White smoke / steam from exhaust and losing coolant
My google-fu isn't working well tonight so here is the problem.
Took the truck, a stock 2004 F350 6.0 w/ 85K miles and a coolant filter, on a 600 mile round trip, hauling a 4 horse goose neck trailer weighing in about 15,000lbs. I did have to go through one mountain pass and some pretty severe elevation changes on long hills going each direction. No issues during the drive either way, no overheating, no coolant smell, no smoke, and the fan kicked on once during the trip. All fluids were good at all stops including parking back in the driveway. Overall the truck performed like a champ.
No issues on start up this morning to go to work. Started the truck to come home at the end of the day and it's blowing massive white smoke and losing coolant. No CEL, no codes from KOER or KOEO tests, and no visible coolant leaks. Oil was changed just before the trip. Coolant has less than 6,000 miles on it
I do not have any after market gauges so I can't tell you the delta between EOT and ECT.
I'm pretty sure it's the EGR cooler, but I would like the proper trouble shooting steps to diagnose this for sure. Right now the truck is parked nose down on an incline so I can pull the EGR valve first thing in the morning to check for coolant on it or excessive carbon. Thanks.
I pulled the EGR valve this morning. Valve was filthy and caked with carbon, but no moisture in the intake. The truck was parked on jack stands so the front end was about 20 inches lower than the rear all night. Put the cleaned valve in and no more smoke. Running like a champ again for a good test drive. Could a dirty EGR valve been the problem or do I need to go deeper? On the plus side I did find a bad fitting on one of the radiator return lines so that's getting replaced.
And... the white smoke is back. Parked it for a few hours after the test drive today and all was good. Started up to move it and white smoke is pouring out again.
I'm pretty well resigned to the fact that it's the EGR cooler. I know oil cooler should be done at the same time. My understanding of the way this works is the oil cooler gets blocked and causes the restriction in the EGR cooler. The EGR gets superheated and the internal welds give out. The problem is funds are tight right now so is there a way to flush out or otherwise clean the oil cooler to salvage it? Thanks.
You wont be able to flush the oil cooler. Once its plugged its done. If funds are tight you could delete the egr cooler, but dont hold off on changing the oil cooler for to long, especially towing 15k. If you do the work yourself it wouldnt cost much over 350$ for both if you delete the egr cooler.
I am picking up a loaner truck from a friend in the morning. Mine will sit until it's fixed. I actually have a spare still in the box EGR cooler on a shelf in the garage. All it needs is the gasket kit for it. But I was hoping to be able to just flush the oil cooler. Hopefully have the work done this weekend.
As for the towing that's not an every day thing. Every other weekend or so for shorter, under 100 miles, round trips and every other month or so we do a long one hauling the weight. But yeah, no hauling or driving until it's fixed.
I don't have any aftermarket gauges, I know I should have something to monitor live data, and it's on the list of things I need to get. The idiot gauge is reading good for what it's worth. There is no puking from the degas so I figure the head gaskets are good for now. No head stud upgrade since I don't run any tune.