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Old 02-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
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White Smoke From Tailpipe

A couple weeks ago my wife was driving behind the SMB and stated that it was emitting a lot of white smoke when moving from a stop. She also said that it smelled very "diesel like". We've never noticed it before. It is a 2007 6.0 diesel.

This morning while driving the SMB I tried to pay attention to it (using the side view mirror). It spews white smoke from the tailpipe when accelerating from a stop. It does not seem to do this with a very light acceleration, but a moderate/normal acceleration causes this. The smoke expulsion lasts less than a second, but it is a very noticeable amount. Furthermore, it continued to do this after the SMB was entirely warmed up (FWT = 190; Trans = 170).

Is this somewhat normal or a cause for concern? Any ideas what it could be? Thanks as always for the help.

Geoff
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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White Smoke From Tailpipe

Is it only when the engine is cold? Is it using antifreeze? Has fuel mileage changed?

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Old 02-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

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Originally Posted by Zeta
Is it only when the engine is cold? Is it using antifreeze? Has fuel mileage changed?

Z


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Thanks Zeta. It happens when fully warmed up as well. I haven't noticed a change in fuel mileage. I will need to check on the antifreeze level, but all looked good last week when I was under the hood.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

My 6.0 also does this under certain conditions, although the smoke completely disappears well before it's fully warmed up. The pattern you describe related to acceleration etc. is exactly the same as mine.

I think it's important to consider the outside air conditions, since temperature, humidity and dew point will determine if the water normally coming out of the tail pipe is in gas phase (invisible) or vapor phase (white smoke). If outside air conditions are to blame for your white smoke, you will probably notice white smoke coming out of more than one of the other vehicles on the road.

My understanding is that if an injector fails, the unburned fuel that comes out will be white, and will smell like diesel fuel rather than diesel exhaust. Another thing to consider is that if coolant gets in there, it will vaporize and come out as white smoke as well, and you will notice decreasing coolant levels. I think blown head gaskets are a common cause of this.

There's a ton more information on this out there on the various diesel truck forums, just search for white smoke. Good luck...
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

IheartDieselVans - thanks so much for the detailed response. I took another drive this evening. So, I believe I was able to rule out weather conditions since it was in the mid 40's this morning and around 60 this afternoon. Also, none of the other vehicles around me this morning or this evening had the same white smoke behavior that I did.

It actually seemed to get worse this afternoon as the van warmed up more. When I first started driving it was barely noticeable, but then was extremely obvious towards the end. I checked under the hood and the radiator fluid in the reservoir does not seem to be low at all.

Not sure if there is anything else I can really check on my own at this point. Looks like it is going back to the dealership yet again
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:57 PM   #6
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

Sounds like a bad injector.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #7
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

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Originally Posted by saline
Sounds like a bad injector.
Wouldn't surprise me based on the "luck" I've been having. Two times in the last three months the SMB has been in the shop for FICM (fuel injector control module) problems. I guess on the bright side, it will not ruin a trip this time.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

I've had a couple of injecter problems, and both times there was black smoke. First time, LOTS of smoke and had to have two injecters replaced. Second time, as soon as I noticed some smoke I added a heavy dose of fuel addative and kept it up for a few tank fulls. Cleared up the problem. Now I'm pretty much a believer in the additive. If you're not using any, you might give it a try.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

Thanks Scatter. Which additive are you using? Stanodyne or something different? I will definitely give it a try as well. I'm just really weary of fuel injector problems based on the last several months of service "fun".
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: White Smoke From Tailpipe

I've been using two. I like the Opti-Lube summer formula. Main reason here is that it seems to be concentrated and one bottle will last me for a pretty long trip. I also have been using Red Line, 85 Plus! Both seem to be working for me.
On the last time I had the black smoke, I wasn't using any (I thot it was causing problems with my Espar furnace, but have found that if I don't over treat, there's no problem) and didn't have anything with me. I ended up going to gas stations and getting whatever was on their shelf and I used a double dose. Took a couple of tank fulls, but cleared up the injector.
You can ask ten guys on what is the best stuff to use and you'll probably get ten different answers. Plus some folks don't believe in using any at all.
The above is just what seems to be working for me. I'd sure try an additive afore I'd tear into the engine. Good luck!
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