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Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Aidan
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Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby Aidan » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:16 am

Driving my X300 this morning (3.2litre Auto) and all was fine until going up a hill. Car started hesitating as if misfiring. Loss in power. Crested hill and coasted down other side, accelerated through a roundabout and had more loss of power and stuttering. Pulled over, smelt a bad smell from left hand side exhaust and saw steam. Driver behind me stopped and said he saw lots of steam when I was accelerating. Engine temperature is normal, all coil packs were replaced with new Lucas items about a year ago, throttle body was cleaned about two or three years ago and there is no sign of water in the oil on the dipstick or via the oil filler cap on the rocker cover. Am now standing on the roadside typing this and scratching my head at the same time... which is quite tricky. Any ideas what could be causing this!?
Aidan

1994 Moroccan Red XJ40 3,2 Sport ("Ruby")
1995 Jade Green X300 3,2 Sovereign ("Jade")
2005 Cedar Green Pearl Volvo XC 90 SE

naki_k
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby naki_k » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:24 am

Have you lost any coolant? For the car to be producing steam, the water must be taken from somewhere?

Head gasket is a possibility though?
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stevemc
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby stevemc » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:14 am

has it been standing for a whilst my old 40 did this once when going up a hill loads of steam from exhaust loss of power then all okay after that.

was water in exhaust when went up the hill it all moved and bloked the exhaust pipe and produced lots of steam, blocked exhaust can cause loss of power
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katar83
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby katar83 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:19 am

+1 to Naki and Steve. If you lost coolant then this point to head gasket. If you didnt, exhaust might be full of it. I saw some pics recently with a cut up exhaust full of ice, blocked completely. It seems it's quite popular issue in US, so maybe yours blocked with water/ice. Wasn't it like minus 3 last night? :)
1997, 4.0 LWB X300 - Unlucky car but still a daily driver.
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Aidan
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby Aidan » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:03 pm

Naki, Steve, Katar thanks for the tips.

There does seem to be a small amount of water in the tailpipes, but only a few drops, like condensation being blown out. The smell has gone, too.

It has been standing for about a week or more, but that hasn't caused any problems before. I've checked the water again and it seems okay to me, and there is still no sludge in the engine oil, which to me means it surely can't be a head gasket, or am I wrong? I've also checked the coil packs by detaching each one and they're all functioning, which is nice of them since they're only a year old. I did think it might be a gearbox issue with fluid being sucked into the engine and blown out the exhaust - as happened on an old Opel Commodore we had in the 90s - so I drove the car to a gearbox specialist en route home. They said the ZF 'box on my car has no vacuum link to the engine so it's not that either. They did connect it to their diagnotics reader but no faults came up. They said it could be the airlflow sensor, although they are gearbox specialists, not engine specialists. Is the airflow sensor a possibility? The misfire is bad. With the bonnet up and when I crank the throttle open via the cable above the throttle body, the misfire sounds like a backfire - really loud, like a loud pop or a bang. Doesn't sound good at all, but still no water in the oil.

When driving, the car struggles to get over 30mph when it's under acceleration, but can go faster if it's nursed along or if it's on a downhill.

I'm taking it to a Jaguar specialist today as I can't faff around anymore - got too much else to do.

Thanks for all the tips, guys. I'll let you know how I get on.
Aidan

1994 Moroccan Red XJ40 3,2 Sport ("Ruby")
1995 Jade Green X300 3,2 Sovereign ("Jade")
2005 Cedar Green Pearl Volvo XC 90 SE

donkeyotty
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby donkeyotty » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:20 pm

Duff spark plug ??? Frost last night so most cars will have had visible exhaust gases this morning. L
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naki_k
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby naki_k » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:55 pm

Tricky one.
It could be a large number of possibilities!

Though no coolant loss is at least a bit of very good news!

Fault codes are helpful when they show up, but they don’t tell the full story clearly.

Had the engine temp only just got up to normal temperature?

Other possibilities.
Water in the fuel?
Coolant sensor overfueling
Crank sensor
air flow meter
Lambda sensors (overfueling).

There could be more than one issue.
I am sure your garage will figure it out. Though it’s going to be trial and error.
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Morgan1
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby Morgan1 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:27 pm

Not the clutch is It? I.e. loss of power, bad smell and clutch smoke not Steam? Just a thought, especially as you were going up hill and putting load on the drive train. :?:
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Aidan
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby Aidan » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:34 pm

Morgan1 wrote:Not the clutch is It? I.e. loss of power, bad smell and clutch smoke not Steam? Just a thought, especially as you were going up hill and putting load on the drive train. :?:


Hi Morgan1,

Thanks for your input, and your thoughts certainly do describe a possibility but it's an automatic. I know they do have "clutches" in auto boxes, so I suppose they could also slip or burn out, but I'm pretty sure it's not that because - apart from the fact that the gearbox fluid is still full, a good colour and doesn't smell bad - I had to drive it on the A21 and the M25 to take it to the garage and I could only just about get it up to 60mph with gentle acceleration and some prayers! At about 2200 rpm, everything starts happening: rapid surging/misfiring, loss of power, inability to increase speed, yet no more steam/ smoke. Kicking down is a real no-no; feels like firing a machine gun. Taking my foot off the accelerator causes the revs to drop, and the stuttering goes away. Seems very weird to me. I hope it's not a head gasket but I don't understand how it can be if there is no evidence of water in the oil? And it only happens under acceleration when above about 2200 rpm, not under less power or when idling :?

Actually, as I type this, a memory popped into my head from some years back. My previous 3.2 litre (3.2S) was flooded by being parked alongside the Thames in Twickenham. The water was up to over the door cills, flooded the interior and some got into the exhaust. I had to reverse it out of the flooded parking area and it misfired REALLY badly. It continued to do so, much worse than my current problem, as I drove it to a place in Essex which dryed out flood damaged cars. They did a good job and in the end there was no engine damage. Perhaps there is some water in the engine after all, though I'm damned if I know how it got in there, and especially since the problem only made itself known once I'd been using the car for about thirty minutes or so this morning, before which it had been driving absolutely perfectly.

It's beyond my ken, so I'm waiting with trepidation to find out what surprise it has in store for me now...
The garage I took it too is quite busy so I'm not expecting a rapid response.
Aidan

1994 Moroccan Red XJ40 3,2 Sport ("Ruby")
1995 Jade Green X300 3,2 Sovereign ("Jade")
2005 Cedar Green Pearl Volvo XC 90 SE

Elsa_jag
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Re: Loss Of Power and Bad Smell?

Postby Elsa_jag » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:40 am

I've known water in the fuel issues to come direct from the petrol pump.

Had you very recently re-fuelled prior to the problem cropping up?
Regards, Carl

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