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Possible Turbo Leak - Where To Look?


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I'm pretty sure I have a turbo leak somewhere as my car is making a 'whooshing' sound under acceleration which sounds like it's coming from on top/in front of the dash. It was in with a mechanic yesterday for something else entirely and, as an aside after a test drive, he mentioned to me that he thought it might have a leak somewhere in the turbo system also. It's chucking out a bit more smoke than usual (it's a diesel), so would this mean it's burning more fuel? And would this indicate a leak too i.e. burning more fuel to give the same power?

Are there any 'usual suspect' areas where the turbo system develops leaks? It's a 1.6tdci

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Well, if there is a leak it could be anywhere but one common failure point is on the steel pipe that runs from the turbo outlet pipe, across the front and then down to the intercooler inlet. This pipe has been know to develop a crack near where the mounting bracket is welded on that attaches the pipe onto the engine block near the oil filter.

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I had a good look around this today.

I took off that steel pipe that goes form the turbo to the intercooler and examined it closely but found no crack.

I also examined all the rubber and plastic hoses and connections on the turbo system and found a few things. The rubber hose that goes from the air cleaner box into the turbo is cracked at both ends, the end that connects to the tube being sliced almost clean off



Also the pipe which tees off this and connects to the engine to the right of the oil filler cap below the injectors (yellow arrow in pic below) looks like it has a couple of clips broken off it. It's being held loosely in place by a zip tie...


The other place I found a problem with was with the plastic outlet pipe (outlined red below) that runs from the intercooler outlet to the intake manifold. This has a split in the seam along the bottom of the pipe.


So would these two areas account for my turbo leak whooshing sounds like the blowers are on in the cabin type noises?

Are these pipes expensive to replace?

Also, all the pipes I inspected in the turbo system had a lot of oil in them. The areas of engine adjacent to the points where the pipes shown above were split were also covered in oil. Is it normal for there to be oil in this pipework? Doesn't seem right to me.

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Well the split turbo induction hose has to be replaced, air will be getting sucked in directly to the turbo, bypassing the air filter, which can't be good. I would imagine that is probably the cause of the noise. 2nd hand about £30, new ???.

The pipe in pic 3 is the engine breather hose, I think when you get the induction pipe it will probably come with one attached.

And the last picture, well again that would need replacing, unsure of cost. I would have thought you'd be getting poor running and fuel consumption too.

Yes its normal for there to be some oil in the pipework especially the turbo intake area - it comes via the breather pipe in pic 3. I guess it depends on how much oil you're seeing though. The oil in the pipes will be spraying out of the cracks in a mist and making everything oily. Mine is oily in the area under the intake pipe but I haven't managed to find the crack yet :(

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  • 2 years later...

I had the same wooshing noise and my mechanic put in a recon turbo. Cost me £750.

3 weeks later the wooshing noise came back!

He then fitted an inter cooler pipe (2 nd hand) and low and behold cured the wooshing sound!!!

Ripped of or what.FFS

Always get a second or third opinion.these low life scum will rob u blind.

Now leaking oil from breather hose he put a bolt through as the clip was broken


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that's gonna make all sorts of problems, air getting sucked in outside of the filter is firstly open to debris, but it also means that air isn't going past the MAF meaning the ecu will compensate for perceived reduced air flow,.

replace all the rubber hoses with silicone jobs, your looking at about 70 quid for all three, 2 pre intercooler and 1 up to the inlet manifold.

the oil is literally pouring out of the breather pipe, not a lot you can do about that other than install a catch can, being 22mm breather youll need a custom job, which is exactly what I got, in 2000 miles I have colleted about 10ml of oil. all of that would have soaked the intercooler and eventually worked its way up in to the inlet manifold binding with the soot from the EGR and making a big sticky mess.


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