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MIGClub Member
14,789 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Vauxhall Turbo Smoke

One reason for the occasional puff of smoke from turbo'd Vauxhalls:

The smoke you're seeing may be from the turbocharger. At tick over, oil demand from the engine is very low and as a result the turbine oil seals become swamped with oil and as a result you get a bit of oil blowing past the seals. This is more likely to happen when the oil is very hot, such as in heavy traffic. It doesn't mean the turbocharger is shagged. Mine ('92 Turbo) does it from time to time even though the turbo unit is only twelve months old. You can prevent it happening by using the recommended semi-synthetic Vauxhall oil and by revving the engine a bit (to 2000rpm) when the smoke first appears. This will unswamp the turbine seals and everything should be OK.

If the problem persists then it could be an indication that the seals are on the way out. This is very bad. What'll happen then is as the oil passes the seal and hits the rotor shaft it carbonises instantly due to the extreme heat. If the seal a gone in a bad way, you will get a carbon build up on the rotor shaft. Carbon is very effective at cutting through stuff, especially rotor shafts that rotate at 15,000rpm. The carbon can cut clean through the shaft, resulting in a very spectacular turbo explosion with all the debris going back in the engine. Find out like I did!!!

Original text sourced from the Calibra Club Bullitin Board, posted by Dunk
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