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Thread: Black exhaust smoke on high revs, EGR light on, rough idles - 1.9 cdti 150 diesel

  1. #1
    Regular Member bananas's Avatar
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    Question Black exhaust smoke on high revs, EGR light on, rough idles - 1.9 cdti 150 diesel

    Hi, sorry this is a bit of an essay!...
    Just bought a Vectra 1.9 cdti 150 08plate diesel. I knew nothing about vectra's but bought it as it seemed decent enough and anyway, was a shed lot cooler than my Mondeo!



    Got it home, all good, but began to notice there was quite a bit of black smoke coming out of the exhaust. Funnily enough the EGR light came on about the same time.

    Had a man diagnose my fault codes, it was P0400, EGR valve blocked. He cleared the fault code, but obviously that didnt solve the problem..

    I followed the advice on the forum, took off the EGR valve which was caked with soot and cleaned it with Carb cleaner. The solenoid plunger was free and moved well when I pushed it in, so that was OK. When putting the EGR valve back on I noticed the inside of the Intake manifold was even more caked up with soot, almost seemed to be completely blocked. Gave that a clean as best I could.

    Started the car up, lots of black smoke, and then lots of frigging white smoke! Had a drive and noticed bad lack of power/turbo until 2,500-3,000 revs.

    After a bit more driving...

    The white smoke has died off but the black smoke is still there on high revs, its enough to make drivers behind pull back when it happens . The other issue is on cold start, low revs the car tends to stall, and idelling is generally very rough. And the EGR light is back on.

    1 more thing!... I took a look at the swirl bar (actuator) and it has fallen off. The swirl valves are kinder stiff to move but will. Valves 4 & 1 have a bit of soot build up around them. Valve 3 does move on revving.

    Questions....

    This is what I'm thinking of getting done:
    1. Re-attach swirl bar
    2. Blank off EGR valve
    3. Check turbo boost & intercooler hoses for splits / holes
    4. Carb cleaner through air intake to clean out manifold ?

    Will this be enough? Or will I need a new manifold?
    Last edited by bananas; 17th August 2012 at 11:18.

  2. #2
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    Trim : Sri nav

    Engine : Z19dth

    Year : 2006

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    New manifold first. You're losing boost through the top of your swirl flaps. Your engine thinks it's getting all the air it needs, so injects the normal amount of diesel, however it is actually too much diesel hence the unburnt gasses leaving the exhaust.

  3. #3
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    Don't waste time re attaching the swirl bar, it'll only pop off again & again.

    Check pipework for boost leaks, if there are none then the black smoke will be caused by the swirl flaps being left in the closed position... if i were you i would leave no 3 alone as it's moving, clean the area with carb cleaner & then bond the no's 1, 2 & 4 in the open position which is at 10 oclock.
    Unplug the egr valve, this is killing your manifold... more details are available on the forum if you search swirl flaps or inlet manifold.

    hth

  4. #4
    Regular Member bananas's Avatar
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    Thanks for your advice guys, I'll try bonding the flaps open and unplug the egr firstly, see what difference it makes. Then I guess the manifold is the next step... I'll let u know how I get on.

  5. #5
    Regular Member bananas's Avatar
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    OK, so had various diagnostics done, and learned that there aren't really any quick fixes. The proper solution is that I'm having to get a new inlet manifold.

    Bonding the flaps open might give you a more responsive engine & less black smoke but it's just patching over the problem, and according to some, not allowing the engine to work properly. Same goes for the EGR, blanking that is not a good idea, it's there for a reason.

    Once I've got this work done, I'm selling this car. I can't be doing with it.

  6. #6
    Full Member merikiito's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Insignia CDTi SRi NAV 160

    Trim : SRi

    Engine : A20DTH

    Year : 2009

    Mileage : 88000

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    First off what is the mileage? high mileage would indicate wear and tear, low mileage would indicate that everything is clogged up as diesels are not designed for low mileages.

    What mileage do you plan to do?

    Secondly people sell a car for a reason, most common one is that it has a fault and they cannot afford to fix it or they do not know whats wrong with it.
    If you are buying a car then you do some research into the common faults and check the car before purchase, also try and take someone with you who knows about cars. People have a tendancy to blame the car/manufacturer for the faults when most of the time it is due to a lack of research by the buyer.Faults tend to be caused by misuse or lack of servicing or the fact they brought the wrong car themselves (ie a diesel but do low mileage). A good blast down the road for 8-10 miles (petrol), 10-15 miles (diesel as it takes much longer to warm up) would show up most faults and I for one would not buy a car without an extended test drive (I have learnt my lesson the hard way as well!).

    Anyways I hope you get the car fixed, once fixed and checked for other common faults then the Vectra C 1.9 CDTi will serve you well as long as you are doing high mileage.
    If you do sell it on then good luck with the sale
    Lois Griffin: Peter! You're bribing your daughter with a car?
    Peter Griffin: Ah, c'mon, Lois, isn't 'bribe' just another word for 'love'?

  7. #7
    Regular Member Dan_BlackSRi's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra SRi

    Trim : XP NAV

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2007

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    I'd begrudge paying the money for a new manifold to then sell it straight away, did you get it from a garage..? Warranty maybe?

  8. #8
    Regular Member bananas's Avatar
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    First off what is the mileage? high mileage would indicate wear and tear, low mileage would indicate that everything is clogged up as diesels are not designed for low mileages.
    What mileage do you plan to do?
    The car's only done 74K miles.
    I only use it to go down to the gym every day so 5 miles a day for me. The wife, about the same. And then occasionally we do a long trip to family members 300 miles round trip, maybe once every 2 months.
    I came to the conclusion it was the wrong car for us once I discovered, like u say Merikiito, this car is built for long journeys.

    I'd begrudge paying the money for a new manifold to then sell it straight away, did you get it from a garage..? Warranty maybe?
    I got a "major parts" warranty when i bought the car from a dealer, but it was for engine. He's been good enough to compromise, I pay £300 and he pays the rest plus whatever else might just pop up.
    I don't know if I could sell the car to someone knowing it requires work like this.

    I've cleaned the EGR valve, so that's good for another 10K I would imagine. Do you think I could get £4k for it even if I declare the work needed on it to a buyer? Or , I'm thinking, it would sell easily for £4K if it had a new manifold?

  9. #9
    Regular Member Dan_BlackSRi's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra SRi

    Trim : XP NAV

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2007

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    Quote Originally Posted by bananas View Post
    I got a "major parts" warranty when i bought the car from a dealer, but it was for engine. He's been good enough to compromise, I pay £300 and he pays the rest plus whatever else might just pop up.
    I would class an inlet manifold as a major part for sure, as it is part of the engine - I recently bought a CDTi that needed the inlet manifold replacing, as they garage I bought from did it with no quibbles at all. I'd push harder, after all, he has sold you a car with a fault.........

  10. #10
    Full Member merikiito's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Insignia CDTi SRi NAV 160

    Trim : SRi

    Engine : A20DTH

    Year : 2009

    Mileage : 88000

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    your right, you are doing too low a mileage for a diesel in its current form. The short trips you are doing will not even allow the car to warm up (chances are your thermostat is knacked as well which is a common fault). you would need at least a 10-15 mile run to get the car up to full running temp.
    Apart from selling it you have another option which is to get the EGR mapped out along with a performance remap. This should cure the EGR issues and put a smile on your face when you use it, cost £200.

    TBH the best bet would be to get a 1.8 VVT engined Vectra C (other car brands are available ) and I am sure sure there is a few members who would swap with you!
    Lois Griffin: Peter! You're bribing your daughter with a car?
    Peter Griffin: Ah, c'mon, Lois, isn't 'bribe' just another word for 'love'?

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