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Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:04 pm    Post subject: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Full of questions today, sorry if these have been asked but I couldn't find anything on the forum.
I bought an '89 Vanagon with an automatic 2.1l engine last August, and it's had 2 oil changes since then (by me) that have resulted in thick grey/dark or white smoke while driving immediately after. The first time was in September (with 20w50), & we pulled over to drain the old + new oil; the 2nd time was last week after adding 15w50 oil to an empty chamber. I ordered a new Wix oil filter and some lighter engine oil to add & will see if that remedies the issue.

The second problem started last week. I haven't driven the van since getting it out of the shop after 4 months because the PO's tires were 12 years old. My new tires came in last week, so I went out to the van to head to the shop to get them mounted (since it's only 4 minutes away), and after starting it fine & turning it off, it wouldn't start. It cranked a few times but nothing (this is when I added oil). I ended up flooding the engine a little and it turned right on. The exhaust was smoking but we made it the 5 minute drive. Tires got put on, we head out. No smoking but van started stalling and eventually gave out at a red light. This time when turning the key it wouldn't even crank. The battery didn't seem to be dead because the headlights & interior lights were working, but the emergencies would go in and out. This was just a 5 min drive home! The battery died between now and then because the side door cracked open slightly during the tow back home.

Jumped the battery today & lights came back. Still wouldn't turn over or crank, but it was making some sound/effort compared to when it crapped out. Not sure if another light was left on or what, but a few hours go by and it's dead again. I'm hoping now that Chicago is out of the 15 and below weather that it'll be a little more responsive. I'm reading through the manual for possible solutions, but any real time advice would be lovely!!

Edit: A few weeks ago (before temps got below 30) I ran the van for about 30 min on 2 separate days with no issue
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

First things first. You have to verify that the battery is charged and connected solidly. If you have to take the battery out and bring it someplace to have it tested then do that. When you have a good battery we can go from there.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Quite a few symptoms in there but I'll offer some thoughts:

You do not want to over-fill the oil - most find that the ideal level is well below the max mark, possibly about t third of the way up from the min mark.

White smoke is typically not oil - more often coolant or (rarely) brake fluid. Worth figuring out where the smoke is coming from and what it smells like.

A battery can have enough of a charge to illuminate the lights and still be nowhere near strong enough to crank the engine. You may have a dead or dying battery - a condition that is made worse by cold temps. Most auto parts stores can do a load test to assess battery condition.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

When it is cool out all combustion engines will give off water vapor which looks like white smoke. Does the white smoke have a smell?
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:29 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Igeo wrote:
First things first. You have to verify that the battery is charged and connected solidly. If you have to take the battery out and bring it someplace to have it tested then do that. When you have a good battery we can go from there.


The battery was tested while it was in the shop over the fall and they verified it was in good working order. It's a group 41 Napa battery. Is it possible the battery condition has declined since bringing the van back home this past December?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:33 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

heavymetaqueen wrote:
Igeo wrote:
First things first. You have to verify that the battery is charged and connected solidly. If you have to take the battery out and bring it someplace to have it tested then do that. When you have a good battery we can go from there.


The battery was tested while it was in the shop over the fall and they verified it was in good working order. It's a group 41 Napa battery. Is it possible the battery condition has declined since bringing the van back home this past December?


Itís not just possible, itís inevitable. It needs to be on a charger if out of service longer than a month
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
heavymetaqueen wrote:
Igeo wrote:
First things first. You have to verify that the battery is charged and connected solidly. If you have to take the battery out and bring it someplace to have it tested then do that. When you have a good battery we can go from there.


The battery was tested while it was in the shop over the fall and they verified it was in good working order. It's a group 41 Napa battery. Is it possible the battery condition has declined since bringing the van back home this past December?


Itís not just possible, itís inevitable. It needs to be on a charger if out of service longer than a month


Face palm. Thanks for helping, running to Autozone right now.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

I would get Interstate batteries from NAPA. Autozone/Advance sell batteries with really short warranties. Interstate batteries can be 3 years free, 6 years pro-rated, which is great.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Maybe I missed it, has the battery been fully charged, and THEN tested with a battery tester before condemned as bad?
Next, is the ALTN working correctly, has anyone put a meter on the battery terminals and checked operating voltage once you get the Vanagon running.
Poor voltage output could as simple as a worn Voltage Regulator having worn brushes, and you might not get a warning light on in the Cluster if you're just at the threshold for it coming on.
Let us know how it turned out for you if you're still making that trip to the Parts Store for a new battery.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

^^^

i use to pound my chest and was a dyed in the wool Interstate guy up until about 5 years ago.

Interstate is overpriced junk anymore and they just don't last. I have been suggesting to people that they buy the biggest, cheapest battery that can fit into the hole.

The only exception to that is cars that have to have the battery programmed to the car (pretty much anything 2014 and newer) in those cases it's OEM/OEM equivalent because you need the code off of the battery to program it to the car.

I use to peddle a LOT of Interstate batteries. I had more than one go tits up in 12-14 months and fought the rep on warranty so much I told him take his rack the f*ck out of here.

Of course that sent the district rep to me, who basically admitted that they have been cheapening out on their batteries. At any rate they are all (99% anyway) made by Johnsen Controls or Exide Technologies in PA. and they just slap their stickers on them and adjust the price accordingly.

sorry for the rant, batteries are a sore subject for me seeing i have 10 cars 6 farm tractors and a couple trucks (some of which take 2-4 batteries) that i would average 8 years before replacement....now it's every 3-4 years like clockwork Evil or Very Mad
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

jlrftype7 wrote:
Maybe I missed it, has the battery been fully charged, and THEN tested with a battery tester before condemned as bad?
Next, is the ALTN working correctly, has anyone put a meter on the battery terminals and checked operating voltage once you get the Vanagon running.
Poor voltage output could as simple as a worn Voltage Regulator having worn brushes, and you might not get a warning light on in the Cluster if you're just at the threshold for it coming on.
Let us know how it turned out for you if you're still making that trip to the Parts Store for a new battery.


I jumped the battery yesterday and it still wouldn't turn over. About 2 hours later it was dead again.
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
^^^

i use to pound my chest and was a dyed in the wool Interstate guy up until about 5 years ago.

Interstate is overpriced junk anymore and they just don't last. I have been suggesting to people that they buy the biggest, cheapest battery that can fit into the hole.

The only exception to that is cars that have to have the battery programmed to the car (pretty much anything 2014 and newer) in those cases it's OEM/OEM equivalent because you need the code off of the battery to program it to the car.

I use to peddle a LOT of Interstate batteries. I had more than one go tits up in 12-14 months and fought the rep on warranty so much I told him take his rack the f*ck out of here.

Of course that sent the district rep to me, who basically admitted that they have been cheapening out on their batteries. At any rate they are all (99% anyway) made by Johnsen Controls or Exide Technologies in PA. and they just slap their stickers on them and adjust the price accordingly.

sorry for the rant, batteries are a sore subject for me seeing i have 10 cars 6 farm tractors and a couple trucks (some of which take 2-4 batteries) that i would average 8 years before replacement....now it's every 3-4 years like clockwork Evil or Very Mad


What battery would you suggest? I've seen Interstate plugged a lot on this forum and I'm deciding between a H6 Interstate and a Group 48 NAPA. The van currently has a Napa group 41.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

I don't see where you have attached a volt meter to see what is actually going on yet. There are some very experienced members that are willing to help you, but at minimum, you need a volt meter for verifying electrical circuits. A 12 volt testlight is handy to a point when you don't need to know a specific voltage only that power and grounds are good.
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
I don't see where you have attached a volt meter to see what is actually going on yet. There are some very experienced members that are willing to help you, but at minimum, you need a volt meter for verifying electrical circuits. A 12 volt testlight is handy to a point when you don't need to know a specific voltage only that power and grounds are good.


I don't own a volt meter, so I'm disconnecting the batt and taking it to Autozone for testing
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Pick up a volt meter while you are there. Not expensive and invaluable as has been stated. You can check your alternator output too then. When you have a good battery and a verified alternator that's charging, we can help with the rest.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

My point is you really need one. Amazon for less than $20 will get you set. Put it in your arsenal.

You need to know the battery voltage at rest.
You need to know the battery voltage when you attempt to crank and during cranking
You need to know the voltage when the engine is running.

Without that information you will be guessing.

You can run an engine for likely 2 hours with the alternator not charging. It would start fine and run fine, but the next time you went to start it, there wouldn't be enough voltage.

So assuming your battery is dead and a new battery gets the van starting, it may not last for long.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Alternatively, get a plug in volt meter for your cigarette outlet. This way you don't need to know how to use a multimeter. Yes, it's not as useful. It is far easier to use though. It should read battery voltage when the car is off and alternator voltage when the car is running. It is not going to be as precise as reading directly off the units though. Instead of 12.6v you might see 12.5v, but it is certainly accurate enough to diagnose things. If you see 7.8v, you know the van isn't going to start.

https://www.amazon.com/Palumma-Charger-Adapter-Display-Battery/dp/B0773BYS6P/

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


[email protected] wrote:
I use to peddle a LOT of Interstate batteries. I had more than one go tits up in 12-14 months and fought the rep on warranty so much I told him take his rack the f*ck out of here.


Sorry to hear that. I guess my experience is not having to deal with the rep. I just deal with NAPA. I actually had one go bad just a month ago that was 3-4 years old (similar to your experience), but it was easily pro-rated with no hassle. Compare that to Autozone where they tell you to pound sand after 1 year.
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Last edited by 4Gears4Tires on Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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heavymetaqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
My point is you really need one. Amazon for less than $20 will get you set. Put it in your arsenal.

You need to know the battery voltage at rest.
You need to know the battery voltage when you attempt to crank and during cranking
You need to know the voltage when the engine is running.

Without that information you will be guessing.

You can run an engine for likely 2 hours with the alternator not charging. It would start fine and run fine, but the next time you went to start it, there wouldn't be enough voltage.

So assuming your battery is dead and a new battery gets the van starting, it may not last for long.


Are you recommending I grab a volt meter and do this myself instead of lugging the battery to Autozone to be tested?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

Yes, that is what he is suggesting. It is a very useful tool to own. You can buy a multimeter from Harbor Freight if you have one nearby for less than $10.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Smoke after adding oil and no crank engine Reply with quote

heavymetaqueen wrote:

What battery would you suggest? I've seen Interstate plugged a lot on this forum and I'm deciding between a H6 Interstate and a Group 48 NAPA. The van currently has a Napa group 41.


Bosch S5 Grp48 or WorldPac's Grp48 AGM or standard batteries are all excellent choices.
Expensive, but well worth it.
Interstate batteries don't last and cause corrosion at the terminals.
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