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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I took my 2004 Arc in for maintainence and dealer told me that they noticed some (minor) smoke coming out from the exhaustwhen cold start..... They said the turbo was leaking oil to the engine and quoted me about $1200 to replace the turbo. Since I didn't expect to hear my 3.5 years old turbo was leaking oil, I am wondering is it common problem with this car? Is there any simple and cheap solution to this or is it necessary to do what dealer suggested? Thanks.
 

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the question is. have you noticed a large amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust? this is normally when the seals have gone on the turbo.

Dealer is the last place ide go to have an installation of a turbo done.

Me personally would do it myself and save a few hundred.

one way of finding out is take off one of the intercooling pipings and check for oil residue on the hose (pipe). If there is, then you have a blown turbo.
 

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Other than noticing a lot of smoke coming out (i would assume blue smoke?), you would also feel the car much different power wise right?
 

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why would the power be much different?
as long as it still spools up properly it shouldnt be noticable.
maybe burning a wee bit of oil might increase the power, but i doubt it would be measurable, let alone noticable.
 

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This problem is very rare. I'm not sure I recall a previous report here. So my first reaction is to doubt the dealer.

Do you notice this smoke? Did they check to see if it fouled your catalytic converter or oxygen sensor? Oily residue on the tailpipe? Was the oil level low? This is a pretty sensitive car which does not tolerate much deviation from normal behavior.

I would have a lot of questions here. And $1200 sounds like the cost of the turbo alone, not including labor. At the very least I would seek a second opinion.

Depending on where and how a turbo leaks oil, there are several places to check for residue, as Michal and I both mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the information.
they just talked to me briefly when I was picking up my car so I didn't have much detail about what they wanna do... but I remember they were saying something like $700+for the parts of turbo and $500 for the labor.

I didn't notice any blue smoke; actually they told me it's white smoke. These 2 days I did see some white smoke after I started the car in the morning but I assume it's due to the cold and rainy weather since last weekend. Nor did I notice any pwoer difference since the turbo is still able to spool....

I am not a "technical" guy and don't know much about how to check the take out/ or check the parts...
Oil level is ok because I just did the oil change.
I didn't notice oil residue on the tailpipe.
Not sure if any residue on the intercooling piping because I don't know how to take it off...:(

My question is what if the dealer said is true and I probably got a blown turbo or oil leak, will it do damage to my car and what? What would my car behave if I get a blown turbo? How soon should I replace it and what would happen if I didn't replace in time? why my turbo still working if it's leaking oil? Isn't there something to do with oil pressure?

Sorry to ask so many questions becasue the dealer just made me nervous these days.
 

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I think the white smoke is probably normal (steam). Do you have a friend who recognizes the smell/look of oil in smoke? Maybe that would help. Often you can get the car to blow more oil when you acclerate hard. Have someone follow your car while you do that. I can often tell in traffic or on the highway when I'm behind a car burning oil just by the odor.

Start a record of your oil level. Record date, mileage, and oil level on the dipstick. Measure it from the max fill line to the actual level. Check this when cold and record the measurement to the nearest mm. Over a few weeks or months I think you would see a trend if you were really burning oil.

I think burning oil would foul your oxygen sensors, exhaust gas temp sensor, and catalytic converter. Eventually I think the ECM would get bad data and maybe throw an error code. As I said before this car is not very tolerant.
 

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A little oil burn on start up? $1200 dollars for a new turbo? I guess if you got money coming out of your ears go for it. But ctrlz has the correct method to check for oil consumption.

Oil in your fuel mixture lowers octane like crazy. It will be a noticeable power loss if oil consumption is largely abnormal. A normal turbo motor will end up with oil residue inside the turbo and intercooler because of the vapor vent system coming out of your crank case. It reenters the piston blow by back into the intake for emissions control.



Smoke on start up is normal when motors get older. The pistons and all the other seals need time and heat to expand and seal again. I had an old 1979 Lincoln that used to make the neighbors house disappear on a cold morning every once in a while. It didn’t burn more than a ¼ quart of oil per 3000 mile in the summer.

Do you run synthetic oil?
 
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