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Turbo failed

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#1 _MJA_



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Posted 03 May 2021 - 06:39 PM


The Golf failed on Saturday and I called the the recovery as it wouldn't rev over 2k and would only muster 15mph up hills. They diagnosed the turbo. As it was driveable they followed me some of the journey home - 20miles. It was smoking white/blue smoke by the end of my journey. Coolant is good - nice clean pink and good levels and oil levels are half way on the dipstick.

This is my first experience of turbo failure and I stripped the turbo off the car yesterday expecting to see destroyed turbines and a oily mess but it looked fine. A small amount of side to side play on the intercooler side and some minor evidence of the turbine hitting the wall. The exhaust side was a bit sooty but that's it.

So, what does turbo failure look like - How else do they fail other than what I was expecting? I'm waiting on a replacement turbo but it would be annoying if that wasn't my problem. I've bought new oil feed lines and gaskets.

Leading up to this event I have had 3 occasions where the car went into limp mode and displayed an overboost code. I thought it was a blocked cat as it was rattling and had bought a replacement to fit. However the power loss was nowhere near as bad as Saturday.

Also over the last 6 mths I have has a noticeable puff of blue smoke on start up which I thought might be the turbo or worn stem seals. Cars done 181k with yearly servicing.


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'02 Golf GT Tdi PD130 | '95 Corrado VR6 | '94 Corrado 16v | '88 Golf GTI'13 Exeo ST cr170 Sport Tech

#2 rxs_tdi


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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:50 AM

Are you sure that the turbo has failed and that it is not one of the many sensors or controls?
My car has done a similar mileage and it behaves in a similar way. I often get a little puff of smoke on start up and it does go in to limp mode at times. I had the boost pipe blow off at one time and it lost power in the way you describe and put out clouds of smoke.
Worth checking for boost leaks and getting it scanned for fault codes.

#3 northpole


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Posted 05 May 2021 - 12:26 PM

he already got the turbo off since the AA man actually diagnosed it as a failed turbo... but it could be a completely stuck turbo... he ordered a new one already so i told him to split the turbo and clean the vnt if it feels crusty... i also told him that if it is stuck full closed he'll have those symptoms and 9 out of 10 times the turbo is just suffering from a stuck closed VNT mechanism.

so what he can do is just sit down and split it so he can learn about the turbo see if a clean makes it smooth again and just maybe he will end-up with a used spare turbo.
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#4 _MJA_



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Posted 05 May 2021 - 12:57 PM

Yeah cheers as northpole says really - that's where i am at.


It was likely the actuator/VNT so will take a look. New turbo arrived (used) and it all operates a lot smoother. I've scanned the codes semi regularly and was getting the overboost code. 


Originally I thought it was a blocked cat as that was rattling and fuel economy has dropped off - 55 down to 40mpg. Cat was alright but have a replacement pattern cat ready to go anyway. Just waiting on the bolts, gaskets and new oil line to turbo now.

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'02 Golf GT Tdi PD130 | '95 Corrado VR6 | '94 Corrado 16v | '88 Golf GTI'13 Exeo ST cr170 Sport Tech

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