gasket.

So I went to the auto store and bought fuel additive that is supposed to clean out carbon buildup, and I bought a coolant leak fix liquid (I noticed the coolant level was dropping). The fuel additive did not seem to make any difference (I have travelled over 400kms (250 miles) since putting it in my fuel tank), but the coolant fix liquid did seem to at least stop further leaking (if there was any to begin with). I haven't added coolant since using the liquid fix. However that still didn't change the power of the van or decrease the smoke. So I went and bought an air filter and fuel filter and changed them, and straight away I noticed a power increase as well as far less smoke at night. However, it only lasted 2 days and both the power decreased and the smoke returned to its normal glory.

So I am no mechanic obviously, but I know it is a puzzle to work out. Unless it was a placebo effect after the air and fuel filters were changed, it must have sorted out the problem, even if only temporarily. So to me this is giving me a huge clue to what the problem was. The reason I am on here is because I want to voice my reasoning and see if my logic makes sense to anyone before I continue.

If the filters improved the situation then that means cleaner diesel and cleaner air was the cause. However, since things returned to how they were before, this is suggesting to me that it is not the air filter, because that will still be new and clean, but the fuel filter may now be more dirty and therefore the clue to what is happening. This is where I need help please - if i clean the fuel injectors, is there a chance this will solve the problem, and if so will it only work if I now go and buy a new fuel filter once they are cleaned? I only just bought my filters 2 weeks ago. To me it can't be a blown head gasket because changing the fuel and air filters would have not done anything to fix that problem. At least from my thinking. (Plus I am just being positive and not wanting it to be a blown head gasket haha). So I have a plan to set up my own rig in order to clean the fuel injectors, but if anyone thinks this is a waste of time, and if anyone can straight away see what they think is the actual problem, then please let me know. My business needs my van otherwise I can't work, and I need to get this sorted asap.

The only other thing I can find online that could be an issue is the EGR valve and/or fuel pump. However I have a plan to fix things in order of price and complication, so I will only move onto those if cleaning the fuel injectors doesn't work. I am doing everything I can to fix this myself, so any advice would be hugely appreciated!

Thank you in advance!


(This post was edited by Travis_Ryan on Sep 29, 2016, 5:59 AM)

New User

Sep 29, 2016, 5:57 AM

Post #2 of 2 (628 views)
Re: Van smoke and power loss puzzle Sign In

I forgot to mention that I did my research and it said that if I didn't install the fuel filter correctly then it will be very difficult to see if it is leaking (I assumed I would see liquid down the sides if it was leaking, but it seems it is not that simple), and will be a problem. My van had a strange setup from what I saw online, as it was a screw top with indents, and a separate plastic holder that tightens the filter. My next question is - if the filter is on incorrectly (which I really don't think it is, as it seems solid and I can't see leaks), will this cause loss in power and smoking?

Thanks again in advance!


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