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Under What Conditions Would A Faulty Turbo Blow Blue/White Smoke?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by danb986, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    I'm having an ongoing issue where my car has started leaving clouds of bluey whitey smoke when I pull away.

    I've cleaned out the oily boost pipes and resealed them all.
    I've also drained out about 0.5 litres of engine oil as Audi had filled it about 5mm above maximum at the service. Although they claim that much over max isn't an issue.
    I've cleaned out the egr and checked it's function. It wasn't as dirty as some of the photo's I've seen on here, but it was covered in a couple of mm of black oilyness.

    I started the car and I still get blue/white smoke. I suppose there could still be some oil in the intercooler if the overfilling was the problem, but now I'm leaning towards the idea the turbo seals have gone.

    My question is (I got there eventually), what revs and load would I expect to see blue smoke from the exhaust if the turbo oil seals are knackered?
    I generally only get it as I initially pull away. Could this be the turbo, as in my mind it would smoke more as the revs and boost increased, rather than just on take off. At higher revs and foot the the floor I can't see any smoke.
    I haven't seen any smoke on idle, but revving it creates a blue/white cloud.
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  3. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    I found this on another site. Does it sound like a likely scenario?

    "From your description, I'd surmise that oil is seeping through one of the seals into the turbo, then when you rev the engine and the turbo spools up, the oil that has accumulated at idle is blown through, hence the big cloud."
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  4. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    How many miles has the car done?
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  5. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    106,000
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  6. Cossie_boy
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    Cossie_boy Member

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    My turbo has just been changed, apparently the oil seal was gone which makes sense as I noticed a bit of oil round the back of the engine, although it never smoke at all, bit hard to know without taking it off I guess.

    Maybe take engine cover off and check all round the back and turbo?
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  7. Cossie_boy
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    Cossie_boy Member

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    is it remapped by the way?

    Ive had a couple of cars mapped which smoke a little when you booted them after, i dont think its so bad unless its pourning out.
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  8. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    Thanks Cossie_boy. I've had a look at the outside of the turbo when I took off all the boost hoses and cleaned them out, but it looked externally dry. The hoses were wet at the joints and had a small amount of oil in them. I think tomorrow I'll whip the hoses off the turbo and have a look inside to see what the shaft and vanes are like. I don't know if I'll be able to tell what's wrong unless the shaft is noticeably loose, but I would've thought it'd be making all sorts of noises if it was.
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  9. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 26, 2012]
    No, not remapped. Bog standard mechanically.
    My old Golf was remapped and that pumped out some black smoke when giving it some welly, but nothing bluey/white.
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  10. Cossie_boy
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    Cossie_boy Member

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    [Aug 27, 2012]
    Ahh yes indeed mate, good old black smoke, i had a mapped Fabia VRS SE for a while as my company car in my old job and when booting it smoked like a train!

    Well usual rule used to be blue was oil burning and white was water if head gasket gone etc... but dont panic as probably not that! as you would have high temperature and white **** inside of oil filler and on dip stick
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  11. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 27, 2012]
    Ok, so I've pulled off the hose that goes from the air filter to the turbo and that has the same amount of oil in it from the breather downwards- not much but a very small amount at the bottom.
    The turbo shaft has no play in it at all, but is it possible to have faulty turbo seals without the bearings being noticeably worn?

    Also, the fact that there is about the same amount of oil in the pipes before and after the turbo makes me think it might not be the turbo seals. Hopefully it's still burning off oil vapour from when it was overfilled. Is it possible that it could take a long time to burn off any residual oil?
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