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Troubleshooting Cold Start Issues with Volvo Penta Repair San Diego Experts

Troubleshooting Cold Start Issues with Volvo Penta Repair San Diego Experts

Volvo Penta marine diesel engines are prone to cold start issues that result in smoke, possibly more than any other engines by their competitors. Luckily, these issues can be found and resolved after a thorough checkup and elimination of all potential causes.
These engines have been on the market for quite a while and despite an occasional issue remain one of the best choices for most cruisers. That said, one of the most common issues with Volvo Penta marine engines is that they develop smoke after a cold start, provided they start in the first place.

The cause of the smoke varies, and in most cases it can be determined through its color. In this article our Volvo Penta Repair San Diego Experts list out some of the most common cold start problems that cause smoke and how you can tell the exact cause of the problem even before you call in an expert.

Volvo Penta Diesel Marine Engines

Like many other companies, Volvo Penta started out small. Once a local workshop they expanded into other industries including water turbines and steam engines. Their first Penta engine was developed in collaboration with a company based in Sweden. The company was acquired by Volvo in 1935 after Penta helped build an engine for a car they were manufacturing. Today, their engines power some of the most famous boat builders’ creations.

What Causes The Smoke after a Cold Start?

Many engines experience smoke after a cold start, but if it does not go away when the engine heats up you may be facing an issue under your hood. Looking for the underlying issue is therefore imperative for the engine’s continued operation. The color of the smoke can help determine the issue in most of these cases.

White Smoke

If the smoke coming out of the engine is white, the first thing to check is whether the starter motor is lazy or if the batteries are not charger or in need of a replacement. White smoke could also mean that water made its way into the combustion system.
To know for sure, smell the exhaust. If it has an oily smell water is probably not the cause and vice versa. As for why there’s water where it shouldn’t be, there could be several causes. Check if the cylinder head gasket is blown and if either the cylinder head or the block are cracked.
Another likely cause for white smoke is low compression. It is just an indication of a larger problem, but causes a performance issue and exhibits white smoke. To determine if low compression is causing the issue you should perform an engine compression check.
Finally, if all else fails you should have an expert examine the fuel injectors in your Volvo Penta marine diesel engine. A professional will determine if this is what’s causing the issue and replace the faulty parts with ease.

Black or Gray Smoke

One likely cause for the black or gray smoke is bad fuel. If the fuel was lying around in the tank during the winter, it could be spoiled and be the cause of the issue. With stricter regulations the fuel quality is no longer a risk factor, but supply your boat with fuel from licensed gas suppliers just to be sure.
The most common cause for black or gray smoke is an excessive fuel supply coupled with a restricted air supply. On the other hand, the restricted air supply is likely caused by a blocked air filter.
Finally, black or gray smoke could be caused by exhaust back-pressure, which in turn is the result of a carbon build on the valve gear or a bent exhaust pipe.

Blue Smoke

This particular color is always caused by lube oil burning. This occurs as a result of broken piston compression or worn bores. It could also be caused by damaged valve guides as it can allow lube to get into the combustion chamber. Luckily, this problem is easily diagnosed and the parts easily replaced.

Ask the Leading Volvo Penta Repair in San Diego

If you cannot diagnose the issue on your own, feel free to reach out to PCE, the leading diesel engine repair shop in San Diego. You can trust our team to locate the issue quickly and resolve the problem effectively.
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