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  1. #1
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    Bad turbo seals?

    This is kind of a weird question but I am having a weird problem. My car is smoking A LOT but only when the engine oil is at the maximum level. When it stops smoking and I check the oil, I have barely a drop on the dipstick.

    I can't seem to figure out where the oil is coming from and I have completely removed the PCV system so no oil should be getting inside the manifold.

    Has anybody ever heard of a turbo seal leaking but only when the engine oil level is at max? My guess is that there is so much oil in the oil pan that it stops the oil from evacuating the turbo so it leaks through the seals. When the oil level is low, the oil can drain properly. This is a blind shot though.

    Thanks all.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wildride Click here to enlarge
    I can't seem to figure out where the oil is coming from and I have completely removed the PCV system so no oil should be getting inside the manifold.
    What do you mean?

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    This is on my 2002 A4 1.8T and there is a pipe that is connected to the block and the manifold with a complex system of check valves. At first, I thought a check valve was blocked and that the engine block was under vacuum and that oil was being sucked and dumped right into the intake manifold. There is also a hose that goes from the valve cover to the intake manifold. I removed all those hoses. The engine block and cylinder head are now both venting to atmosphere so no oil should be getting inside the intake manifold.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wildride Click here to enlarge
    This is on my 2002 A4 1.8T and there is a pipe that is connected to the block and the manifold with a complex system of check valves
    Why are you posting this in the N54 section?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Why are you posting this in the N54 section?
    ? I am not in the N54 section. This is the Advanced Tech section. I guess what you mean is why are you not posting this in the A4 section. This is because my question is about turbo seals and systems in general. I am wondering if a bad turbo oïl drain could be caused by an excess amount of oïl in the oïl pan and cause the seals to leak.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90Company Click here to enlarge
    What do you mean?
    I said that because I don't want people to say ''oh well oïl is entering the intake manifold'' or whatever. No, this is a turbo issue and it's what this thread is about and I want to know what I need to do with this (rebuild, replace ect)

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    I just noticed the turbo oïl drain line is very low in the oïl pan (right above the oïl drain plug)


    Click here to enlarge


    My oïl feed line has a kink in it as well. Remember, the turbo is smoking only when the oïl level is at MAX on the dipstick. Could oïl be leaking out of the seals because there is a bad drain only when the oïl level is high? @VargasTurboTech What do you think? Have you seen this before? Is the turbo shot?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wildride Click here to enlarge
    ? I am not in the N54 section. This is the Advanced Tech section. I guess what you mean is why are you not posting this in the A4 section. This is because my question is about turbo seals and systems in general. I am wondering if a bad turbo oïl drain could be caused by an excess amount of oïl in the oïl pan and cause the seals to leak.
    You're right, my bad.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Well I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is I know what the problem is. The bad news is that the turbo is shot.

    I bought this used car 10 days ago and have put about 1000 kms on it. I had been chasing this oil issue since I first added oil the day I got it, first thinking it was the PCV which is also defective. The funny thing is that the turbo will leak oil but only when the oil level is at the MAX mark. The turbo then pours about 1 liter of oil in the exhaust and there is no more oil on the dipstick HOWEVER the low oil light does not come on. The car then stops smoking.

    The previous owner did not check the oil as the oil funnel was broken (a common issue on the A4) so I replaced the dipstick assembly this week. That is how I knew that the oil level was low but not low enough to trigger the low oil level light, which came on after a one hour drive on the highway.

    I guess this thread is too little too late as the turbo will now need to be replaced. This is the kind of luck I have; I buy a used car and the turbo pisses oil a week after. This sucks. I wish I would have known earlier as I would have put a for sale sign on it.

    The previous owner had the turbo replaced 6 months ago but did not drive the car a lot. I found the oil feed line to be kinked.

    Click here to enlarge

    The proper routing is this:

    Click here to enlarge

    The turbo was slowly starved of oil and ultimately failed.

    So what I learned was that a turbo that is going bad may or may not smoke, depending on the level of oil in the engine. I thought I got a good deal on a used car with an almost brand new turbo. I will now go cry.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wildride Click here to enlarge
    I thought I got a good deal on a used car with an almost brand new turbo. I will now go cry.
    Don't cry.

    You found the problem and now can fix it. Not to mention you have the opportunity to put a better turbo in there now.

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    Well I just removed the turbo. I have about a quarter inch shaft play Click here to enlarge

    I have no idea how it was building boost.

    What are core turbos worth ballpark figure?

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