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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My saab 9-3 turbo has froth in the oil.

There is no performance loss, no oil in the coolant, no overheating, no water in the plugs, no smoke out the exhaust, no bubbles in coolant when running, etc...... no other inidication that it could be the heag gasket.


The PCV system was screwed up. I changed the valve and fixed the broken hose nipple.


The oil pressure switch is broken. I bought the part and tomorrow I am going to replace it. I am also going to retorque the head. I am then going to let the oil drain overnight (to make sure EVERYTHING comes out, all the water, etc.....).


----- Then I am going to fill her back up with oil and see if the froth reappears.


If the froth comes back, what else could it be? If it is the head gasket, why are there none of the other symptoms? The car is running cool as a whistle even in 100 degree weather.


I read somewhere here that if the turbo is blown it can sometimes leak water into the crankcase....... could it be this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did change the oil at first sight, but after an hour of draining there was still froth in it (before refilling). I had to go so I refilled it and left.

Tomorrow, after i do the head retorque, I plan to do an 8 hour drain and actually blow air down the dipstick hole (to get everything out). Then I will see if new froth appears.
 

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Probably only two possibilities:

The turbo is leaking internally, or the it's the head gasket. Either way, there are places where there's full water pressure near unpressurized oil passages.

1st thing to do is re-torque the head gasket. All but free if you've got the E-16 socket and a torque wrench.

If that does not work, I'd first probably try either a used turbo from a u-pull-it breakers yard or an inexpensive rebuild kit for the turbo.

After that, time for the head to come off. Changing the head gasket is really not that difficult. You can leave the manifolds on the head and it's actually easiest to unplug the engine from the ECU and leave the wiring on the engine mostly intact and connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah i am gonna re-torque the head this morning.

I think it may be the turbo, cause yesterday It did behave funny when the turbo entered the end of 2nd stage / beginning of 3rd stage. So i am pretty sure its blown.


I am gonna go grab a turbo at the scrapyard now, called and they have a few for 75 bucks each.
 

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How many miles on your car? Was the oil like a chocolate milkshake, or was there just condensation on the stick?

If the oil was like a milkshake you've likely got a failing headgasket. The gasket itself failed in the b204 so retorque may not help (try it though) I highly doubt the turbo, that's one spot where the oil pressure is high so more apt to mix the other direction (oil into antifreeze)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
update, torqued the head and cleaned out some stuff in the turbo.

200 miles and there is no water in the oil =). Also the turbo is working again. Car turned into a rocket ship again.

I will check again in another few hundred miles.

Cross you fingers for me that the problem is gone for good.
 

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the only way you will get water in oil from the turbo is if the CHRA cracked internally. the coolant flows in an enclosed water jacket that is completely separate from the oil, and cools the CHRA to prevent shaft coking.
 

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Hey, How's it going? You asked me my thoughts, and I think AZR Racing has it right. (At least we both hope so!) If the leak was in the turbo housing, and you replaced the turbo, maybe you're good!? But keep an eye on dipstick sludge, and maybe drain oil a little early to inspect more closely...

Some of us early 9-5 owners have modified oil pans with a removable plate to inspect / clean the sump under the pick-up screen, but I don't know that I'd go that far with a 9-3.

Good luck, happy driving!

the only way you will get water in oil from the turbo is if the CHRA cracked internally. the coolant flows in an enclosed water jacket that is completely separate from the oil, and cools the CHRA to prevent shaft coking.
 
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