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I replaced the Turbo on my 2007 almost a year ago because the actuator failed.

Since then I have an intermittent problem with smoke coming from under the bonnet. It happens about once every 2 or 3 weeks. I notice it when I pull up to traffic lights. It goes on for about 30 minutes getting less and less. If I stop the car and park it when I get back in the car it starts right where it left off and goes for the remaining minutes to roughly half an hour.

Its oil that is smoking....not steam or fuel.
There is no smoke out of the exhaust.
There is no oil dropping on the ground.
Catch can is fitted.....all the pipe joint are sealed with Permatex No3.
None of the pipes on top leading to the turbo leak any oil.
The fuel pipes are dry .....no seepage.
Swirl pot motor has been disabled since before the turbo was changed (resistor).
I cannot find any oil leaks on top from anywhere.
I have used an inspection camera to try and look at the rear of the engine to spot any oil leaks....I cannot see anything. The joints under the turbo are dry, and around the EGR and balance pipes.
Oil level does not go down.
Putting fresh oil in does not stop it or make it any less frequent.

And no there are no chaffed cables.....

I am getting pretty tired of people pulling up beside me when smoke is coming out of the bonnet and I am sat coughing in the drivers seat and asking me if I know there is smoke coming from the bonnet......grrrr!

It is probably a very very small oil leak that drips down on to the exhaust somewhere.....Any one of you fine gentlefolk have any ideas.....or do I just look harder.
 

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There is an Oil Cooler in the top "V" of the engine underneath the turbo inlet pipe.
You would have to remove the turbo inlet pipe to check, but it could be worth while checking for a weeping joint.

Wonder if looking at night time with a torch would help you see where the smoke is coming from ?

I cant understand why its so intermittent though.

Jack
 

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If that cooler leaks in the V then the oil is passed down by the turbo and channeled out over the starter motor (purpose designed valley and escape route).....I know,I've just done one and it was p1ssing out and this engine didn't smoke. Your's has got to be leaking onto the exhaust manifold somewhere for it to actually burn and smoke
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oil Smoke

I had not realised there was an oil cooler in there.

So from what is being stated any oil leak above the vee of the engine ends up getting through the designed drain route out to the starter motor. So to get on to the exhaust the oil has to be coming from the top or outside or rear of each cylinder cluster. The top of the valve covers are dry..........

I will have wait and try again when it happens in a couple of weeks. I have assumed it is so intermittent...but regular....because the leak is so small. A couple of small oil drops makes a lot of smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As I said in the original post it is oil smoke not fuel and not steam.

The smoke appears to come from the rear of the engine .....

No diesel smell at all......
 

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Thanks Petman...

I have the billet catch can fitted. I have checked all the joints and they are dry. I have also sealed them all with Permatex #3.

I fitted the catch can about a month ago and the problem has not changed.....I have repeatedly checked the pipe joints............ all are dry.

I experimented with a couple of drops of diesel on the hot exhaust and the smell of diesel is very strong quite unlike the smell I get when this happens which is why I am pretty sure its oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jackwalton

You mentioned the oil cooler...
After doing some serious googling the oil cooler keeps coming up with the OM642 engines. Is there any way that oil leaking from the cooler could finds its way onto the exhaust?

How much would I have to strip down to get at it......I don't really want to have to take the turbo off again...
 

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Jackwalton

You mentioned the oil cooler...
After doing some serious googling the oil cooler keeps coming up with the OM642 engines. Is there any way that oil leaking from the cooler could finds its way onto the exhaust?

How much would I have to strip down to get at it......I don't really want to have to take the turbo off again...
The Oil Cooler is well down in the "V" towards the front of the engine. I don't know if oil could get from there to the exhaust, I assume its possible, oil can get to most places eventually.. (Ray says not as there is a drain channel to take any leaks away from that area down to the starter motor area).

Its buried in the "V" towards the front of the engine.
I don't suppose the drain channel that Ray mentioned could be blocked.
May be worth while removing the turbo inlet pipe and inspecting the area below.

As an alternative buy some dye and an inspection lamp ?

Jack
 

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When the oil cooler leaks the oil is designed to go down a factory made hole to the right of the turbo as you look at it and then runs down the side of the starter motor, you can google all you like but I've personally seen and repaired one, there are 3 routes for oil leakage on the CRuD engine one on each cyl head and one from between the Vee. The oil cooler seal failure is known to MB for engines made before 2010 and have orange seals the replacement seals are purple, when the oil cooler leaks it spews out copious amounts of oil and I mean copious, the one we replaced was like spewing a river of oil and it didn't smoke at all so I doubt it's your oil cooler leaking, like I said before if it's burning from the exhaust manifolds then it must be leaking from above that point which could be the rocker covers or as Petman says the breather, which side of the engine is it smoking from. ?
 

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When the oil cooler leaks the oil is designed to go down a factory made hole to the right of the turbo as you look at it and then runs down the side of the starter motor, you can google all you like but I've personally seen and repaired one, there are 3 routes for oil leakage on the CRuD engine one on each cyl head and one from between the Vee. The oil cooler seal failure is known to MB for engines made before 2010 and have orange seals the replacement seals are purple, when the oil cooler leaks it spews out copious amounts of oil and I mean copious, the one we replaced was like spewing a river of oil and it didn't smoke at all so I doubt it's your oil cooler leaking, like I said before if it's burning from the exhaust manifolds then it must be leaking from above that point which could be the rocker covers or as Petman says the breather, which side of the engine is it smoking from. ?
Which oil cooler?
It sounds like you are describing the turbo air inlet pipe seal !!!

Oily exhaust fumes are likely leaking from the exhaust manifold joints at the turbo or from the EGR valve exhaust gas cooler that is mounted under the turbo and swirl valve and connects between the exhaust and inlet manifolds.
 

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Which oil cooler?
It sounds like you are describing the turbo air inlet pipe seal !!!

Oily exhaust fumes are likely leaking from the exhaust manifold joints at the turbo or from the EGR valve exhaust gas cooler that is mounted under the turbo and swirl valve and connects between the exhaust and inlet manifolds.
On the diesel there is an "engine oil" cooler that sits in the "V" of the engine towards the front. It is cooled by the engine coolant water.

The seals do sometimes leak oil, but as Ray says there is a run off built in that should carry any leaking oil away.

EDIT

Picture added for where cooler sits. Drain hole can be seen at rear of "V". As Ray says it looks impossible for oil to get near the exhaust from a leak in this area unless as I said previously, the drain run off is blocked


Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The smoke comes from the EGR side. I cannot see any signs of an oil leak using an inspection camera and i cant see any marks on the exhaust pipes.
 

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No Jack,the holes too big to get blocked so when the cooler leaks you know about it
 
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Since then I have an intermittent problem with smoke coming from under the bonnet. It happens about once every 2 or 3 weeks. I notice it when I pull up to traffic lights. It goes on for about 30 minutes getting less and less. If I stop the car and park it when I get back in the car it starts right where it left off and goes for the remaining minutes to roughly half an hour.

Its oil that is smoking....not steam or fuel.
There is no smoke out of the exhaust.
There is no oil dropping on the ground.
....
YES! this is EXACTLY the symptoms i am getting! intermittent smoke from the rear of the engine.

I've been all over this great forum for 6 years, and only just now got myself a login...

let me know if I should start a new thread or if this is solved and covered in another one, but the OP has described my current issue perfectly to the last detail - in the first post here.

07 CRD, turbo came off along with some other bits to access the infamous oil cooler, not a trace of smoke before, and now this since.
You know how smoke clings to surfaces...? really difficult to say where its coming from, rear of engine anyway, the OP has got me wondering about the turbo... could be a seal on there spraying something hot occasionally.

The weird thing is how is doesn't do it for a week or two... take it up and down the motorway, give it a good thrashing, whatever, not a peep ... then when it smokes, it really does... park up, leave it over night, two minuets round the corner to school next morning and smoke is wafting out ... just like the OP says... then it'll dry up again for a week or two???

It did make me wonder if the DPF has a bit of oil on, and it smokes when it does a regen... i.e. not smoking normally, but very definitely occasionally. id have thought the dpf got hot enough to burn oil all the time but.... an explanation.

One thing i can possibly add – you know how a car when ticking over will sometimes do a solenoid-ish type click, and the engine note/load changes a bit…? Well last night i was all over the engine with a torch, it was ticking over, smoke wafting out, it did this click and engine note change, and within 10-15 seconds the smoke had cleared up… this morning its clear and clean. Really hope this isn’t a red herring but… there you go…. Interesting.

Any ideas ? I’d be seriously glad.

Neilvha did you ever get it sussed out? Is there a way to nudge Neilvha direct?

Many Many thanks… after all these years, those near and dear to me are losing confidence in the old 300 which kinda starts spelling doom, unless I can sort it quick.
 

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YES! this is EXACTLY the symptoms i am getting! intermittent smoke from the rear of the engine.

I've been all over this great forum for 6 years, and only just now got myself a login...

let me know if I should start a new thread or if this is solved and covered in another one, but the OP has described my current issue perfectly to the last detail - in the first post here.

07 CRD, turbo came off along with some other bits to access the infamous oil cooler, not a trace of smoke before, and now this since.
You know how smoke clings to surfaces...? really difficult to say where its coming from, rear of engine anyway, the OP has got me wondering about the turbo... could be a seal on there spraying something hot occasionally.

The weird thing is how is doesn't do it for a week or two... take it up and down the motorway, give it a good thrashing, whatever, not a peep ... then when it smokes, it really does... park up, leave it over night, two minuets round the corner to school next morning and smoke is wafting out ... just like the OP says... then it'll dry up again for a week or two???

It did make me wonder if the DPF has a bit of oil on, and it smokes when it does a regen... i.e. not smoking normally, but very definitely occasionally. id have thought the dpf got hot enough to burn oil all the time but.... an explanation.

One thing i can possibly add – you know how a car when ticking over will sometimes do a solenoid-ish type click, and the engine note/load changes a bit…? Well last night i was all over the engine with a torch, it was ticking over, smoke wafting out, it did this click and engine note change, and within 10-15 seconds the smoke had cleared up… this morning its clear and clean. Really hope this isn’t a red herring but… there you go…. Interesting.

Any ideas ? I’d be seriously glad.

Neilvha did you ever get it sussed out? Is there a way to nudge Neilvha direct?

Many Many thanks… after all these years, those near and dear to me are losing confidence in the old 300 which kinda starts spelling doom, unless I can sort it quick.
Still got the beast and it continues to provide entertainment....that's 12 years now and 240,000 odd kms.
DPF is not a candidate at least not internally its totally enclosed and does not explain smoke when the engine is running (would come out of the exhaust at the smelly end).
After some time it was clear I had 2 sources of smoke.
First - some time after the initial post I found I had a weeping fuel line from a pipe clamp that after a couple of extra turns stopped leaking. This was producing smoke around the bonnet but with a diesel smell.
Second - back to the original leak and yes, Wellie, the turbo was replaced on mine and the smoke was after the replacement. I still don't have a clear explanation of what causes the smoke but I have not had a recurrence for over 9 months. I still get the occasional smell through the vents but no smoke. A very small amount of oil makes a very large amount of smoke so this sort of intermittent smoking is caused by a very small oil leak. The list of items 'fixed'.
Seal on turbo air intake (replace if the original orange one is fitted)
Seal the oil breather pipes with something like Permatex No3 include catch can joints.
Replace the seal on the oil filler cap and make sure the cap is on the right way (writing is correct way up from front). My favourite for an older car.........and one of the last things I did.

Stick with the old girl. Don't worry about changing the alternator for the 3rd time 'cause you still haven't got that drip cover fitted. Relax, I am sure the pink thingy will last forever. Get coil over shocks fitted and then enjoy the amazing change in handling and all else is forgiven.
 

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Neilvha! what a star! he comes straight back with many suggestions and kind words of encouragement, thank you thank you ?

I will work through your suggestions and report back.(y)

Those fuel lines, if i recall, are all pretty accessible on top aren't they? to filter, to injectors? or are there any buried ones i should seek out?

This car has very been good to me, i'll sort it if i can, thing is, it has to be on duty daily as a 'family car' to justify is existence... ?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Start with the easy return lines - low pressure. They have jubilee clips on mine. If you are going to check the fuel filter connections think about the mileage and consider giving the fuel system a flush and then perhaps change the filter. If you are not actually smelling diesel when it smokes its more likely oil. If you remove the turbo intake pipe have a look at the seals and replace if weeping.
Is there oil around the filler on the engine? Be careful the older the engine the more brittle the plastic gets.............

Before I changed the seal on the cap there was always a bead of oil around the cap.....very suspicious.

After years of having the air conditioning on recirculate I now have it on fresh air intake with, as I say, only the slightest whiff occasionally...definitely no smoke.....good luck.
 

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I have this as an intermittent problem, it’s an exhaust type smell and smoke comes from under the drivers side of the bonnet when closed.
its also hard to start as well, normally in the morning I turn the ignition on and wait 5 seconds and it starts straight away, now it turns over and takes 15 to 20 seconds.
 
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