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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 4708
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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my van has been losing power going up hills and sometimes on

Customer Question

my van has been losing power going up hills and sometimes on the flat as well. tonight white smoke came out the exhaust. could be the turbo and is it safe to drive ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Robert replied 4 years ago.



Hopefully I can help..


Have you noticed any sort of unusual noises from the turbo unit since this has occurred?


What mileage does it have and what sort of service history does it have?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ive not heard any unusual noises. the van has been serviced every year at the sae garage. the mileage is 170000. there as been no problems thus far with vehicle

Expert:  Robert replied 4 years ago.

Hi..thanks for getting back..


Ok in regards to possible turbo failure then usually you would expect to hear this louder then it should be due to it wearing out internally vane shaft via the bearing inside or seals allowing engine oil to leak into the induction system or pass into/through the intercooler pipe work and thus you would get blue smoke loss of oil it maybe well worth inc that into the checks anyway..However as you say the smoke is white then this can usually be caused by a number of things if its has diesel smell to it for example caused by incomplete combustion - Engine/pump timing out - Fuel starvation to the pump causing the pumps timing not to operate correctly - injectors failure too much fuel check oil level isn't way to high a sure sign diesel is washing past the pistons into the sump cause by a injector fault - Low engine compression headgakset possible failure if coolant is low and smoke is of coolant type smell - Water in the fuel or main diesel filter which would be well worth checking up on first.. or possible misfuelling with petrol..the best course of action really would be to have your local garage check each as they go maybe try the filter first so long as they have the proper equipment for it as above they should be able to narrow done each as above.but as far as driving then I wouldn't risk it as long as it to a garage to fully check this over.I do hope this helps

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

im sorry but that has told me nothing. all youve done is guess at what it might be. which i new before i talked to you so ive wasted 21 pounds

Expert:  Robert replied 4 years ago.



Well im sorry you feel that way..but you did mention in your "already tried section" nothing had been done? im sure you'll understand I can't be expected to know what you have done and what you haven't done and what sort of expertise you have to check this yourself or tools - equipment etc - you also asked if it was safe to drive? - ive gave advice above as that's what you asked? - you asked if it was turbo? again I gave the usual symptoms as above which you could check in theory the advice isn't guess work..these as above are the usual symptoms related the problem you have and this is what you or the garage even would need to work through as above to reach a conclusion in regards to the fault you have....

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok im sorry, i just wanted a definate answer which i appreciate is not easy. ive already paid out for new injectors and a starter motor, it seems one thing after another