White Smoke Under Hood - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 33 Old 09-02-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
SmokyRobAndSon
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White Smoke Under Hood

Or, "Dude, your engine's on fire!"

Greetings all. Long time lurker, first time poster. I have an ongoing issue with my Jeep. Internet searches, including this forum, and several visits to various mechanics have not found the cause. I'l try to keep it brief and include all pertinent info, hopefully it rings a bell with somebody.

2008 Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland with no mods. 220,000 km
Purchased used 4 years ago at 160,000 km. The problem started about 6 months after I bought it, well after the 30 day warranty. I've been faithfully maintaining all fluids and recalls.

Issue: Pure white smoke intermittently billowing from the engine compartment. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why it starts or stops. I can't count the amount of people who have honked and told me the engine is on fire.

It looks like it comes from the area directly behind the coolant reservoir. It's hard to see because the smoke stings my eyes. I can't even describe the smell except for "acrid", and it fills the cab when the fan is on. It doesn't matter if the fan is on or off, or if I'm using heat or AC, or if I'm towing anything or not. There are no warning lights, ODBII shows no errors, I'm not losing oil. The ONLY thing that changes when it smokes is that the temperature shows a very slight increase, barely half a notch over normal.

I've had it to several mechanics who were unable to find the issue because they couldn't recreate it. Like I said, it starts and stops for no apparent reason. On my second visit to the Chrysler/Jeep dealership, they said they did something to the swirl valves. That seemed to slow it down for about a year, but it still happened occasionally. I've probably dropped close to 5 grand trying to get this fixed. Now it's back to smoking every week or two.

Otherwise, I love this Jeep. It laughs at snow, and tows a ton like it doesn't even care. I'm going to try and catch a video of it smoking, but in the meantime, any ideas?

Thanks for any help!

Edit: Should mention that when I look in the oil fill-up hole, there's smoke in there too, but not sure if that's normal.

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post #2 of 33 Old 09-02-2017, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
SmokyRobAndSon
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Just managed to catch it on video after a 5 minute drive. This is maybe a fifth of how thick it can get. Notice the smoke simply stops at the end of the vid, but it was smoking at every red light before I parked.

https://youtu.be/dTLEJyTMD18
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-02-2017, 10:09 PM
badgerwithhands
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Have you removed the engine cover? Is it the orange intake seal? Have you checked the CCV? Have the oil cooler seals been replaced? Could it be during DPF regeneration cycles? Are the fuel injectors leaking (burning the foam "protection")?

07 WK Overland CRD, cargo LEDs, OME HD, MOPAR skids, rack,
future mods: tires, lights, CB, skids,
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post #4 of 33 Old 09-03-2017, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
SmokyRobAndSon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerwithhands View Post
Have you removed the engine cover? Is it the orange intake seal? Have you checked the CCV? Have the oil cooler seals been replaced? Could it be during DPF regeneration cycles? Are the fuel injectors leaking (burning the foam "protection")?
I don't know what any of these things are, but I will by the end of tomorrow. Thanks for giving me a place to start!
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-03-2017, 06:45 AM
badgerwithhands
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I'd start with the simplest first. Remove the plastic engine cover and the two foam pieces over the injectors. Run it like that for a while so you can at least see better when it starts to smoke again.

07 WK Overland CRD, cargo LEDs, OME HD, MOPAR skids, rack,
future mods: tires, lights, CB, skids,
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post #6 of 33 Old 09-03-2017, 10:33 AM
underscore
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Judging by the location and the strong smell I'd guess the CCV system is leaking. There's a few parts to it but Badgerwithhands dealt with repairing a leaking one as a replacement was expensive, start at post #223 and end at #239

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f67/c...2/index16.html

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post #7 of 33 Old 09-03-2017, 04:00 PM
azzkicker
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I saw the video, and you definitely seem to be burning something. It isn't coming from your coolant tank (my first thought), it's just being forced out by your cooling fan.

I'm wondering if your crankcase ventilation system is plugging up randomly. I'm not familiar with the systems being mentioned above, but they sound like they're onto something good. I would follow badgerwithhands and see where that goes. He seems to have a lot of experience.
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-04-2017, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
SmokyRobAndSon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerwithhands View Post
I'd start with the simplest first. Remove the plastic engine cover and the two foam pieces over the injectors. Run it like that for a while so you can at least see better when it starts to smoke again.
Excellent, I like this approach. I did what you said and drove around aimlessly yesterday, and again this morning, but was unable to catch it smoking. I'll be ready with the camera when it does, though. The foam pieces showed no signs of burning.

The left (or right, technically) side is certainly dirtier than the other, but I imagine that's an accumulation of soot from years of smoke. It's visible on the underside of the plastic cover as well. I'll include a pic, though I doubt much can be diagnosed from that alone.

Thank you for donating your time and expertise to an internet stranger, I really appreciate it.

i.imgur.com/o36avb6.jpg

Last edited by SmokyRobAndSon; 09-04-2017 at 06:47 AM.
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-04-2017, 09:37 AM
moonvan
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I would lean towards CCV issue as well. Its odd that its that random but it seems like the right area.

2008.5 Grand Cherokee S-Limited CRD
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post #10 of 33 Old 09-04-2017, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
SmokyRobAndSon
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How critical are these foam pieces and the plastic cover? Engine smells like a freshly powdered baby's butt every since I took them off. Might be weeks until it smokes again.
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post #11 of 33 Old 09-05-2017, 12:11 AM
badgerwithhands
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I never have mine on there. They are purely cosmetic. The foam pieces may also reduce sound from injector pulses

07 WK Overland CRD, cargo LEDs, OME HD, MOPAR skids, rack,
future mods: tires, lights, CB, skids,
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post #12 of 33 Old 09-05-2017, 12:18 AM
underscore
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I took mine off, I don't notice any change in noise and since the foam melts on contact with diesel I don't want to have to clean that mess up should an injector start leaking.

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post #13 of 33 Old 09-06-2017, 11:31 PM
wolf_7669
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I'm only speaking from experience with gas engines, but to me, it doesn't quite look like the bright white smoke of burning coolant (like the overflow tank dripping on the exhaust manifold) and would say it's probably oil burning. So my guess would be crank case vent as well. At least on my 4.7, the CCV has sections of rubber hose on it that could possibly be weak and collapse under the right conditions, plugging the system temporarily and causing a little oil to puke out onto something hot.
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post #14 of 33 Old 09-07-2017, 08:50 AM
Raffish
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Removing engine cover will gain you about 15 HP.... Maybe clean everything really well and then you might be able to tell if something is leaking? Start replacing all your rubber hoses, cheap maintenance...

05 WK Limited 5.7, QDII, OME HD, 265/70/17 1.25" Spydertrax, CC, 250xxxkms
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post #15 of 33 Old 09-08-2017, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
SmokyRobAndSon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerwithhands View Post
I never have mine on there. They are purely cosmetic. The foam pieces may also reduce sound from injector pulses
Quote:
Originally Posted by underscore View Post
I took mine off, I don't notice any change in noise
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf_7669 View Post
So my guess would be crank case vent as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffish View Post
Maybe clean everything really well and then you might be able to tell if something is leaking?
Thanks for all the input, very much appreciated. I've been waiting vigilantly for it to happen again, but nothing so far. Towed a ton yesterday and made a nice long trip a couple days ago. A watched engine never smokes? I'll clean the sooty bits today and that should make it clearer if/where oil is leaking. Cheers!
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