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[Zafira B] [05---] Smoking Zafira after EGR valve blanked off.

Discussion in 'Astra, Corsa, Zafira, Meriva, Adam, Agila, Tigra & Nova [Includes AstraVan & ComboVan] owners forum' started by Hotblack, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. Hotblack

    Hotblack New Member

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    Location:
    Spain
    Opel Zafira 1.9CDTI 11/2005

    I'm getting the run around from my local garage as my Spanish is pretty rubbish and I'm not very mechanically minded but I would appreciate it if anyone can help with my problem so that I can go back armed with some suggestions.

    After 5 or 6 visits to the garage to resolve the stuttering problem (cleaned EGR valve, various other things cleaned, cleaned EGR valve again, blanked off EGR valve). We finally had the car driving without stuttering...but at a cost. I noticed that the Turbo had mysteriously disappeared and white smoke was coming out of the exhaust when sitting at the lights.

    The engine is not idling as good as it was (only got 50k km on the clock and was running very smooth to start with last year) and sometimes feels/sounds like it is about to stall. The engine doesn't sound or feel as smooth as it did, like one of the pistons isn't quite right. I'm not comparing to a petrol engine, just how it used to drive before the garage got their hands on it.

    I know I am shooting in the dark a little here but what I really need to know is:

    If the EGR valve is blanked off and the exhaust bypasses the DPI filter (and whatever else it by passes) is this likely to result in white smoke from the exhaust?

    The Turbo used to make a high pitched noise just before it juddered (a bit like the air brakes on lorries or buses, the one that makes you jump out of your skin when it does it right next to you) . Since the EGr valve being blanked, there's no 'pssst', no judder but no Turbo either.

    The slightly rough running of the engine is annoying because that opens up God knows how many possibilities which may or may not be linked with the white smoke so probably best I stick with the lack of Turbo and any connection between the EGR valve being blanked and the white smoke?

    Any help greatly appreciated as it's bad enough trying to deal with English garages let alone Spanish ones when you can't speak the language.

    Cheers
  2. nosybonk

    nosybonk Active Member

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    Location:
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    White smoke is condensation in the exhaust nothing to worry about and all the egr valve does is recirculates the exhaust gasses so you don't use as much fuel, and doesn't give out much bad emissions and the turbo could be gone as well If they have been playing about with the turbo
  3. bigjock

    bigjock VxON Medical Adviser

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    I didn't think it was advised to blank off egr valves in newer cars, i recall being told it was fine to do it in older cars but if you did it in newer car then you'd bugger the car. Your the first I have read doing this with the 1.9ctdi engine.
  4. rick45

    rick45 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    gainsborough, lincs, uk
    Drives:
    2008 zafira exclusive 19cdti 120 bhp in silver
    mine brought up eml when i blanked egr valve off so i unblanked it.
    then found out it could bugger the engine.
  5. Hotblack

    Hotblack New Member

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    I've been finding many more threads on this site where people have been blanking their EGR's off without having any obvious problems. Where did you find out it could bugger the engine? Are you talking specifically about the 1.9CDTi or all EGR blankers in general?
  6. Hotblack

    Hotblack New Member

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    Today the engine cut out as I was coasting to a stop in neutral (cut out whilst doing 40km/h so was some way off from stopping), it did this the other day as well but I let that one slide as a one off but twice in three days means there's a new problem. I've been using my local Renault garage to fix the Zafira as they've been pretty helpful with the Laguna but tomorrow I'm taking it to the Opel garage (hoping this time their mechanic won't be off ill like last time!) and will give them the list and see what they say. I'll mention that it has been suggested the EGR valve shouldn't have been blanked off on post 05 models and will report back what they say.
  7. Hotblack

    Hotblack New Member

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    Spoke to the guy in charge at the Opel garage (via my wife as translator) and told him the EGR valve had been blanked off by another garage and he said that they shouldn't have done that. I mentioned that lots of people had done it to cure the juddering problem and he said it could be done on older models but not newer ones. I asked what the difference was and he said the older models had mechanical EGR's and the newer ones were electrical. I wasn't able to press him further on what the difference was and why there had been a change but that can wait till next time. I did push him for a reason for the need for an EGR valve as there doesn't seem to be a good mechanical reason for having one and he said it helped fuel economy as well as reduce temperatures in the combustion chamber. There may be more reasons but my wife wasn't keen to continue and preffered for them to have a look and report back their findings tomorrow.

    This is the first time I've read (and now heard) that newer Zafira's shouldn't blank off the EGR valve. if you have any links to posts/info as to why this is and what the consequences/knock on effect could be I'd very much appreciate it.

    Cheers.
  8. bigjock

    bigjock VxON Medical Adviser

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    I can't remember where I read about blanking off egr's on newer cars, I think it may have been on astraownersnetwork or something? I guess it's because modern cars have far more electronic/computer controlled parts so if you mess with anything you upset the computer too! I'm on my 4th egr valve now but this one has lasted almost a year! needless to say it will fail again as soon as my 4th year extended warranty runs out!
  9. Hotblack

    Hotblack New Member

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    Back from the Opel garage and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised (but also quite annoyed at the first garage who seriously messed up). Actually, I'm not back but my wife is so this is her telling me what he said after translation so it may lose something along the way:

    EGR valve unblanked. There was a strange liquid inside the valve that they couldn't be sure what it was but has been removed (their words).

    The DPI filter appears to be the main culprit as it was very clogged up but they managed to clean it (have heard many times that these are often just replaced for £700 so I'm thankful they managed to clean it). The computer reported that the engine had attempted 5 'regens' but none had completed. This accounted for the higher level of oil than there should have been and they had to remove 2.5 litres. This is interesting because when we bought the car 2nd hand, I checked the oil and there was far too much in there. We took it to a Seat garage (as it was the only one open) and they removed nearly 3 ltrs of oil but they didn't offer any explanation as to why it may have been so high. Another symptom for others to watch out for).

    Only once did the coil symbol start flashing for me and a quick look at the book told me to take it for a run at high revs but 30 minutes in and the coil stopped flashing and the spanner light came on (and stayed on for the 30 minute drive home) so it would seem the regen failed then as well but I never found out why.

    The high level of oil was the cause of it smoking and now that this has been changed (he was very specific that it should be a particular oil, '5/30 dexos 2' is what it says on the bill) it's stopped smoking.

    The engine has lost it's 'rough running' and the idle is back to a nice smooth purr (no mention of what caused it or why its now resolved).

    So, after 5/6 expensive trips to the first garage who pretty much shrugged their shoulders as they couldn't figure out why it was stuttering (and blanked off the EGR valve as a last resort), the Opel garage got it first time. I asked the first garage early on "is there a way of telling if the DPI filter is close to needing to be replaced?" and was told "you'll know when it stops working". Shame they didn't have the sense to look at it and see that it needed cleaning :(
  10. rick45

    rick45 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    gainsborough, lincs, uk
    Drives:
    2008 zafira exclusive 19cdti 120 bhp in silver
    hi,
    can't remember which site it was on but it's on one of the vauxhall club's forums.

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