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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    23

    Default 01 XC...tons of white smoke out the tailpipe

    Ok I know this is a bad sign. I was on a trip, when I noticed HUGE amounts of white smoke suddenly starting to come out of the tailpipe. Before, no oil had ever been burnt that I could see. Strange thing is, no warning lights came on, and the temp was steady at 1/2 the whole time. The car did not seem to drive any different or sound any different either. (no loss of power going up the hills or thubbing pistons.)

    I instantly pulled over and checked the oil cap. No signs of mixing oil/coolant on the cap. No floating oil in the coolant resivoir. I then checked the oil dipstick, and it was VERY low. Like 1/4 inch on the very tip of the dipstick. Something is causing this car to burn oil like CRAZY. The reason I think the white smoke is oil, is because it lingers in the air and creates a huge cloud, whereas I've heard coolant also forms white smoke but quickly dissapates.

    Of course my first thought was a blown head gasket, but it's not showing the signs. I am having it towed to a repair shop that specializes in volvos, but before it goes, I want to know what to expect and if anyone out there has had any of these same issues.

    The car has 103k miles. Could something in the turbo be leaking oil and causing it to be sucked into the engine and burnt?? This happened pretty suddenly. I am also concerned that no warning lights ever came on, it took me a while to look in my rearview mirror and notice the smoke! Any ideas...what should I be bracing for...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,404

    Default

    A bad sign it is, but it does sound like a coolant problem, seen the color of the cloud.
    You didn't notice the level of coolant in the expansion tank (or if there were bubbles forming in the tank)?
    It may be a combination of coolant and oil, but I have never seen a white cloud from oil.
    Willy
    144 GL (1974)--->244 GL (1982)--->940 GLE 2.3i (1992)--->XC70 2.5T (2004)--->XC90 T5 (2018)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Well a little more info I've found out...my regular mechanic said the engine did not overheat, and there definitely is no oil in the coolant/vice versa. So that is a releif. Perhaps the smoke would be described as "blueish"...just looked light in color, and there was a He** of a lot of it!! Like HUGE cloud engulfing the car. My mechanic said he doesn't do turbos, but it sounds like the turbo sprang a leak and basically was causing the huge consumption in oil. He said it was a very GOOD thing I pulled over when I did and had it towed, because the turbo would have burned up all the oil and siezed the engine.
    Now to the next step. I am taking it to a local independent volvo shop. The guy on the phone said chances are it needs a whole new turbocharger. And they run anywhere from 600-900 bucks, just for the part. Does anyone else know about how much these cost? It does not look fun to replace. Looks like a big bill ahead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Atoka, TN USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I have the same exact problem with my '01 v70xc with 140,000 miles. Lots and lots of smoke it looks like a forrest fire. I stopped by volvo dealer and talked to a mech and he said that it was most likely the turbo. Went home and pulled the air intake line off the turbo found oil in it. It looked like the oil was coming from the crankcase vent box but i'm not sure if it would suck the crankcase dry. I going to talk to a turbo rebuilder in town today and possibly another volvo mech. I'll update later.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Update: it was the turbo that failed. It basically starts sucking oil in and burning it and throwing it into the catalytic converter and making HUGE clouds of smoke...really quite incredible to see. The mechanic said the turbo part (OEM) is $900 and after everything is said and done with labor it will be $1350. That sounds reasonable for labor I guess. He said turbos fail quicker when the owners don't change the oil frequently enough, and that he would do it no less than every 3k miles, especially in the AZ heat.
    My debate now is after the turbo is fixed, on wether or not to keep or sell the car. I have a feeling the tranny might last another year but is shifting hard every now and then. So thats another $3500. Not sure what I want to do. I just want a car I can drive and not worry that it's going to break down....and I am used to Hondas so this is different for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Same thing happened to me today: No warning, sudden creation of heavy white smoke, and it happens immediately upon start up now. Smoke smells of burning plastic. Is this PCV , failed turbo, or failed lines. I hope to get in under the hood tomorrow - any key signs I should be looking for to make a better diagnosis?
    150k 2002 xc70

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    612

    Default

    Check the intake system piping downstream of the turbo. You are looking for excessive oil in the piping from a leaking turbo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    4,059

    Default

    How is your oil level...dropping?
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (114K, Michelin AS3+, LiquiMoly 0W40)
    2005 MB SL600 (50K, Michelin AS4, Mobil 1 0W40)
    2004 V70R (six speed M66, Mobil 1 5W30)
    2002 V70-XC (275K, HPL Euro 0W30)
    2002 V70-T5 (216K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (120K, IPD downpipe, cat back and other mods)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

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