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ABS / EBD /Hill holder / Smoke / Injector fault E5 X290


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Wow! You say, and well you might.

As promised recently, i have had a peculiar fault with a Euro5b Ducato X290 2.3-130hp and am writing to let you know about it.

The vehicle is a 64 plate and has covered 167,000 miles without fault until this happened. You might be thinking "I will never do that many miles", and you would be right; but the end result suggests that you might just get to see this for yourself.......


Driving from cold, for about 5 miles and at a constant speed on a motorway when white smoke started to emanate from the exhaust. It got steadily worse and continued to do so for about half a mile with no warning lights on before "ABS, ABD, Hill Holder malfunction" appeared on the centre display and shortly after it went into limp mode with the EML on.

We carried out the same test after resetting everything three more times and it played out in exactly the same manner.


We were completely flummoxed. How on earth can a fault with ABS etc cause a fuel injection problem?


After several days of investigating and researching a good friend of mine was able to contact a friend at Fiat that deals with dealer faults and he simply said "Injectors". We pushed him to explain further and came up with the following explanation....


"The way that the CAN BUS system is connected on these vehicles, the last device in the chain is the ABS controller. If there is a problem with the injectors and the ECU does not know how to describe it properly it will report a fault from the last device in the chain and wait until it knows what is going on before lighting the EML and going into limp mode if needed". " You have at least one defective injector" ,he said.


Still somewhat bemused, we carried out a 'leak-off' test and found that two injectors failed it; one particularly badly. We changed the injectors in question and the fault did not reappear even after some rigorous testing.


So that's it. Problem solved. It begs the question "How on earth would anyone without a man from Fiat to call, ever figure that one out?"


I don't know.


One other positive thing to come out of this was that after extensive soaking in a solution that we now have, the injector bolts came out without breaking and the injectors also popped out very easily. This suggests that the windscreen scuttle modifications on X290 along with the standard plastic engine cover are a success.

The solution that we use is called 'Deblock Oil' from Innotec. You can buy it on-line if you like. It is the first and only product that i have seen or heard of that contains a high proportion of graphite and actually does penetrate screw threads and dissolve anything that should not be there. We had to seal off the drain hole on top of the cam cover and soak it for a few days plus driving the van to get it as hot as possible to make sure before trying to undo the screws; but it works. On 3 different vehicles now, even an earlier X250!


I hope that at least one of you found that interesting.

Back to work......

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Nick well I thought it a very useful post.


If someone does high miles, is it worth thinking about removing the Injectors and 'lubricating' them so they remove more easily in the future? I.e. better to spend a few days while the van isn't needed in the UK rather than 3 days in the middle of a Spanish Holiday?

Or are they so much hassle it's better to wait till they actually fail and deal with them then?


Indeed, would lubricating them with some kind of 'Copper Ease' style product actually make them easier to remove at a later date?





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Always interested to hear about release oils, don't spend quite as much time now taking things apart, but' at the moment have a throttle valve that needs to come off a steam engine, have you tried ACF-50 and if so how does Deblock Oil compare?
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Hi Colin,


No i have not used that product, does it also contain graphite? I think that is the key ingredient. It also seems to fizz a little when you first apply it so there is more to it than meets the eye.


As regards getting injectors out; my experience with the early 2007 X250's was that the injectors were truly stuck in their holes and in the unlikely event that you got the securing screws out intact, you were going to have a lot of difficulty with getting the injectors out. Whether this Deblock oil helps with that i don't know because it seems that vehicles that had the proper plastic cover over the top of the engine are suffering very little corrosion and are coming out pretty cleanly. This goes for X250 and X290 vehicles. The corrosion that the unprotected engines suffered was unbelievable, and my vans are working 5 days a week and getting thoroughly hot. Engines that just sit around getting wet and rusting are not going to be better. The gunk that was applied to the early engines at the dealers as a 'fix' was utterly useless.


I smear the new injectors and new screws with ceramic grease before fitting them and this should prevent any problems later on.


The following pics are firstly of two screws that have been removed on a 2014 X250. One clearly has loads of debris on it that is the dissolved oxidisation and dirt that would normally have caused it to seize. The threads were in perfect condition. The second picture is of an injector removed from the same vehicle, the body of which shows no corrosion at all. This is a very welcome sign for the future.



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