White Smoke at Idle

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:25 AM
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Default White Smoke at Idle

Hi Guys

Hope you can shed any light on this issue for me.

I bought a VW beetle approx 2 months ago. It's a petrol 2001 plate 1.6.
I have no problems with starting the car. No smoke nothing.
As the hot weather started to pick up last week, I drove approx 20 miles (in heavy traffic) and thick white smoke started coming out of my exhaust mainly when I was idling in traffic or when I accelerated off. Panicked I drove back home and googled it and it said a possible blown head gasket. I checked the oil level and there was barely any oil so I topped it up with fully synthetic. I checked the coolant tank and it's pretty full with a pink orangey liquid. I am about to drain it to it's maximum level (as it's way above) but I have monitored it and it hasn't gone up or down so it isn't leaking or pressurising. There are no signs of oil entering it either.
I checked the oil dipstick again and there was nothing except oil on there. No other substances or spots of anything. No milkshake looking substance!
There are no warning lights on the dash.
Went to some shops today and it was fine but again, when I went to Mcdonalds drive thru and I was idling it started smoking from exhaust. It's not a sweet smell, it's more of a burning smell. There's no warning lights on but it seems a tiny slight loss of power as I accelerate off- my car does bunny hops for a couple of seconds. (It could be me panicking and not wanting to accelerate hard) I drove home in a panic and the coolant is at the same level (still need to drain - will do that as soon as it cools down today) and oil is fine.

I'm baffled because I'm sure it isn't head gasket... could it be seals? It's only when it's fully up to temp and idling. I'm scared to drive more than a few miles incase it blows up on me!
 
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:12 PM
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It could be a blown head gasket but the cooling system would be pressurised and you would loose coolant. You need to cooling system pressure testing to see if pressure builds up quickly and test the pressure cap. Check for any visible signs of coolant dripping on the floor when you park up.

Just carry a gallon of water with you just in case.

https://volkswagenforum.com/forum/ne...gnature-34185/
 
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:22 PM
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I definitely don't think it's head gasket now as I'm not losing any coolant and I was told to test it by running the car from cold with the coolant lid off and looking for any bubbles. There wasn't any. The coolant isn't pressurising either.

I read another forum (admittedly for BMW, not VW) and they said it was the valve seals?!
 
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:50 PM
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Bad valve stem seals will cause it to draw oil in on induction because of the high vacuum and therefore oil will be burnt and it will show blue smoke in the exhaust. This will show up more if you overrun down a hill the put your foot down at the bottom.

Bubbles will form in the cooling system when the head gaskets has gone but you don't always see them while its idling.

White smake is normally seen in winter or o a diesel engine. Every gallon of gas/petrol you put in the tank you will get a gallon of water down the exhaust pipe thats a product of combustion. Thats why exhausts rot from the inside but all the water doesn't burn of if you only do short journey.

https://volkswagenforum.com/forum/ne...gnature-34185/
 
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:26 AM
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along with the good suggestions you are/will receive from the board you are better to get it inspected in any apt workshop as well .. for the cause of being on the safe side
 
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