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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I believe my turbo went bad, maybe. I was driving up a steep hill and suddenly lost power (and boost gauge went into the white area). Along with the loss of power came a noticeable whining sound when I pressed the gas pedal. When I purchase the car, I spoke to the mechanic that serviced it regularly and he state that one of the bolts on the compressor side had worn threads and that he coated it up with locktite and tightened it down...that being said, I checked most of the hoses etc for leaks and found that it looked like the wore threads made have let go, so I plan to try to tighten it down again. I may have to replace the unit, hopefully not.

BUT, can I continue to drive it this way? Will I cause damage to the engine itself or just risk completely damaging the turbo unit?
 

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It is possible that your wastegate actuator rod has popped off, I would check that first.

However, if there are loose parts floating around on your compressor blades, there is a chance you could suck some small pieces into the engine if it gives up the ghost.
 

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What threads/bolt are you talking about?

It sounds to me like a boost pipe hay have split open and the whining would from the boost leakage. They tend to split at the hose clamp due to over-tightening.
 

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I wouldn't drive it and no it's not OK. If it's worn out it could be the compressor blades hitting the wall. If that's the case, it's dead. Any oil burning? Mine did the same thing when it died. I was out making a video and all of a sudden it quit boosting and started smoking with noise. If it's just a hose, it'll spool up like normal but without boost.
 

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When I purchase the car, I spoke to the mechanic that serviced it regularly and he state that one of the bolts on the compressor side had worn threads and that he coated it up with locktite and tightened it down...
I'd be concerned why one of the bolts had "worn threads". Those bolts can get old, but they are usually so rusted on that they never come loose. I'm suspicious that someone was working on your turbo previously and that that indicates a previous problem.
 

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The only bolts are for the wastegate and the retainer rings holding the exhaust housing to the CHRA, and one bolt holding the prop bar. If the housing retainer bolts did come loose, then you're really screwed as the exhaust wheel is welded to the shaft. If it hits interference, expect a bent shaft, broken/cracked wheel, etc. Don't drive it until you know.
 

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If oil and coolant are not leaking, drive it. I've driven many cars with bad turbos and there's many being driven that way right now. This car has a straight-forward FI system, so you should be able to find the problem easily.

Which bolts are 'warn'?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Bad thread location

If you stand in front of the vehicle looking down at the turbo unit, the bad thread is on the right end of the turbo unit, which I believe holds the exhaust discharge in place. There are three (3) bolts holding the exhaust discharge pipe in place, it is one of these that are loose, maybe more. These three bolts only connect the exhaust housing to the exhaust pipe, I'm pretty sure they're not connected to the CHRA.

I'm not burning oil and no obvious smoke, the dash indicator shows pressure building....but it doesn't go into the yellow "boost" stage.

I'm not leaking anything on the ground either (i.e. coolant or oil).
 

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OK... then your downpipe (what you call the discharge pipe) is probably loose and leaking sound. That's why you are hearing the whine. Those are actually studs, not bolts (they have threads on both ends and a nut to hold the pipe on). They can be replaced inexpensively. Your turbo may be fine.

The loss of boost may or may not be related.. but if you lack any DIY skills, we're shooting in the air. Can you handle a wrench? Do you have the incentive to learn some of the terminology and details of this engine? If so, we can help direct you to doing some testing - if not, you need a mechanic.
 

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Is it more of a whooshing sound? If it is, it's a boost leak. This would be your best problem.
 

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If oil and coolant are not leaking, drive it.
DO NOT do this until you know what's wrong. Bad advice Fox Fader! Driving a car with a bad turbo is stupid and lazy! It's not hard to bypass the turbo if needed. An exhaust leak won't cause a loss of boost. IF something is wrong with the internals of the turbo, "driving it" will make it worse to the point it won't be rebulidable and will need a new/used turbo or all new parts. It can leak within the housing and NOT show up on the ground. If the compressor side is leaking oil, it'll pool up in the charge pipe or IC. Burning of oil can still happen in smaller amounts. When mine was "failing", I could smell burnt oil on occasion but no smoke. Once the rings failed, the shaft moved and oil burning was bad. Use common sense and find out what's wrong. Better to have everything safe then make things worse, especially if the compressor blades break and go through the engine!!! (small bits that is as the IC should block large chunks) If the exhaust blades break, they can damage the catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Problem Solved!

Last evening I had the time to look harder for the problem. I started by taking photos of the turbo unit from various locations. When I photographed from the underside I seen the problem easily. The pipe that runs from the turbo to the intercooler was not connected to the turbo unit. I cleaned it up and refitted it, then tightened the clamp. Problem fixed!

Boost is back and the car is running smoother as well. Before the complete loss of boost the boost was phased, meaning that under regular driving the boost was there, but when I was driving harder (going up hill or get on an expressway) a stronger boost was felt. I assume this issue was related to the loose pipe.
 
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