Alpine diesel & just got back from snow; steamy exhaust ?

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 15:06
ThreadID: 14764 Views:4007 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Just got back from the snow and it was a learning experience. Kids loved seeing snow for the first time and I was aquainted with Alpine diesel - did not know that standard diesel will freeze and stuff fuel pumps etc - anyway a little bit smokeyer. We stayed at Talbingo $80 for a house , good value. Conditions were icey just until Saturday when we were travelling home, we headed across Snowy Mtns HWY from Talbingo to Cooma and ran into the snow, a good 6 inches of snow across road in places, plenty of cars could not stay on the road, bit wary of other road users not making the corners coming towards you. Even saw some Japanese that had ran out of fuel between Talbingo and Selwyn (idiots), the blizzard was only just about to start. Our kids were rapt that the snow was soft, as the days before the conditions were too icey for them to make snow men and the snow balls hurt when they hit - the fresh snow was a real treat.
Anyway the trip went well and we are glad we got out when we did from all the road closures; BUT that smokey exhaust well it is more than the Alpine Diesel - when we first arrive at Tumut (had not seen the snow yest) the car made some particular bubbling noises from the radiator, after it cooled down I topped up the radiator and did this several times in the trip. I have anti freeze in it so that was not the problem, anyway the smokey exhaust which I thought was just the norm for Alpine diesel, I noticed none of the other diesels doing the same !!! A quick sniff of the exhaust and with a whitish look to it and a smell like coolant, I believe that I may have a blown head gasket or cracked head. I know this is a common problem of early model Surfs, but the 3L KZN-TE intercooled motor which is the same one as the latest Prado - did not know this was an issue. Anyway I think I have an expensive repair bill coming, but the snow was fun.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 15:17

Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 15:17
Yea, if your car is overheating in alpine regions then you have issues.

Also driving it more and more after finding issues, can cause bigger costs, but its a rock and hard place, what else are you supposed to do...

hopefully it wont be too much..

Photos of the trip?
AnswerID: 68267

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 19:12

Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 19:12
Truckster, took heaps of photos of the kids not many of the car though. Problems down loading the camera to computer at present but will get them loaded onto disc tomorrow. Been driving today, uses water but no white smoke, but using water, bubbles in radiator. It only started to overheat when I was at a stand still in traffic - only noticed it in Tumut and Cooma. Have you heard of any Prados with this issue ? Might be a good time to trade in.
FollowupID: 328894

Reply By: navaraman - Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 20:51

Sunday, Jul 18, 2004 at 20:51
Jeff, I had similar smoky symptoms but no coolant smell last week at Mt Hotham. The higher up the hills I went the smokier the exhaust, also had a "misfire" near the tops as well. Everything was fine at lower altitudes. My car is a 3.2 na diesel.
AnswerID: 68318

Reply By: Des Lexic - Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 10:11

Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 10:11
Jeff, How long since you replaced the coolant in your vehicle, as it should be done at 12 month or 2 yearly intervals depending on your local conditions.
AnswerID: 68396

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 11:44

Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 11:44
Havn't heard of any of the KZN-TE's cracking heads, some of the 1kzTE's have, but probally more due to them overheating (not servicing raditaor) and running water instead of toyota coolant with an alloy head.
How many k's your surf done now mate? Have you ever over heated it? (other than on the weekend)
Do you run toyota coolant?
AnswerID: 68415

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Sunday, Jul 25, 2004 at 12:31

Sunday, Jul 25, 2004 at 12:31
Took the car for a radiator desludge 3 months back, don't know what coolant was used. Car has not been smokey since trip, will get the vehicle checked ASAp as at present recovering from knee operation. Will also get the radiator cap checked hopefully this is the problem.
FollowupID: 329811

Reply By: Davoe - Sunday, Jul 25, 2004 at 18:54

Sunday, Jul 25, 2004 at 18:54
Sorry bout the late reply but your symtems are exactly what I experienced with my 2h motor and despitemy best hpes coz there was no coolant in the oil I was up for a new head
AnswerID: 69562

Reply By: awhit - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 18:17

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 18:17
I had a very bad expensive experience 2 weekends ago at Falls Creek 'cos my diesel waxed up (froze) and I had to get RACV tow the car 30km down off the mountain to Mt Beauty so as to thaw it out. (BMW X5).

Incidentally Rob, the mobile RACV man from Bright gave up trying to heat my engine with a gas heater as I had waited for 3 hours form him to arrive and by 6pm it was getting pretty damn cold. He said too much plastic under the BMW bonnett and did not want to risk it getting messed up. Rob tried hard and had same probs with lots of diesels that weekend.

Car was towed to Pyles coaches in Mt Beauty to thaw out and they sell Alpine Diesel.They also sell a miracle addative to fix what you have remaining in your tank at ~30cents per litre.
I keep getting conflicting reports of what to do to prevent same again and have called Shell, BP, RACV and BMW and searched the web wide and far..

Some recommend a cup of kero as an addative to stop the waxing (BMW say definitely not as it wrecks the injector system) some say only Alpine Diesel but that freezes at -4deg C (I probably had BP's winter diesel in the car and that freezes at 0 deg C---and it is colder than that there now in the evenings say minus 5 deg C! Some say an addative but what one? Most S/stations closeD when I go through each weekend say Mt Beauty (which has Alpine Diesel) and Myrtleford (may have but not confirmed yet). If that is the only solution it is hard to balance the tank to arrive empty for fillup.
Some say add heating oil but I cannot believe thas.- others say add "diesel power"- an addative.
I am very confused and this weekend go to Mt Buller for ski races.
What to do?????
I do not even know that Alpine Diesel is availble in Mansfield following a check on your website.
Anyone have any experience with this problem.
I called BMW Courtesy number and they guarantee free towing in first year but refused same as they said they had ~100 cars stranded that weekend between northern NSW and southern Vic. Said it was my problem.
Spoke to son of Bib Stillwell BMW and they are "looking into it but said it was new to them as they only started importing Diesel BM's into Oz recently 'cos of aussie fuel probs with sulphur."
AnswerID: 70252

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 21:10

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 21:10
Bit embarrassing to be towed with a brand new BMW. I know I was not really clued up on the Alpine diesel thing, just went to fill up and saw Alpine diesel and I guessed it was the right thing to do. I got a diesel mechanic to look at it and he said that when the engine is running he could see bubbles in the radiator over flow tank which I had observed on the trip - not good. Anyway car has stopped being smokey and I did a run down the F3 from Gosford to Sydney - no problems with over heating or loss of water but will have to fix it soon. Thinking of up grading soon , so I was looking at trade in but they won't give me what I want for it - and also if I sell it privately I cannot sell it with the knowledge that there is a problem (just can't be a bastard). So next week we are going exploring to see what the problem is - hopefully only a head gasket ( there goes around $3K - my wallets starting to hurt).
FollowupID: 330685

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