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Turbo Problem Please Help

13 posts in this topic

Hi there everyone,

I am hoping that you will be able to offer me some advice. I apologise that I am not very mechanically minded, so bear with me!

On Thursday morning, we were to set off on a 300 mile journey down South from Scotland to spend New Year and my Birthday with my family. Anyway, 30 miles into the journey, I was dong about 75mph on the motorway, and as I was stepping on the accelerator, all of a sudden the car seemed to have no thrust/boost/power/acceleration, so I automatically pulled into the left lane, but there was no hard shoulder, so I had to travel (at about 30mph until I reached the emergency layby less than a mile ahead). When I put my foot on the accelerator, the car made a high pitch whirring/whooshing/wooooing noise.. which appeared to come from at the back of the steering wheel ish.

So once stopped, I turned of engine etc and stuck my head under the bonnet- but to be honest, I had no clue what I was looking for... So I called out the AA. Unbeknown to me that the member ship I had with them, only entitled me to a 10 mile tow. So I had to pay them £130 to upgrade !! Anyway, I was devastated about breaking down, I panicked, and the only garage that could fit me in (day before New Years eve) was Halfords. So the car got dropped off there. The AA man said it was highly unlikely to be the turbo, but the wooooing noise did sound like it.

The car is a 57 plate, it has been fully serviced and MOTd, and has done 45k miles.

So the halfords guy said he would have a look. And he ran diagnostics etc on the car, and they apparently came back clear/negative. Anyway, he said he would have another look tomrorow. So this he did. He said that all SIGNS were pointing towards the turbo.. but couldnt understnad why some of the tests were clear. He then said that they took it out for a test drive, and said they didnt get far. After that, he then said there was oil coming out the exhaust.

He told me to phone Ford, and basically that he didnt want to fix the car, as he thinks Ford should fix it at a reduced rate as the car is young and low mileage for turbos going. But to be honest, he couldnt guarantee 100% it was the turbo... so has told me to take it to a Ford dealership.

I phoned round garages asking for quotes on new turbos, and I came back with between 1200-1500. Which frankly I cant really afford anyway !!

The car was 8500 two years ago, I just valued it on webuyanycar and its now sat at 4500. So if I sell the car, after paying for the repairs, it makes it worth 2k. Its outrageous.

Is anyone able to offer me any advice about what I should do. As it stands, I have to get the car towed to a Ford garage... and pay whatever they throw at me...

SHould a car of this age and mileage have had turbo problems?

Could I phone up Ford and try and get them to do something about it?

Has Halfords damaged my car even more after taking it for a drive?

If I were to drive the car a mile to the Ford garage- would that damage it further or am I advised to get it towed?

No warning lights or anything came on in the car at the time. Though two days prior to making the journey, when I switched the engine on, there was a slight knocking noise that disappeared in two minutes of sat idling.

Please help... [sad]

Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read and reply.


p.s. I am in Edinburgh!

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Hi Sarah,

from reading your post it sounds like the turbo may have blown a seal...given the oil coming out the exhaust..

unfortunately its not going to be cheap to replace. a second hand or recon turbo is probably the way to go, you will need to have all the pipe work/intercooler cleaned out also.

if it is the turbo, you have probably caught it in time as they can cause the engine to consume its own oil and the only way to stop it is stall it using the brakes or starve it of air.

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Feel for you mate, I had an 2yr old Octavia that the turbo failed on and the repair bill was £4,500. Needed complete bottom end of engine as the turbo got ingested and as Stef posted, the car ran on its on oil !!

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Thankyou guys for all of your replies.

Here is where I am at...

I had the car towed by the AA, a mile up the road to the Ford Dealership- as when I phoned Ford, they wouldnt really do anything or say anything until a Ford approved garage had seen it.

So today, I have been on tenterhooks all day waiting to hear the fate of my car.

Anyway, I have phoned up 4 times, and the last time, at half an hour before closing, I got to speak to someone about my car that had been looked at.. though it just so happened it wasnt the technician that worked on it apparently.

Anyway, the first thing the man said was... the reason we didnt phone you is because I was wanting to try and find you a cheaper price, but all our parts guys are all away home now. He said it LOOKS like it is going to be £1600 for a new turbo fitted. And I said .. right.. ok... so your going to replace the turbo, can you guarantee that will rectify the problem... he went silent. He CANNOT guarantee that replacing the turbo will sort the car.

So I said so what exactly did you do today and find out through the diagnostics... and he couldnt answer me. So I said well surely if the turbo is completely dead, you can tell that through your diagnostics.. he said it wasnt totally dead. He said that the error code that was coming up on the systems, were lack of power... which COULD be as a result of the turbo. But he said we need to replace the turbo to RETEST it, to see if that rectifies the problem. He could not guarantee that after spending £1600 on abrand new turbo, that my car would be fixed. So I asked him why on earth he couldnt tell me what was wrong with the car.. and he said he would speak to the other technician tomorrow, and phone me back.

So I am no further forward. My car is merely now at a garage that wants to use trial and error to replace the turbo to see if it will fix it, but by the sounds of the mechannic, he didnt think it would. .. Just like Halfords wanted to wash their hands of me to get rid of the car, as they didnt know if it was the turbo, because half the tests they did, came back negative.

Halfords did hold their hands up and say they didnt have it on a ramp and check ALL of the pipes.

So I am waiting on Ford phoning me back tomorrow.

If the garage replace the turbo, and the car still lacks power, what on earth could be causing that then... I asked the guy this, and he couldnt give me an answer.

So if I spend £1600 on a new turbo, and the problems still exist- would I be correct in thinking I should technically be able to get out of paying that 1600, because surely I could just get my old one put back oN !!!!

If its not my turbo... after that is replaced.. can someone please give me any other causes... I assume I would be looking at engine replacement or something drastic along those lines?

Im at my wits end, I am lost without my car.. and damn'd if I am paying £1600 for them to play about with my car and not get it fixed at the end of it.

Im sorry, I am probably being out of order, its not their fault thsi has happened, but surely someone can take the turbo bits and pieces off, and have a look in and tell me that my turbo is knackered.. surely? But when I asked..' is my turbo completely knackered'', he said no.

:( How ridiculous, I am actually making myself ill because of this... and its just a damn car, but grrrrr. Surely someone would be able to give me a reason why the error code is comnig up.. and if its not the turbo causing it.. then what it would be?

Preee likes this

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Typical of a person sat in a garage and no have a clue , more then likely he would have been a show room staff , i would not take that risk or pay that price if it was a failed Turbo.

I would how ever get an indendant garage or mechanic to remove the Turbo and check it , it does sound like a turbo fault if oil is in the exhust , it could be a seal .

But either way as the post above shows you can get a turbo for a lot less than £1600 , and a trust worthy guy to replace it , i would not go for a second hand one unless i knew what car and mileage it had come off

Best of luck

Lenny likes this

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I'd try the NEW one from ebay £400 delivered. If you know someone mechanically minded I bet they could fit one for you.

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Anyone in the family who is mechanically minded? shouldn't be too hard a job to replace the turbo with necessary gaskets and give the pipe work and intercooler a clean out. then an oil change and make sure the turbo is lubricated before starting the engine.

I feel your pain of being stuck without a car... nightmare :(

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there will be a small amount of oil floating around the intercooler and pipework etc.. I'm guessing that all the usual Boost leaks from split pipes etc etc have been looked for?

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there will be a small amount of oil floating around the intercooler and pipework etc.. I'm guessing that all the usual Boost leaks from split pipes etc etc have been looked for?

Halfords said they didnt check the pipes.

Ford would not answer me when I tried to make sure they had checked the pipes for leaks. He merely said that by replacing the turbo, they would replace the pipes too, so if it was anything like that, then replacing the turbo would sort it out. But no one will guarantee to me that it is the turbo- I dont understand why this is! And why Halfords said the turbo impeller was loose, and Ford are saying its tighter, and something about a sticky wastegate? How can both garages tell me the opposite- surely it cant be loose and tight at the same time !!!

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Personally i'd check the pipes form the intercooler and turbo etc... even a slight split will cause power loss...

How did the car drive? did you notice any excessive smoke out the back? or at least it being a bit smokier than usual?

You could always take the car to a turbo specialist, if your getting different views from both garages...

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Hi I had the same issue and have been quoted £1700 by Arnold Clark to repair with a 20% discount, I rang ford and they just wouldn't help at all.

I am dealing with Arnold Clark as I bought the car from them and had it all services completed by AC, I bought this vehicle after the last vehicle I had blew a turbo while the wife was driving and ran off the oil (total write-off) which basically scared the hell out of her, now she knows that the engine is prone to turbo failure she will no way drive that car again even if I get it repaired.

I rang Citizens Advice who advised me to issue a letter claiming that the goods are 'not of satisfactory quality' as per the 'sales of good act 1979' so that my next step, will look at watch dog as well.

Was on the brink of just paying for it but based on the amount of similar issue might be worth perusing as it seems like a nightmare engine.

Rang BTN turbo and spoke to someone called Gemma who said they have a extremely high failure rate and they will not warranty the turbo if it turns out to be due to the external influences, they issue a memo which basically states they will not sell the turbo without the additional components to fix the root cause and even then they are seeing 15% failure rate, they even state this is the only engine they see this issue with.

I also spoke to a diesel specialist who said he has replaced 40-50 of there units so seems very common although Ford and AC won't acknowledge that at all and wont provide any stats.

Do you still have the vehicle? did you get it repaired.

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alot of failed turbos are probably down to the driver. Driving the engine hard when cold, not allowing the engine time to cool after a run before switching the engine off and the hot oil breaks down in the roasting hot turbo, not changing the oil regularly etc..

1700 quid with a 20% discount still seems very steep!

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