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How long will my turbo last with a failed oil seal ?

Wild Rover

Overdrive!
Hi there, I just replaced my radiator and during the process noticed oil in the intercooler. The haynes manual states a possible oil seal failure as the cause and no diy repair suggested. So what does this mean? Had a look on the web for exchange units and have only found one so far (£450), that was a shock. Is this oil a serious problem or something I can flush out from time to time without much worry? Does this mean that the unit will fail any time in the near future? Has anyone found a replacement source for less than £450? How noticable will it be if I lose turbo power and does it go gradually or in one big slump? And if it does go will I be able to drive without it or will that damage the engine?

Lots of questions I know, but the more I think about it the more problems I imagine.

Thankyou for any advice on this.

Cheers
 
Sure its oil from the turbo and not the breather. Take the pipe off infront of the turbo and have a look, check the fins for play. If an oil seal has gone, you'd know. It would rev itself to distruction:eek: It feeds off the oil in the sump, so revs uncontrolably and empties the oil. Robs (ROB110HICAP) turbo used 2ltrs of engine oil in 30secs. The only way you can stop it is to stop, put the vehicle in 5th and dump the clutch. And if your clutch is a bit on the weak side, that won't work:eek:
Other ways are to starve it of air. Ever put your hand on the pipe when the engine is on tickover, let alone full rev??! It'll pull your arm in. A co2 fire extinguisher has been mentioned, dunno it that would work. I guess so, I'm not planning on trying.
If you can't stop it it will destroy the engine, run all the oil out and it will sieze. Rebuildable, but ££££.
As I say, I would be extremly supprised if your seals have gone. And the turbo is after the intercooler, the oil would be sucked into the engine rather than drip back down to the cooler.
200/ 300Tdi? You'll find the breather on the 200 goes into the air filter, thats where your oils coming from I would think:)

Cheers, Ben
 
As Ben says, most oil is from the breather.

If the Turbo seals go, you will know instantly, you won't see anything for the smoke and a load clattering as the oil is pumped into the engine.

Most vehicles we service have a bit of oil in the pipes.
Check the Turbine shaft for movement. It can have quite a lot of lift, so don't worry. As long as the blades aren't contacting the housing and bending, it will be OK.

Chris
 
As I say, I would be extremly supprised if your seals have gone. And the turbo is after the intercooler, the oil would be sucked into the engine rather than drip back down to the cooler.
200/ 300Tdi? You'll find the breather on the 200 goes into the air filter, thats where your oils coming from I would think:)

Cheers, Ben

Ah thats interesting cheers Rob, I had to look up intercoolers on the web to find out how they worked. The diagram I saw was for explained that the intercooler cooled the compressed heated air from the turbo before it went into the inlet manifold.

Now you mention it I do remember seeing some oil in the air filter when I looked a while ago and the breather tube does go into the air filter so that must be it. Thats a relief, will clean it out and check again. Cheers for that Rob, put my mind at rest for a while. Every time I think I might get close to a respray I find something more pressing to spend my overdraft on.

Cheers
 
As Ben says, most oil is from the breather.

If the Turbo seals go, you will know instantly, you won't see anything for the smoke and a load clattering as the oil is pumped into the engine.

Most vehicles we service have a bit of oil in the pipes.
Check the Turbine shaft for movement. It can have quite a lot of lift, so don't worry. As long as the blades aren't contacting the housing and bending, it will be OK.

Chris

Thanks Templ4a, happy days again, suns shining and a 1000 miles journey to look forward to.

Cheers
 
I had a panic over my turbo first time I pulled hoses off. Found traces of oil and loads of float (or so i thought) on shaft. Now know it's normal.

In course of acquiring stocks of spares got a brand new complete turbo off fleabay for £75. Wastegate actuator has "prototype approved for production" labelled on it. Someone had a large lunchbox to smuggle that out!
 
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