I really need some help. After years of ratty old VW diesels (good car, but mine were always on last legs) I finally get my dream car, a 95 E300D. It has about 120,000 miles on it.
Sunday, out of the blue, as I pull away from a light it just dies. I never had a diesel quit without warning before. I managed to get it restarted and limp it the few miles home, but it had no power, even getting up a slight incline killed it, and it was laying down massive amounts of smoke.
I decided to check a few things, such as the return lines for cracks or air leaks, but that did not help. I checked the fuel return to the tank, which seemed to be clear. The filter seemed fine, as both had recently been changed. I was half way through a tank of fuel and the car ran fine for the first 350 miles on this tank, so I don't think it was a fuel quality issue. No detectable fuel line leaks.
Any way, after going over all this and refilling the filters with clean fuel, I tried restarting. Again, no power, a LOT of smoke. I also noticed that the the air intake on the right front fender was real loud. It almost sounds like a boat engine. I have never experienced loud sounds through an air intake.
I have torn apart VW diesels, but I realize this is far more sophisticated. Does any one have any clue as to what this could be? Should I take it to a shop? I'd prefer not to, as I may have to sell the car to pay them!!, but I don't want to do any damage either.
Is it possible to have damaged the fuel system, catalyst, or engine by using an additive like ATF in the fuel? I always did that with my VW, and started with this one fairly recently.
I am really at a loss and would appreciate any advice. I am afraid of the cost, but with all the elctronics, i fear i may be over matched. I thank any and all of you in advance for any insight you may have.