ABARTH Fiat Uno Turbo Club of South Africa

The car is smoking


The car is smoking

One of the most common problems many Fiat Uno Turbo owners have, is that their car sometimes smokes when it’s idling. This is quite easy to fix (as a temporary measure only, since it causes damage to the turbocharger’s oil seals the longer it continues) but can be a constant headache and embarrassment if not attended to. In a nutshell, very often it smokes because the oil cannot be pushed through the turbo and back into the sump. This happens because of one of two reasons: Either the idling is too low (it must be set on 1000rpm at least, to have the right oil pressure) or possibly the oil return pipe (between the turbocharger and the sump) is kinked. Best to get a new one, in that case. That’s that one, sorted out. If this was indeed, your problem, be aware that the turbo could have sustained substantial damage to the seals, proportional to the length of time your car has had the problem, so it’s best have the seals checked by a reputable turbo specialist.

If your car smokes on the overrun, dark and/or brown smoke – don’t worry, this is merely unburnt excess fuel that escapes through the exhaust. You must remember that a turbocharged car has to advance its fuel curve quite dramatically to keep up with the large volume of air that a turbo is capable of producing. If your car smokes light grey and/or blue smoke on acceleration and/or normal driving, best have your engine checked by a workshop that you trust. It could be the compression rings, oil rings, valve stem seals in the head, or perhaps your turbo could be in need of a service kit, or worse. A compression test should start narrowing down the possibilities.

Alternatively, if you want to be sure if it’s the turbo or not, remove the airflow meter and the pipe between the airflow meter and the turbo, and feel for play on the shaft – a little horizontal play is ok, but any vertical play is a bad sign.