2004 Volvo S60

Engine Mechanical problem
2004 Volvo S60 4 cyl Automatic 80000 miles

I have a 2004 Volvo 2.5T engine. Yesterday it started pouring white smoke from the exhaust while driving and at idle. I took it to my Volvo mechanic who diagnosed the problem just from me driving into his parking lot. He said my turbo was bad. I have been reading today on various forums, and I don't see anyone who says anything about the turbo doing this or that this is a definite symptom of the turbo being bad. I did see a post that says white smoke indicates water or antifreeze so now I am confused. Is white smoke billowing out of the exhaust a sign of turbo failure, and is there an actual part called a turbo?

Thanks - Robin
September 23, 2009.

Hi Robin,

Thank you for the donation.

The turbo unit is the power booster for the engine. Its main function is to push air into the engine and is operated by the exhaust gases. When the unit fails, it could either be sticking, which would cause drastic loss of power or what you are experiencing now, oil leakages into the exhaust turbine area and this oil would emit a very high amount of grey smoke.

Such problems do occur with turbo engines. If engine is running with no drastic performance drops, I would agree with your mechanic about the turbo being bad.

Completely white smoke is a sign of water vapor but grey smoke is a sign of oil burning.

Sep 23, 2009.
Thank you for your response. I guess the smoke could be considered gray in color, but it is a very light gray!

One other question - is there a specific part called a turbo? I have looked online simply to ascertain that the price I was quoted is fair, and I haven't found anything called a turbo that looks like one part.

Thanks again.

Sep 23, 2009.
Slight grey smoke confirms it is oil burning and it should be accomnpanied by a oil burning smell.

The full name is commonly known as turbo charger. Check this link out. It provides a good explanation of the system.

There is a link from where you can check out or purchase parts.


Sep 24, 2009.