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Turbo bearings about to blow... Any tips on how best to limp home? (e.g. max RPM?)

ship69

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Hi Folks

I have a turbo that is probably about to blow. I have treated it with Revive Turbo Cleaner, but I think I'm too late... So I am now planning to limp home (a journey of some 500 miles!). Is there an RPM below which the turbo won't be kicking in?


Symptoms:
At about 2000 RPM if the engine is under significant torque/load for more that about 1 or 2 seconds, the turbo (on my starts to make a "singing" noise. It sounds more like a woman singing (in a slightly rough way), more than like a jet engine or turbine. I can get away with about 2500 RPM if the engine is not under torque/load before the "singing" starts.

My car: HONDA ACCORD EX I-DTEC, 2199 cc, Diesel, Year: 2008

The local garage here where I am on holiday in the middle of nowhere, had a look at my turbo and thought that there was "a bit too much play" in the turbo's spindle. He thought it was not catastrophically bad (yet) and that if it is hitting the housing, then it was only just doing so.

But the noise is clearly getting worse and worse. Also, it gets slightly worse when the engine is hot. I have recently changed the oil. I recently had DPF problems and this sound started as soon as I got the car back.

The garage concluded that the bearings in the turbo are about to blow up. Unfortunately the cheapest reconditioned turbo that they could get me would cost about "£1000 to £1200" (plus labour + oil change) and either way I have now run out of time and need to be back home by Monday for work, so waiting around to get it fixed is not an option(!).

I can't really afford £1300+ to replace the turbo. The whole car - which has done c.100K miles - is probably only worth £2.5K in any case. My plan is to source a replacement second-hand turbo off a wreck after I get home.

There is an outside chance that Revive will suddenly cure all my problems, but it it not looking too likely!

Any suggestions?
 

F6HAD

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If you think your turbo is about to pop then please have the car recovered home or to a garage. If it does blow while you’re driving you will starve the engine of oil and also risk pulling oil in past the seals straight into the intake and back through the engine causing catastrophic failure.

What exactly is it that your garage did in the end with your dpf? You keep posting random posts asking for help but never seem to act on any sensible advice offered. Neither have you actually shared the outcome of all your dpf issues.
 

DazTheMe

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Revive turbo cleaner will not fix anything. Chemicals don't miraculously fix mechanical components, it may however prolong the life of an already good turbo.

Cheapest option would probably be get a turbocharger from an accord that's been broken and get it fitted. Obviously that is the most risky option too.

If you were driving in limp mode with a blocked dpf for a long time that may of caused premature failure of the turbo.

Good luck either way
 

ship69

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A 500 mile recovery would cost a fortune and is clearly not an option.

As I said above the local mechanic indicated that my turbo is badly worn but not yet broken

My simple question is what driving style is most likely to get me home with a badly worn turbo charger?

For example on level ground in 6th Gear what speed has a maximum should I be doing?

Likewise is there an RPM below which the turbocharger is not meaning fully engaged?

Eg 60 miles per hour and or 2000 RPM?
 

F6HAD

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This is an impossible question to answer, your turbo is controlled by a complex set of mapping variables which take into consideration, ambient temp, throttle position, load conditions etc. There is never a time when the turbo isn’t spinning.

I also note you said this all started when you got your car back from garage after they ‘fixed’ your dpf. So if their fix involved a remap, this will have changed all those parameters anyway.

Just get it home however you think best in consideration of your own personal situation and have the turbo replaced. Then sell the car and buy a nice simple normally aspirated 4 cylinder petrol engined motor.
 

ship69

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F6HAD, I wonder if your patronising tone is deliberate or accidental? But thank you for taking time to considering my situation.

No, the question is not "impossible" to answer.

Common sense tells me that a turbocharger is a very finely tuned piece of engineering that handles enormous high forces and extremely high RPM, when under load. However, it also tells me that although yes the device will still be turning at lower RPM and lower engine torques, it is also clear that the forces at work will be VASTLY higher when the engine is under significant load compared to when when the car is merely cruising or idling. My guess is that these forces will be x10 (or even x100??) when the engine is accelerating hard compared to when the engine is merely cruising.

So, my question was really about during roughly what conditions of operation is the turbo charger likely to start really kicking in, compared to when cruising or idling?

Either way, I have used my own common sense and I have now driven the 500 miles home. Obviously I used only minimal acceleration at all times and I allowed the engine to go up to no more than 1800 to 2000 RPM during the journey.

On the Honda Accord this means no more than about 68 MPH on the motorways. On A- and B- roads I kept the speed down to 50-60MPH even when travelling downhill.

Driving in this way at no point during the journey did my turbo start to squeal / 'sing' audibly.

Having now got the car safely home, I finally tried putting some load though it by accelerating hard. It turns out that yes, the turbo is still squealing, and yes it obviously does still need replacing, but it is doing so LESS than before the 500 mile journey. So the journey has actually improved my turbo, which is something of a surprise. Having got home I am no longer in any rush and can take my time finding a second-hand turbo.

And I have saved myself hundreds of £££ in vehicle recovery fees.
 

F6HAD

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Sounds like you’ve answered your own question. My tone is merely a reflection of the frustrating nature in which you seem to pose the same questions and scenarios in multiple threads. You can ask your questions in ten different ways, but the answer will always be the same. There are no shortcuts.

Genuinely, I wish you luck. And my advice to buy a petrol car isn’t meant to be patronising.. modern diesel car ownership isn’t for everyone.
 

ship69

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My threads may be related but in line with good forum discipline they are asking different, very specific questions.
 
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