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Ducato 2.8 TD - turbo problem?


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Hi – I have a 5 tonne a Eura Mobile 810 Integra built round a Ducato 2.8TD with 4 speed auto. I think the engine is around 2005, although it was remapped last year. A friend on Motorhome 365 suggested trying this forum.


Two weeks ago, I was climbing long mountain roads in the Pyrenees and, eventually the engine started to get a bit hot. This all first and second gear work, and I am using manual gear selection. As the engine temperature rose, nearly to the red, the auto box denied me manual selection and when to full auto, before stopping transmission altogether, rather embarrassingly and much to the annoyance of the cars behind me. This happened twice. I only needed to stop for about 5 minutes for it to cool down, with the engine still running. I assumed this was electronic control to prevent damage to the transmission and to the engine.


A few days later, climbing another very long Pyrenees hill, it felt like the engine coughed...unusual in a diesel...but it carried on. It did that a couple more times and then I seemed to lose half my power...it auto changed to first and I crawled up the hill to the first available layby. The engine was running perfectly smoothly, but it just didn't have power...crawling along at 10 kph pedal to the metal, where I should have been in 2nd and accelerating to 30 kph.


I did wonder if altitude (about 9 thousand feet) was might also be part of the problem.


However, two weeks later, and back down at sea level, and I still have the same problem...the engine “coughs” and loses power on inclines. It also seems to me that there is a hissing noise which is louder that it was before, coming from the left hand side of the engine (as seen from the driving seat).


I don't get the problem at all when the engine is still cold.


When I get the "cough", it is always on an ascending incline – doesn't seem to matter if it is slight or steep. If I ease the throttle wide open during a "cough", the engine doesn't pick up again...it just sort of dies (in other words, it isn't mats underneath the pedal!!). If I then ease my foot off the throttle, there comes a point when I can feel the power kick back in.


I am more used to petrol engines than I am diesel....I can never find anything on a diesel, thing like a carb or air filter. So, still thinking petrol, this is being to sound like a mixture issue, to me. It is not simply that it runs out of power at the top end, after it coughs, it loses power, it slows down...until I take my foot off the throttle and ease it back on again, then it is fine for a while.


And, thinking about the suddenness with which the problem started and thinking about the hissing noise (coming from the left side of the engine, as viewed from the steering wheel) that I started to notice...I wondered about cracked inlet manifold?



Friends on the M365 forum are thinking turbo problems, and much muttering about manifold pressure sensors and wastegates. This makes me realise that I can't hear the turbo whine any more. Not ever. So turbo sounds quite possible. Also getting black smoke going up the hills.


I am travelling alone, am in France and, although I sort of know my way around older petrol engines (pre electronic and injection age), diesels are a mystery to me beyond checking fluid levels (which are all OK, by the way).


I bought the vehicle second hand about 10 months ago and it is still under warranty.


If it is the turbo, presumably it shouldn't get any worse? I am heading back to UK slowly, should be back in November...it would be helpful if I could leave it till till then. My French is not good.


I would very much welcome any thoughts, please? (Sorry for a long post :-( )






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A common issue on the 2.8JTD of that vintage is that they will blow the turbo intercooler hose off at one end.


This is accompanied by a very noticeable loss of power, and an increase in 'air' noise, the location, from memory, being consistent with the area you mention.


It is a large diameter hose secured by a large hose-clip, which (if it hasn't disappeared) can usually be re-used after the hose has been relocated. The clip is not very accessible toward the back right upper of the engine, but (if indeed that is the problem) the hose can usually be identified by following any "air" sound, and it being connected at both ends (or not) tested by movement.


Skinned knuckles job to relocate and tighten up (and possibly a new hose clip - but when it happened to mine, the clip stayed on the hose, which blew off the "spigot").



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Unfortunately, at idle, there is no hissing that I can hear and, as yet, I haven't found the throttle linkage (I am quite embarrassed by that) under the bonnet...and I am travelling alone.


I think, that if it skin the knuckles job, I am going to take it to a garage and do the poor little woman routine!! (lol)


Thanks for your replies, one and all...is a great help. I will try having another look tomorrow and, failing that , find a friendly mechanic.


Fingers crossed it is that simple...and cheap!! :)





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You may have a problem with you auto box ,,,Is it selecting gears late,feels like a slipping clutch on hills?or holding the one gear for a long time,,,also check to see if your exhaust system  is blocking up (high back pressure),,If under warranty ,report it to them now ,,,and let them make the decision on what to do.Before it runs out.
Is the hissing noise there after a hard run just after you turn off the ignition?
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This reply may be too late for you, but if I were you I'd ring the dealer with the vehicle being under warranty and ask. "Do they want you to have the vehicle repaired in France or do they want you to return the vehicle via a breakdown service" The costs for either of these solutions would have to be borne by the dealer.


If you return to the UK you could of course choose to return to France and complete your holiday. What you don't want is the have to bear the cost of the French repairs yourself. If the dealer agrees to the repairs being carried out in France confirm the conversation in writing and sent it to them, perhaps via a UK friend who could send the letter onto the dealer via recorded delivery.


Trust this helps

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On this earlier thread euroserv mentions 'hissing' from the inlet-manifold gasket on 2002-2006 Ducatos.




Given the "black smoke" comment I'd favour an Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve fault as a lkely culprit. Also a bit wary of the implications of remapping a 2005 motor powering a 5-tonne vehicle.


If the turbocharger isn't functioning, or there's a air-feed hose disconnected, the power-loss will be very large (assuming the motor will run at all) and the loss won't sef-cure.


(I know little about Fiat motors, but I very much doubt there's a traditional "throttle linkeage" for you to find beneath the bonnet. Modern vehicle's tend to have a drive-by-wire system where the connection between the accelerator-pedal and the motor is electrical not mechanical.)



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Derek is right, the 2.8JTD has an electronic throttle, so there is nothing to find there.


If there is a split in one of the turbo pipes this could cause the noise; it will sound more like a 'whoppie cushion' though. If there is a detatched pipe you will not get any power at all and the black smoke will be considerable.


A hole in the intercooler would also limit power, make a noise and cause black smoke but this would be on the right hand side of the engine (from the driver's seat). Look for soot either side of the intercooler which sits next to the coolant radiator.


The reduction in functionality of the gearbox is indeed a protection measure because of the over-heating.


You really should speak to the dealer and do exactly as they specify regarding getting it repaired because if you keep using it you are exposing the vehicle to further damage such as serious over-heating which will involve hugely costly repairs to the engine and as this would seem avoidable you could well end up footing the bill for that yourself.


There is no EGR system on the 2.8JTD except on some of the continental registered vehicles where it was an option. None were supplied through Fiat UK.




PS. I would definitely check that the air filter is in good condition and that the inlets to it are not blocked. This could cause all of the symptoms you describe!

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euroserv - 2012-09-20 6:09 PM


...There is no EGR system on the 2.8JTD except on some of the continental registered vehicles where it was an option. None were supplied through Fiat UK...


The EGR valve was a straight guess on my part but, as Polly's motorhome has an auto-box (that, as far as I'm aware, would only have been available on a LHD 2005 Ducato) there's a strong possibility that this vehicle was a LHD 'grey' import to the UK.


I echo your advice about contacting the dealer as soon as practicable. The warranty provided with secondhand motorhomes can be via a 3rd-party (eg. Warranty Direct), not through the dealership itself. 3rd-party provided warranties can have seriously restrictive terms/conditions that might make getting refunds for repairs performed abroad very tricky. Hopefully that won't be so in Polly's case, but it needs checking.


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Some great replies, there...I really appreciate it.


I am impressed with Derek - it is indeed LHD and, looking at the documentation, I would guess a gray import.


Think I have found the turbo now, but I don't have a hope of getting a hand to reach it...the motorhome is an integral model, which means that that build is from engine and chassis - I don't have a Ducato cab or engine bay. To see the turbo means lying on my back underneath the vehicle...for a number of reasons, I can't do that for long. Visibility is not great from that angle, but nothing stands out as being a lose or split hose...but that doesn't mean it isn't split. No chance of me reaching to feel the hose, whether the engine is on or off.


Auto box - sometimes it selects gears late and holds on to them, but no hissing after the turning off the ignition.


Not getting any overheating at all, now I am away from the Pyrenees...the climbs there are both steep and very, very long. Routine long climbs on 'normal' hills don't give me any temperature problems.


The warranty is with MB&G Silver, which includes 90 days continental...I have been out for nearly 4 months.


I think a phone call might be in order.


Again, thank you so much for all your suggestions.


What a great forum this is!! :)






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The MB&G instructions for making a claim are detailed here




Forgetting the 90-day Continental-use restriction, it's worth noting that, before any 'under warranty' work is contemplated, the insurer demands that a number of bureaucratic hoops must be jumped through. This procedure may not be too tricky to comply with in the UK where, in Polly's case, the selling dealership can be involved, but is likely to be much less straightforward in France.


My previous (Herald) motorhome - bought secondhand - was covered by an insurance-based mechanical breakdown warranty and I had cause to make two claims during my ownership. In both instances the dealer from whom I had bought the motorhome middle-manned the claim and I'm confident that, without his backing, the claims would have been problematical. For the 2nd claim (to address noise from the rear-axle final-drive unit) the insurer insisted on sending its own consultant engineer to inspect the dissassembled drive unit before authorising the repair to go ahead. The dealer had to fit the initial strip-down into his schedule, then the insurer's engineer had to visit and report, then the repair had to be made. The episode took a couple of months overall, though this didn't greatly concern us as it was July/August when we don't use the motorhome.


If there are now no symptoms suggesting "imminent failure" (as MB&G puts it) and Polly's motorhome is not overheating, extending the French trip to November seems a reasonable risk to take. I don't know how much on-board diagnostic capability a 2005 Ducato has, but, assuming there are no dashboard fault-warnings showing, unless a problem can actually be demonstrated and identified at the time, having it inspected by a French garage may not be worthwhile.


My Herald developed the rear-axle noise well down in France and I immediately decided to turn north, driving very gently to stay for the rest of our time in France near the port from which we were due to return to the UK. It transpired that the cause of the noise was not critical and "imminent failure" would not have occurred. But, even if I'd known that at the time, I'd still have headed north. Depends on one's anxiety threshold and mine is pretty low nowadays when it comes to vehicle mechanical breakdowns a long way from home.


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No, not getting any warning light or alarm bells from the dashboard.


I *could* make a dash for home now, but in terms of mileage, it wouldn't make much difference to what I am planning. I travel very slowly, maybe 25 miles a day or less.


On balance, I think I am inclined to wait until I am back in the UK. I don't plan to use the dealer I bought it from...I haven't been very impressed with the quality of workmanship. Plus they are a long way from home.


Thank you for all your help. This is a great forum. :)





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Hi Polly, sad to hear your news, I suggest e-mail MB&G (not mentionong when you left) for advice. Also if its any help we are in Luxeuil les Bains at the moment, plan to be still in France until late October. I am not a mechanic but did have a motor home with the same engine, so where are you?

Regards Iain and Denise

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