White smoke from tailpipe on hard left turn - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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White smoke from tailpipe on hard left turn

Good golly Miss Molly! Yesterday I needed make an evasive move to avoid a traffic jam. I did a hard 60 degree left turn going faster that I would like. As soon as I completed the turn, white smoke started billowing out of my tailpipe. James Bond would have been proud of the smoke screen I laid down. The smoke only lasted about 10 seconds then went away. Car drove fine during the smoke screen and after. Today at lunch I did a U-turn at a bit of speed and lo and behold, the smoke screen came back.

What can be causing that? I put a new head gasket on last summer. Car never smoked like this before, and I am sure I have made spirited turns in the past. I will get an occasion puff of blue smoke, but I know I need a valve job(this winter). Never anything like this.

1750 engine

Howie
1970 1750 GTV
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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Check your brake booster it can have a leak and fill up.
1978alfa, deepblue and sbadaro like this.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Dolmon, I thing you may on to something. I posted previously that I have noticed my low brake fluid light has gone on twice in the last two weeks and I needed to fill the reservoir. I was told to check the booster. Being a dunce, I'm not sure what that means. My car has a single booster. What am I checking?

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:25 PM
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Take off the hose on the booster and stick something down in there and if the end is wet you need a new booster .It has a leak.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:31 PM
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If there is fluid in the booster (which seems a likely cause) then your brake master cylinder is leaking, not the booster. The fix is a new MC.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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I was told to undo the bolts hold the MC to the booster and if the back of it is wet, then the MC is bad. I will do the "dipstick" trick too. thanks

Howie
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:42 PM
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Gubi is right MC not booster but it will have to be removed and drained and cleaned.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 01:36 PM
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leaky booster/mc or not... i reckon the reason brake fluid is coming out of the tail pipe as white smoke is the check valve from the intake port to booster has failed allowing fluid into the motor.

the check valve is the silvery thing that on the intake manifold runner closes firewall with hose attached to it. disconnected it, plug the hole and drive it to test it to see if it still smokes. be extra CAREFUL since your pedal effort has doubled or tripled without the vacuum assist.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 01:57 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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leaky booster/mc or not... i reckon the reason brake fluid is coming out of the tail pipe as white smoke is the check valve from the intake port to booster has failed allowing fluid into the motor.

the check valve is the silvery thing that on the intake manifold runner closes firewall with hose attached to it. disconnected it, plug the hole and drive it to test it to see if it still smokes. be extra CAREFUL since your pedal effort has doubled or tripled without the vacuum assist.
That's not how the check valve works. The check valve allows flow from the booster to the engine. If there's fluid leaking into the booster it'll get into the engine even with a perfectly functional check valve.

The check valve is there so if the engine shuts off or you've got low engine vacuum you still have vacuum stored in the booster to enable power brakes.

Tom

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:09 PM
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That's not how the check valve works. The check valve allows flow from the booster to the engine. If there's fluid leaking into the booster it'll get into the engine even with a perfectly functional check valve.

The check valve is there so if the engine shuts off or you've got low engine vacuum you still have vacuum stored in the booster to enable power brakes.
you maybe correct come to think of it... i forgotten, its been many years since i removed my boosters and welded that check valve shut! thanks
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:33 PM
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I had brake fluid in the booster many years ago. I mopped it up with paper towels and it has been fine since then. No removal, disassembly, etc.

Ed Prytherch
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:42 PM
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Yeah, if you take off the MC and just kinda swab the booster out with some soap and water it'll probably be okay. The fluid isn't great for the rubber diaphragm but it's not like it's an instant death sorta thing.

Tom

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all. Weekend plans to dig into the MC and Booster. Weird thing is, almost all you mention is brake pedal feel. I feel no change in the effort to push the pedal. Car stops as it always has. Hopefully it's just a bad MC and not the whole booster.

Howie
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 07:50 AM
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Weird thing is, almost all you mention is brake pedal feel. I feel no change in the effort to push the pedal. Car stops as it always has. Hopefully it's just a bad MC and not the whole booster.
No, that makes sense. The booster hasn't been harmed (yet) by the presence of brake fluid. And the MC is working OK - it's just leaking fluid from its rear seal.

You could run this way forever as long as you added brake fluid periodically - sort of like dealing with an engine that burns/leaks oil but otherwise has good oil pressure and compression.

The issue is that eventually the brake fluid will damage the booster diaphragm. At that point, your brake pedal will become harder. And of course, you look silly with all that white smoke on every hard turn!

Jay Mackro
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jay. I didn't want to mention that I am still driving the car, knowing from what has been posted that the diaphragm is slowly being eaten away. Kids being home from college, leaves me no other car to drive.

The braking system on my car was completely replaced by the previous owner around 15 years ago. So I am guessing that the in the lifespan of an MC, that mine is relatively young. Or maybe not. Is an MC repairable? Or it's just not worth the hassles and just go for a new one for $75 from Centerline.

Howie
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