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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Old 04-30-2011
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Question White smoke

I recently used rydlyme to descale my Perkins 4.236 engine
The oil Dipstick shows no water contamination
The green antifreeze shows no oil or fuelNcontamination
The engine seems to run fine and I see no leak anywhere

Why do I keep seeing white smoke?
This is not the Vatican and I am not looking for a new pope

How do I trouble shoot this?
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Old 04-30-2011
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white smoke

I would be suspect of a head gasket right off the bat. If you can try to smell the smoke does it smell sweet? How many hours on the meter?
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Old 04-30-2011
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It's not uncommon for some white smoke to be coming from the exhaust. It doesn't take much water to get it, and this can often come right from the fuel. If you are truly concerned about it do three things: 1) A compression test, and 2) A crackle test on the oil (put a few drops of oil on some tin foil, heat it, and if it crackles you have water in it), and 3) Send some oil away for testing (Mack-Boring will send you a test kit which you ship back to them, and a few days later you'll get a complete breakdown of all contaminants in your oil). Most often it tends to be some moisture in the fuel.

Does the white smoke go away after a while? Is it thick or thin? Does it change from thick to thin over time?
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Old 05-02-2011
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I have a 30 year old Yanmar 3gmd (bought boat a year ago). I get white smoke after engine is warm up and when running the boat at hull speed (normally about 2000 rpm). The engine does not overheat, I have replaced all filters, removed and cleaned tank, and put in new fuel. Compression seems good (although have not done a check). Exhaust smell like diesel exhaust. I am not sure why engine runs like this but it does run ok.

I am thinking maybe my fuel injectors might not have a good spray patern. I have been using some injector cleaner but have not noticed improvement. Engine starts right up.

I too would like to know why the white smoke. I am in Hawaii so it is not like the smoke is due to cold weather or high relative humidity where you might expect to see condensation on the exhaust. I think I will just keep running like it is until the engine starts giving me other problems (which it may never do- hopefully).
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