Mystery Smoke/Steam

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
Okay so I've been trying to refrain from posting about this on here as I was somewhat determined to fix this on my own, as I feel I always ask but never give on the MSC! But it's now got both me and my dad stumped and I'll do anything to avoid a trip to bloody Glyn Hopkin!

When I take my Micra out for a drive, and return home or stop at my destination, it starts to emit either smoke or steam from the engine bay, it looks like it's coming from underneath but we've no clue exactly where or what's causing it, it does smell pretty nasty though. I don't get this if I just let it sit on Idle, it's only after I return from a journey.

At first we thought it was steam from the radiator/other part of the cooling system leaking, but we're not so sure anymore. It appears to be coming from somewhere on the left hand side as well.

It's a 2006 1.4 Sport+ if that helps. I've had it since July.
 

r-reg-sr

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Site Supporter
looks like a bad deal with this particular k12. i would take to dealer and swap with another
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
looks like a bad deal with this particular k12. i would take to dealer and swap with another
Well after my experience today I don't think I'll make it to a dealer, barely got it home haha.
Smoke has progressed to a point where it's probably dangerous to drive. And there was a small puddle under where it was parked. So I've put a tray under it now to try and decipher wether it's oil, coolant, or other :)

I'm avoiding the dealer like the plauge. I doubt they'd exchange the car as I've put about 2000 miles on it since I bought it, and every dealing I've had with them so far has been filled with pain and suffering.
 

r-reg-sr

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Site Supporter
no mate,straight ring em for a - your driveway their for court - type of deal !
straight up shoddy car they sold you, i wouldnt stand for it and make em do a straight swap
 

kennierobo

Buy & Sell Member
My mate bought a dodgy car from a well known northeast dealer years ago and he had all sorts of problems with car and with them just fobing him off, the more he got fobed off the warenty was running out....At the finish he parked the car on the roadside outside dealers premises along with 2 or 3 huge sandwich boards listing all the faults and the excuses they came up with it took them about 2 days to make there mind up to just give him his money back.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
My mate bought a dodgy car from a well known northeast dealer years ago and he had all sorts of problems with car and with them just fobing him off, the more he got fobed off the warenty was running out....At the finish he parked the car on the roadside outside dealers premises along with 2 or 3 huge sandwich boards listing all the faults and the excuses they came up with it took them about 2 days to make there mind up to just give him his money back.
That's an idea. Sadly at the moment I don't have enough cash for oil to get it to the dealership, it's now reading empty on the dipstick and the cardboard under the car is getting more and more saturated. This month's money had already been sapped up by petrol and I now have to pay bus fares for college etc. May just get a lift there, and go nuts at the salesman, see if I can get a full refund and them to come and collect it. It might even just be a leaky filter but I'm in full time education and don't have reliable income atm (I work freelance), so everything we try just costs me more money I don't really have, and it's not like I can work easily without a car anyway. Vicious circle.
 

gtsnissanb

Club Member
Official MSC Trader
That's an idea. Sadly at the moment I don't have enough cash for oil to get it to the dealership, it's now reading empty on the dipstick and the cardboard under the car is getting more and more saturated. This month's money had already been sapped up by petrol and I now have to pay bus fares for college etc. May just get a lift there, and go nuts at the salesman, see if I can get a full refund and them to come and collect it. It might even just be a leaky filter but I'm in full time education and don't have reliable income atm (I work freelance), so everything we try just costs me more money I don't really have, and it's not like I can work easily without a car anyway. Vicious circle.
What's leaking?? Oil or water? Might be a pin hole leak in the radiator
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
Yeah but at first it was just a very small amount of smoke and a damp patch on the drive (no puddle), which I assumed was more likely to be coolant/steam than oil & smoke. The leak has gotten worse now though and it's puddling up, and I'm pretty certain it's oil.
 

r-reg-sr

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Site Supporter
i dont see how its your concern how many points the cars failing on------ discusin this instead of "i got my k12 exchanged today"
did you change oil/coolant filters yourself ?
 

funkydoodycool

Club Member
Oil will, depending on its age and your engine, be somewhere between the colour of honey or dark brown/black, and is fairly thick, again similar to honey. Coolant will almost definitely be yellow/green, and similar viscosity to water.

If you actually intend to repair it (assuming it's repairable), you'd need to obviously find the leak - it shouldn't be impossible but may be difficult. I had a coolant leak in my Pug, and it took a while to realise it was slowly leaking from the radiator - tiny amounts of yellow liquid could be seen. The main problem is the coolant won't start pumping until the engine gets warm - and when the engine's warm the coolant evaporates.

As you're losing oil, it's possibly that causing the "steam" from your engine bay, but you'd smell it as oil for sure. Oil would be very simple to locate a leak if you look everywhere.
 

Guy

Has gone over to the oily side...
Club Member
Mine drinks coolant like Father Jack on the old whisky. I've been over the engine and engine bay with a fine tooth comb but no evidence of a leak, reckon it could be the water pump. Problem is, with the 1.6, getting to it is a wheel and suspension off job. It's a piece of cake on the 1.2 and 1.4 :doh:.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
funkydoodycool
Like I said, at first all I had was a damp patch there wasn't any colour, but since it's progressed, it's become quite obviously oil. It stank when it ran and I'm assuming it's just hitting something hot on the way down and burning. I had a nice cardboard box full of the stuff this morning (sods law that's all I could find when I needed an oil tray haha!) It's definitely oil, as I checked the dipstick on friday when I got home and it was half full, and when I checked it this morning, almost completely empty.

R-Reg
It's all well and good saying axe it in, but the dealership I got it from is notoriously hard to work with and my parents would rather fix it than go through the hassle of a refund and then having to buy another car, I'm either getting a mechanic that I trust that used to service my K11 for me to take a look at it, or taking it back to the dealership and telling them to fix it, but that's all well and good I need to get the thing there. You've told me to get rid of it once and I acknowledged your point I just don't think you understand that it's not quite as easy as you make out, so there's no point going on about it as I just wont listen.

Guy
What was confusing me was at first we all thought it was coolant, and it didn't make any sense to me as the reservoir was staying at the same level. It being oil makes a lot more sense haha, it's actually made a big enough puddle to be identified as oil now and the dipstick is registering empty where it was saying half full a couple days ago so at least I know what's leaking now. Now just from where!
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
In short to everyone on here. I've figured out what's wrong now. When I posted the leak wasn't bad enough to 100% determine what it was, but as it's gotten worse it's quite clearly oil coming from somewhere around the driver's side of the engine bay. It's hitting something hot on the way down and burning, that's causing the smell and smoke.

Yes I've got a 6 month warranty on the car, but I've taken it back 3 times so far and the experience I've had has been absolutely terrible. And before I can do anything I need to find some spare cash to put oil in it so I can actually take it somewhere to get looked at (that's if I can't find the oil leak myself, I've been rushed off my feet lately and haven't had a chance to jack it up and have a proper look at everything, everything always breaks at the worst time!).
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
i beat you to your post lol..... can you not see any oil anywhere in the engine bay?
It's all over the driver's side underside of the car, which made me think oil filter too. I need to "borrow" one of my parent's jacks as I managed to break both of mine when my K11 slid off them and landed on them lol, it's just a matter of making the time for it as well, not being able to drive means I have to use busses and they take a sizeable chunk out of my day (roughly an hour/hour and a half on each journey to and from college). By the time I've gotten home and sorted out all my little daily jobs it's late and so I'm planning on giving it a good go on saturday if I can't fit it in sooner.
 

funkydoodycool

Club Member
Let's hope it's as simple as that! Like the creak I had yesterday that I was sure was my suspension failing that went away when I opened and closed the passenger door ;)

Oil filter kinda makes sense, as if it's loose it might vibrate looser, causing the gradual worsening of symptoms as you've experienced.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
That happened to a friend with his ST (fiesta he ain't that cool) engine seized
Hence why I'm relying on public transport, and leaving my car where it is, don't want no seized engines!

In other news I can't see how the government can try to convince us that public transport is a worthy alternative to a car. I'm now 40 minutes late for where I need to be because the bus I was going to take didn't show up and the next one isn't for another 20 minutes. Have forgotten how much I hate these wretched things.
 

funkydoodycool

Club Member
In other news I can't see how the government can try to convince us that public transport is a worthy alternative to a car.
I work for a big public transport provider (in the interests of privacy I won't mention which one), and I'll tell you now I get free travel, but still drive to work at a cost of about £5 a day.

The government has no interest in pushing people onto public transport - it's just an excuse to put up the cost of motoring and try to make us feel guilty. If they wanted us to use public transport they'd improve it and make it affordable for all.

My personal view is that motoring will go the same way as smoking. Slowly but surely the general public mongs will be told to believe that motoring is disgusting and those that partake of motoring are selfish. Once the brainwashing is complete, our little hobby/lifestyle will be done for. We're already perceived as boy racers (in Micras.... and aged 30....) just because we like cars.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
I work for a big public transport provider (in the interests of privacy I won't mention which one), and I'll tell you now I get free travel, but still drive to work at a cost of about £5 a day.

The government has no interest in pushing people onto public transport - it's just an excuse to put up the cost of motoring and try to make us feel guilty. If they wanted us to use public transport they'd improve it and make it affordable for all.

My personal view is that motoring will go the same way as smoking. Slowly but surely the general public mongs will be told to believe that motoring is disgusting and those that partake of motoring are selfish. Once the brainwashing is complete, our little hobby/lifestyle will be done for. We're already perceived as boy racers (in Micras.... and aged 30....) just because we like cars.
I have Arriva and Carousel Busses going through my town and whilst introducing the carousel busses last year was probably the best thing that happened to public transport in my area. Whilst we have Arriva busses scheduled on the hour from 7 till 7, the three or four that actually turn up are never less than 15 minutes late, atleast with the carousel busses they're around 5 minutes late but you can rely on them to actually turn up.

You don't have to tell me about the price of motoring being extortionate, being 18 and only driving since February, my insurance premium is a 4 figure stab to the heart. Plus, it's funny you say you'll be categorised as a micra-driving boy racer at 30, because I've had two micras between the ages of 17 and 18 and when people my age hear what I drive, they usually think I'm joking, or queer. Something that I kinda find rather offensive. I think we're going to have to go a long way before a micra is a boy racer car save slamming a bean-can on it, go faster stripes, flame decals, neons and pretty much anything else you can find on your modern day citroen saxo :p But I get your point. I think something that proves it is the 1961 VW Type 2, 90% of them are rusty death machines with engines that put out enough smog to kill puppies. Yet the tax is free, to insure me on one would be 1/4 of what it would be to insure me on my current micra, whereas on the micra I get taxed a rather large amount for a small car despite it having an economical and fairly low emission engine, and my insurance is pretty ####ing high.

In regards to the Micra, we had a good look around for anywhere that could have oil coming out of it, tightened up the filter, and filled it up with 2.5l of some ancient shell stuff we found in the shed (not the best stuff and not enough but it's pointless putting anything of any worth in if there's still a chance it could come straight back out), once we know the leak is plugged I'll swap it out for some decent quality oil.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
So with the filter tightened it didn't seem to be leaking on idle, took it out for a 12 mile spin and came back and it's now just pouring out, so it's booked in for a date with the mechanic on monday, and I have 4.5l of oil sitting on the passenger seat for if I start to run out on the way there.

Lets see just how much of my bank balance this car can take a hit at now!
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
I think it's the filter it's coming out of, my dad drove it home and didn't really say. I'm hoping it's just the seal/filter as I can't think of anywhere else that it could be coming out of that wouldn't be infinitely worse. It certainly seems to be coming from that area.
 

funkydoodycool

Club Member
I wonder if whoever fit the filter forgot to install the rubber seal.... I almost did it once, the seal was still in the box, and it was my first ever DIY oil change - I didn't put the seal on initially. Fortunately I noticed before it was too late ;)

I would imagine the filter would seal tight enough for a short while without the seal, but naturally metal-on-metal will never be tight.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
Only time shall tell! I've done about 2,000 miles in it and whilst it's always smelt a bit bad on a really hot day or after I've driven it quite hard we all just assumed it was normal. It's only recently that it's gotten really bad.
 

Antony

Ex. Club Member
i know this isnt easy for you, but still...


if it was me...... i would go to the dealer with the bill of receipt from purchasing the car, a copy of the sales of goods act from the tinter-web-net thingy, ask to speak directly with the manager. no-one else. even if they have to phone him up on his day off....
this is what i would say "yeah i bought this car X months ago from your dealership and have had nothing but trouble since i picket it up, it has been here a few times now with certain problems and is still within its 6 month warranty, it has developed an oil leak and i am not happy that the car is "fit for purpose" as a brand new car. furthermore i have been advised by trading standards that a full refund or a brand new car is well within my rights to ask for owing to the scant disregard for my custom, my safety and the safety of other road users whilst the oil leak has been persisting. here is a copy of the sales of goods act and the phone number for trading standards......... the biggest point is that, with a major oil leak appearing after just 2000miles indicates that the car was sold in an unroadworthy condition and would not pass an mot with these defects in place...... i simply request that you fully repair the car bearing in mind that it has had low oil levels for some miles now and further damage is not out of the equation completely, or that you replace the car for one of equal spec or greater due to the inconvenience of me having to use busses or a full refund and i can go to another dealer... i have a statement ready for the press in the event of an agreement not being met...."

then just sit back and let them poo themselves...

there is nothing they can do other than,
A) refund due to the car not being sold in a roadworthy condition
B) Exchange for same or better model within range with lower or same mileage
C) full repair of problems, further inspection of possible further defects and (crutial bit here) Further warranty on the effected parts. IE the engine.

so if its a k12..... and the timing chain goes..... it points to the oil leak and low oil pressure leading to premature chain failure....

they cant worm their way out of it.. its your rights as a customer, consumer and most importantly as a motorist.


good luck(Y)(Y)
 

Antony

Ex. Club Member
they are not, and never will be micra's.... the k10, bulletproof the k11.... nuke proof............ the k12?...... cheese and garlic flavoured french rubbish that wibbles at the very mention of the word reliability. timing chains made from silly string and chewing gum, electrics made by blind ham fisted morons and that feint whif of "we generally cant be arsed with you silly english types, we spit in your general direction"
the dealers treat you like the enemy and i am yet to see a full recall for the timing chain issues on the 1.2.....

useless!!!

K11 FTW!
 

Antony

Ex. Club Member
well, they still make the k11 in taiwan... they obviously know the saying....... if it aint broke, dont fix it!:laugh::laugh::laugh:
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
Well the difficult bit is that whilst it's my name on the logbook and I drive it, the receipt is actually in my dad's name so he would have to talk to them, and every time I've asked him so far he keeps going on about how "cars have problems it's completely normal" and about how if I had his old Mini 850 I'd realise how lucky I really was etc. etc.

And yet, even he doesn't want to take it to the dealership to get repaired because we both know they'll either do a shoddy job or break something else in the process. Hence why we're getting one of his friends who actually used to work for a nissan garage to take a look for us.

I'm working on him though, a refund would be excellent as I have my eye on a tidy MG ZR, which is less to insure, less to tax, less money in the first place, and looks way more fun. Plus it's only a step away from the car I'm aiming for when I get a decent paying job, an MG ZS :) Not that the micra isn't great I just can't see myself driving a third one, this K12 has really nailed the coffin on that one.
 

Antony

Ex. Club Member
tell your dad that if a car dealer sold a mini 850 today, they would be shot for shoddy build quality...lol :p:p
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
tell your dad that if a car dealer sold a mini 850 today, they would be shot for shoddy build quality...lol :p:p
He's a royal pain to have a conversation with, he's always right. At the moment I'm going with the argument that atleast he actually got to drive his Mini 850, as opposed to having it stuck on a drive ####ing oil everywhere. Not liking the mini is a very unpopular opinion around here, everybody I've met so far that owns or wants a mini think it's gods gift to the earth, pretty sure I almost got stabbed when I said CG13DE was better than an 1275GT A-series haha.
 

Antony

Ex. Club Member
the cg13de and a series 1275 are almost identical as far as dimentions and internal design, the major differences are the main bearing cradle in the cg13de, the twin cam cylinder head, the all aluminium construction....
bore and stroke are almost identical, cylinder liners and water jackets are almost identical, oil galleries etc etc.. its even 1275cc for gods sake!..lol

but they are much more reliable... much much much much more.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
Funkydoodycool & Guy

I was talking about the CG13DE the engine that's fitted to the K11's, not the renault crud they fit into K12s.
My old 1.3 K11 was very reliable.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
A new oil filter and some fresh oil later and she lives again, even got a free brake bleed so they actually work now too! It's running so smooth! Like driving a whole new beast.

Underside got a clean but there's still some left over oil because it got everywhere, so it stinks a bit once it heats up, but that should wear off after a while.

But I'm happy, I have a working car again!
 

funkydoodycool

Club Member
That's excellent news - an easy fix, and no need for any arguments. The smell won't last more than a couple of days I expect, you can always clean it up with a good spray of Gunk degreaser.
 
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Tchaaa

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
It's had a good clean so the smell is barely noticeable, it's only when you're outside the car if it's stationary. So I'm fine with it.
 

Guy

Has gone over to the oily side...
Club Member
Glad you got it sorted tchaaa and I'll have you know the HR16DE engine in my car is made for Nissan by Aichi Machine Industry in Nagoya, Japan :p. Not a hint of French fromage anywhere...
 
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