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Why is my diesel 2014 Holden Captiva blowing black smoke?

Asked by Glenn

My diesel 2014 Holden Captiva is blowing heaps of black smoke. It has just had its 105,000km service but they didn't find the issue can you help?

Answered by CarsGuide

16 Dec 2020 David Morley

Excess black smoke from a diesel engine is bad news as it can – among other things – cause the engine to run hot enough to cause internal damage. As for a cause, it could be anything from contaminated fuel to a block air-filter, a faulty sensor or a damaged intake system. Modern diesel engines like this one also have a habit of forming black deposits in their intake tract (a by-product of the engine’s own emission controls) and this can cause all sorts of problems including black smoke.

Another possibility is that the car’s diesel particulate filter (DPF) is blocked and the car is trying to regenerate it (clean it out) by dumping lots of fuel into the engine, and that’s causing the excess smoke. Either way, it needs to be fixed to avoid the potential for costly engine damage, not to mention the environmental havoc the car is causing in its current state. An electronic scan of the onboard computer would be a good starting point.

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