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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4708
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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After having a turbo replaced on our car, within an hour

Customer Question

Hi after having a turbo replaced on our car, within an hour of collecting it from garage it developed a major oil leak near the alternator and vacumn pump. There was large amounts of blue/black smoke from exhaust. do you have any ideas what may have been the cause of the leak so soon after the turbo replacement. Is is likely that an error occurred upon the installation of the turbo?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.


What make - model - engine and year of car do you have?

What was the intial reason for replacement and where was the turbo sourced?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

it was on a Kia Carens 2L diesel 2008 reg. The turbo was a re-con from BTN turbos. It was not faulty. The original turbo had been starved of oil due to blocked dpf filter. The mechanic cleaned in diesel and refitted when installing the new turbo, after 2 weeks that turbo blew again after dpf being blocked again. another turbo fitted and then thats when within an hr of collecting from garage it developed the oil leak around the area of the alternator, damaging the vacuum pump. This time mechanic put new dpf filter on as again was blocked and replaced alternator and changed oil etc. We are questioning if it is likely that prior to this the oil pressure had not been tested correctly causing the leak as the car went back again for a 4th time after this with a blocked sump so it seems the mechanic may not have been very thorough initially. We were not informed by them as to what had caused the oil leak.

Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.

Normally a blocked DPF would just make the engine stall just after they start, or be really flat and idle but not accelerate.or just keep cutting out..because the filter is so restricted with carbon/soot it creates alot of back pressure so the engine cant expel the exhaust gases properly through the exhaust system..but it shouldnt actually cause the turbo to fail,
The car usually when in use for a long period of time should self regenerate the filter to reduce problems like that - if its been failed regenerations where the system increases fuelling to help regenerate and if it hasnt been able to complete its full regeneration continually then this can cause oil dilution/oil level to rise due to the diesel - so of thats whats been happening then that needs to be looked into before the new one goes the same way....of course if the turbo fails and as result of that the oil seals in the turbo fail then it can destroy the dpf due to it getting saturated in oil..
If the original turbo had been starved of oil you would actually hear the turbo prior to fail making alot of noise high pitched so to speak - only then a few things obviously would need to be checked in regards ***** ***** pressure incase low oil pressure was the cause of the turbo failing / presense of high carbon build up within the engine/feed and return lines to the turbo starving it of proper oil feed and return flow " which i may add when a new turbo is installed those pipes need replaced" if thats the case then if the engine has alot of carbon deposits/build up then either thats due to bad oil quility non low ash type,low use or short trips for example..but as far whether the oil leak was due to installation? its hard to say without actually knowing or seeing the leak myself but i do know these feed lines have small copper o rings that need renewed too so maybe one of those maybe leaking during the lines renewal.. .I do hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thank you, ***** ***** original turbo failed it was making an awful noise. The mechanic admitted to me that initially no new oil feed pipes had been fitted. He was also unable to do a forced regeneration on the dpf. Thank you for your help.

Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.

Well during any new turbo fitment you have to replace the feed and return lines. as some turbo reconditioning companies will void warranty if they find out the turbo they supplied was cause by not replacing those or caused the intial failure in the first place..or the turbo failed again as a result of another unlaying issue..either oil pressure/or restriction in any of those two lines to cause the turbo to overheat and wear out.... if he was unable to force regen then thats because the filter may have been beyond regeneration in which the next step is to have cleared out professionally or renewed..then the engine oil/filter replaced -if the filter was blocked to that extent..then that can be a factor in either the wrong oil used or the car is seldom used as deisels nowadays require alot of use to keep the soot levels down in the filter as thats how the dpf works..its needs to be at a certain temperature over prolonged period of driving ie: motorway to complete the regeneration cycle... I do hope this helps further.. please dont forget to rate my answer as above and if you require to ask anything further then just ask anytime..regards Robert