Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail Diesel Engines

Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail Diesel Engines – This time I will discuss the problems in diesel engines that use the common rail system. I will start from the simplest solution to the most complex. However, this is only the outline. For technical matters, you can learn it yourself or take it to a workshop. However, the following article at least helps you to analyze the problem of common rail diesel emitting white smoke.

Read more: 9 Main Causes of Common Rail Diesel Engine Difficult to Start

Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail Diesel Engines


All users of common rail diesel engines must understand how miserable it is when there is excessive white smoke from the exhaust. Unfortunately, this problem, which is common among turbo diesel users, is misdiagnosed. In the end, it’s not just money that goes out in vain, but the problem doesn’t go away.

Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail
Many things can cause a diesel engine with a common rail system to experience white smoke problems. It ranges from trivial things like dirty intake manifold to ECU problems – Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail.

One such case is in a white-smoking Ford Everest common rail vehicle. Incidentally, this is the 2014 Ford Everest SUV. The Ford Everest in this case has an engine capacity of 2,500 CC with a turbo diesel. The car has covered a distance of about 35,000 km. So when the owner went on a trip, suddenly he started blowing white smoke. Worse, this common rail SUV occasionally black smoke.

Vehicle owners began to realize the problem. And even then he realized that this is a problem that haunts many owners of common rail diesel engines. From here we will begin to analyze, what actually causes the common rail engine to smoke white.

Read more: 10 Causes of Black Smoke on Common Rail Diesel Trucks

Before continuing, please refer to the diagnostics of the color of the diesel smoke in your car. It is clearly displayed, if the colors are white and black, which part should be checked? I also tried to eliminate this problem, gradually.

Radiator Coolant Check

The first step, eliminating the problem of water in the fuel and turbo problems. I mixed three cans of Lambda Tank diesel to remove the water. In addition, I increased the cetane value in diesel. The white smoke disappeared immediately. Unfortunately, this only lasted a week. After that, no matter what I did to the fuel, the white smoke remained stubborn.

Turbocharger Trouble Check

Next, I check if the turbocharger has a problem. The easiest way, remove the line from the air filter to the turbo input, then try to move the turbine by hand. If the turbine moves a bit, it means that the turbo seal is damaged. Turns out the turbo is still healthy.

To be sure, you can remove the turbocharger unit from the engine. After that, check if there is a buildup of excess oil on the exhaust side of the turbo. Again, no problem there. The turbo is healthy, and I don’t have to shell out for repairs or replacement of the turbocharger.

Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail
Causes of White Smoky Common Rail Diesel Engine.

Injector Nozzle Inspection

Skip to the next step, which is to check the injector nozzle. For that, there is no need to remove the injector. I only check the engine via a scanner to the ECU, which will show if there is a problem through certain codes. As a result, everything is still good. And even the common rail fuel pump works according to specifications, which gives a pressure of 30,000 psi.

Read more: Ford Ranger Hard to Start when Engine is Hot

Just to be sure, I only pay attention to the engine when it’s running, is the sound rough or there are excessive vibrations? The result is good, the machine is safe. I started unplugging the electrical connectors to each injector one by one. If the injector in question is damaged, the injector will stop spraying diesel fuel, and the smoke will disappear. Again, all injectors were safe, and smoke still appeared.

Cleaning the Intake Manifold – Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail

The fourth step is to clean the intake manifold. When I opened the air hose to the intake connected to the butterfly valve, I saw a buildup of oil that had hardened to become tough and sticky.

This oil comes from the engine breather. In this section, the oil will increase when the piston rings are dirty, and reduce cylinder compression drastically. I used Lambda Primer to clean carbon deposits and residual oil, after that I changed the engine oil. This step will restore the engine compression to nearly new.

How to do Intake Cleaning?

There are actually two ways to clean the intake manifold. First by removing the intake manifold from the engine. This method is quite tedious and tedious. The second way, as I did, uses Lambda Tank Diesel for up to 3 cans. Followed by the use of the intake cleaning kit. When finished, the engine response becomes more fierce. Unfortunately, white smoke still appears.

Read more: Supply Pump Common Rail Diesel Engine Works

I also removed all the engine air inlet hoses, as well as the intercooler, then cleaned all the devices from the oil buildup. To reduce the accumulation of oil, I installed a cheap oil catch tank. Because the size is not right, so I added an oil filter element to the oil catch tank, which will catch the oil vapor.

Cleaning EGR

The fifth step, check the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). Many turn off this EGR, but I don’t recommend it. I removed the EGR valve and cleaned up the oil build-up. Quite a lot too, so that when reinstalled, the engine becomes even more responsive. However, white smoke still appears.

Reset ECU

The last step is to reset the ECU. The reason is, that steps 2 to 4 before, affect the engine timing. I unplugged the ECU fuse for 10 minutes, then plugged it back in. This will reset the ECU, and the ECU will read from the clean sensors.

The result, of course, the diesel injection timing will be more precise, in accordance with the previously cleaned innards of the engine. And this time, it worked. The white smoke is gone, and the exhaust gas doesn’t smell like it used to.

Conclusion – Overcoming White Smoke on Common Rail

It is not easy to solve problems in the common rail system. Although this technology is already quite popular in the community, the problem is quite complicated for us to solve. From the case I shared above, it is clear that to deal with common rail we have to do it in stages. Because of the 6 steps to overcome the white smoke common rail above, it could be that only until the 3rd stage your diesel engine can run properly without being disturbed by white or even black smoke.

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