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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read many (and possibly all) threads and other info on the issue of blue smoke on start-up. The thing is, mine only does it occasionally. I once had the car sitting for 4 days and there was no smoke. Sometimes when it sits overnight, there is a lot of smoke. Other times there is nothing.

Why does that happen? If the seals and the rest of the turbo is going bad, shouldn't it happen all the time? And why isn't there smoke when the engine is running? Is this really a problem with the turbo or could it be something else? My car has the latest PCV fix.

My car is close to 90K miles so it is probably a good idea to replace the turbo anyway, together with a sump check and other routine maintenance. I am just curious to find out why it only happens occasionally or if it could be something else.
 

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Wulf said:
No thoughts? Does this only happen to my car or are there others with similar experiences?
Hey Wulf. I had the same issue. Just the occasional smoke on startup. It was never regular either...maybe like every 3rd or 4th startup. I figured it wasn't a big deal. Then one day, **** hit the fan (pardon my language) and I had a huge smoke trail driving to class. And it ended up being a failed turbo.
 

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Our first 9000 had very similar symptoms, one engine flush and oil change later it stopped.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Wulf,

My 2001 4 cyl lpt smoked occasionally (once every 2 weeks) last summer. It has progressively gotten worse (frequency wise), as today it happens almost every cold start-up. The puff of blue smoke happens within the first 5 seconds after start-up. Kinda annoying to have to back up thru the lingering cloud out of the garage or parking space. No noticeable change in oil level after 4000 miles (change w/symthetic every 5000 mi). Car has just over 60K mi now, hoping to get the 80K average life out of the turbo.:p
 

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Sounds like teh common symptom of a failing turbo... Mine laset from 37K to 100K + with the smae symptoms.. I replaced it before catastrophic failure... Just
 

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Jssaab said:
Sounds like teh common symptom of a failing turbo... Mine laset from 37K to 100K + with the smae symptoms.. I replaced it before catastrophic failure... Just
I agree, if your PCV system has the latest mod then the turbo seals are starting to leak :confused:
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was thinking of doing the rebuild myself but I can have it done for $250 or buy an already rebuild turbo for $450 and sell my old one on eBay. The rebuilding doesn't seem overly complicated but I don't really want to mess with something that spins at very high rpm and is very particular about the right balance. Some things are better left to the pros.
 

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Wulf said:
I can have it done for $250 or buy an already rebuild turbo for $450
Now, I wish I could of had mine done for that price :eek: If thats all it's going to cost you, then when you get a chance/time, take it off and let them rebuild it for you!! Better safe then sorry ;)


Dazzle :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Could the PVC mod fix the early morning smoke? I have not done the mod because car is running fine and I am religious about the synthetic oil changes. I bought at 46000 miles without a good service history, but original owner sold to me and claimed oil changed every 4000 miles. Claimed he did not keep receipts, but I think they would have shown the smoke issue, so he kept hidden. At 60,000 miles now, and car runs tip top.
 

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Wulf, can I ask who you found to rebuild the turbo? I'm down by Lansing and have the same issue. In fact, I was driving behind my wife today and for the first time noticed smoke starting to blow out while accelerating. I'm at 108k miles so I think a new/rebuilt turbo is in my future. Thanks,

Jay
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's someone in Ohio that I found on eBay. His feedback shows a lot of good reviews and he seems experienced. I'll find the link and send it to you.
 

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I agree that regular smoke on start up would appear to be the turbo on the way out. However I have had this problem on and off. My mech took the car for the afternoon, on later picking the car up he stated that there appeared nothing wrong with the Turbo, he said the smoke could be caused by a build up of carbon deposits on the valve seats or heads. He used a fluid, mixed with the fuel, this sorted it for a few weeks. Every time the problem arises, about every 6 weeks or so I use the fuel additive and it goes away. He also stated that the oil can seep past the 'O' rings on the turbo due to the heat 'calcifying' oil which then unseats the 'O' ring and allowing a tiny amount of oil past into the turbo, blowing into the cylinders and then being burnt.

Fingers crossed.:confused:
 

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That's exactly what fails on the GT17: the o-rings.

They slowly leak more and more oil, and then gradually wear on the turbo more and more until finally it grenades.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just an update to finish this thread with the results.. I replaced my turbo a couple of weeks ago. After 1600 miles, the car is running great and there is no more blue smoke at start-up. As others mentioned, the old turbo probably would have failed sooner than later and it's a good and safe feeling knowing that the issue has been fixed.

Thanks for the advice everybody!

Here is more info about the actual turbo replacement for reference.
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1071993
 

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I just replaced my GT17 last weekend. I had the same symptoms as you. My car has 75k miles and started noticably puffing at startup about 70k. It only did it at startup and only after sitting for a few hours. I really noticed it in the spotlights when I started it at 5:30am.

It's been 4 days now and I haven't seen any smoke whatsoever. I also notice faster spool and can actually hear the turbo whistling again. Check your TB afterwards as mine was pretty nasty from all of the oil. I actually had an oil ring around the flange when I removed the intake pipe.

Changing the turbo wasn't too bad. It took 4.5 hrs start to finish. Just accept the fact that you will remove the PS pump and the exaust manifold and all will be easy. I recommend loosening both ends of all oil/coolant lines and reattaching them to the new turbo before tightening the manifold bolts or the downpipe. The hardlines are a PITA to line up and start if the turbo is already tightened down rigid.
 

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Smoking gun?

I realise this is the 9-5 thread, but with my '02 vert I noice that I have smoke coming out the zorst when I have powered up along a good stretch of road, then loosen off the right foot. Looking back, I see lots of smoke - is this my turbo going AWOL, or something more sinister? It only happens when coasting along from the power up!

Circuitman
 

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circuitman said:
I realise this is the 9-5 thread, but with my '02 vert I noice that I have smoke coming out the zorst when I have powered up along a good stretch of road, then loosen off the right foot. Looking back, I see lots of smoke - is this my turbo going AWOL, or something more sinister? It only happens when coasting along from the power up!

Circuitman
What color is the smoke?
 
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