How to tell if my turbo is working properly
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This is a discussion on How to tell if my turbo is working properly within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Can anyone tell me how i can tell if my turbo is working properly I drive an 06 STI....

  1. #1
    Registered User mpiccorelli89's Avatar
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    How to tell if my turbo is working properly

    Can anyone tell me how i can tell if my turbo is working properly I drive an 06 STI.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpiccorelli89 View Post
    Can anyone tell me how i can tell if my turbo is working properly I drive an 06 STI.
    One place to start is to see what max boost your gauge reads.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User mpiccorelli89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    One place to start is to see what max boost your gauge reads.
    could you explain a little bit more please?

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpiccorelli89 View Post
    could you explain a little bit more please?
    Your car does have a gauge right?

    It should read in vacuum when idling (< 0). It should climb up above zero when accelerating. It should max out at around 14.5 PSI which I believe would be marked as ~.1 with the units on the stock gauge (with full throttle in 4th or higher at say 4k RPM). You should NOT be getting full boost at partial throttle as it can be damaging (typical of a manual boost controller).

    That will tell you it is charging the intake and is probably working fine. You can also check for boost leaks (which could make it run hot or not make full boost) and excess oil in the intercooler (which could indicate a bad turbo oil seal - some oil in there is normal though).
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User tarmacsti's Avatar
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    To add, a nice tattle tale sign of somethings wrong is the flutter sound given off by rally cars. If your car does that on stock turbo it could be boost leak!
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    Registered User Stitches's Avatar
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    He might now have a gauge I dont think STi's come with them. Anyways acceleration should feel a bit laggy i guess and come on hard at 4000 RPM, thats when you feel the torque. Acceleration should be consistent and not break up. No hic ups or anything. If you have a gauge, approx 14.5 PSI is correct for stock boost. At cruise while not accelerating you will also see some vacuum on the gauge.

    Not sure how mechanically inclined you are but you can also take the inter cooler off and see how much oil is in it (like said before). My seals went bad in my old turbo and oil poured out of the inter cooler, i was also burning over 2 qts per 1k miles. Pay very very very very close attention to your oil level. Check it every other day if you think something is not working properly especially.

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    Registered User mpiccorelli89's Avatar
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    nice...this was really helpful guys thank you

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    Registered User tarmacsti's Avatar
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    What gives you the reason to think its not working properly?
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    when you punch it does it throw you back in the seat and the car doesn't blow up?


    if so its working

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    This concerns me a little. Considering I have a fresh 100k mile warranty i might have my car checked out soon. Or maybe I'm paranoid and its nothing.

    Any ways, I guess the boost gauge I have is the stock one. Its a LaMco gauge mounted neatly on the steering column.

    As far as I know my 07 wrx is completely stock.

    When in 5th gear and coasting my gauge reads at about -.075
    The same for idling too.

    In 4th gear full throttle at about 4k RPM im looking at about .07
    When I hit 5k RPM it drops down to about .06 or .065 and pegs out there until I shift or let off the gas.

    I have noticed a very faint flutter sound as I accelerate to about 3k RPM then the sound is completely drowned out by the engine. If your not listening for it you wont hear it all. Is this normal?

    The car runs and feels very smooth. No sputter, surging, or anything of that nature. If your on it at about 3k RPM the car still will smack you in the face with its balls, so I'm not sure what it might be.

    From all the research I have done, I think it may be a minor boost leak some where but I have no experience in working on turbo cars "yet" so I couldn't tell a leak if it was blowing air right in my face.

    As I said in my newb post, this is my first boosted car so its a learning process for me. I definitely appreciate all you guy's help so far. This site has been a bible for me lately. I really am enjoying learning all about my new car.
    Last edited by JW-RX; 03-03-2010 at 11:12 AM.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW-RX View Post
    This concerns me a little. Considering I have a fresh 100k mile warranty i might have my car checked out soon. Or maybe I'm paranoid and its nothing.

    Any ways, I guess the boost gauge I have is the stock one. Its a LaMco gauge mounted neatly on the steering column.

    As far as I know my 07 wrx is completely stock.

    When in 5th gear and coasting my gauge reads at about -.075
    The same for idling too.

    In 4th gear full throttle at about 4k RPM im looking at about .07
    When I hit 5k RPM it drops down to about .06 or .065 and pegs out there until I shift or let off the gas.

    I have noticed a very faint flutter sound as I accelerate to about 3k RPM then the sound is completely drowned out by the engine. If your not listening for it you wont hear it all. Is this normal?

    The car runs and feels very smooth. No sputter, surging, or anything of that nature. If your on it at about 3k RPM the car still will smack you in the face with its balls, so I'm not sure what it might be.

    From all the research I have done, I think it may be a minor boost leak some where but I have no experience in working on turbo cars "yet" so I couldn't tell a leak if it was blowing air right in my face.

    As I said in my newb post, this is my first boosted car so its a learning process for me. I definitely appreciate all you guy's help so far. This site has been a bible for me lately. I really am enjoying learning all about my new car.
    Everything you describe sounds normal. The noise is wastegate flutter, it is just doing its thing. I don't know stock boost for an '07 WRX but IIRC it is lower than the STi we were talking about. It will taper at higher RPM as the turbo runs out of breath. You can put together or buy a boost leak tester if you want to make sure. If it is a little low, it could also be the gauge or elevation etc.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Well thats good news. I was kind of worried.

    I took off the rubber fitting that connects the air box to the intake pipe to take into Lowes to get it fitted for a home made boost leak tester. I actually made one.

    While I was looking for the purge valve I noticed that it is not as easy to disconnect as an STI because it is tucked way underneath the intake. I found the tube going into the intake manifold, but the other tube seems to be going down under neath every thing. I cant see exactly where it leads. I do know it would be hard to take it apart and put it back together without the dealership knowing I did so, and voiding my warranty. Even though I am highly tempted

    Do you think altitude can really effect it that much? I am in West Virginia (The mountain state), but its not like I am in Denver or something.

    If i take t back to where I have it warrantied they will give me a loaner, I just have to find the time to make the 300 mile journey back and forth.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW-RX View Post
    Well thats good news. I was kind of worried.

    I took off the rubber fitting that connects the air box to the intake pipe to take into Lowes to get it fitted for a home made boost leak tester. I actually made one.

    While I was looking for the purge valve I noticed that it is not as easy to disconnect as an STI because it is tucked way underneath the intake. I found the tube going into the intake manifold, but the other tube seems to be going down under neath every thing. I cant see exactly where it leads. I do know it would be hard to take it apart and put it back together without the dealership knowing I did so, and voiding my warranty. Even though I am highly tempted

    Do you think altitude can really effect it that much? I am in West Virginia (The mountain state), but its not like I am in Denver or something.

    If i take t back to where I have it warrantied they will give me a loaner, I just have to find the time to make the 300 mile journey back and forth.
    If you are around 3500' say IIRC it will cost you about a PSI of boost. I posted the calculations before if you want to check it out (you have to put in the correct #s for your elevation and then convert to your gauge units).

    http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/2456090-post73.html

    That thing that disappears down under is the turbo inlet. It won't come out of there without cutting it or removing the intake manifold. You should hear it if it is leaking with the tester though right?
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    I would hope so. I havn't presurized my engine yet. I read in a post that it could possibly damage your purge valve if you dont disconnect it.

    I used this guide.

    3.)Remove rubber line that is connected to the BACK of the purge valve...this line leads to the intake manifold. Plug the metal nipple coming off the intake manifold, and make sure your plugs are secure. If you do not remove the purge valve when performing the leak test, then it will make a buzzing sound, which could damage the seats of the valve and ruin it.
    If this is correct, its an issue for me. I can only easily acces the tube going into the intake manifold. To remove the plug going into the inlet I would have to take a lot of stuff off. Which I am very capable of, I just have a fresh 7 year 100k warranty so I deffinately dont want to void and loose the money I payed for it.

    This is also useful. 145.04 X MPA = PSI. So, .07 MPA = 10.15 PSI. I have found pretty consistently people saying that stock 07 wrx's run abou 11.5 PSI, so im coming up a little short.

    Where I am located in Wv is only about 1000' (average elevation of 1500 for the whole state) above sea level so elevation should not be a factor really. So I am assuming that either my guage is wrong or I have a leak.

    I may just un hook the inlet hose and plug it instead of completely removing it and capping the nipple. I just hope my car dosnt shoot me with what ever I use to plug it lol.

    By the way Myco your the shiz. Very helpful indeed. Its nice to see a forum that dosn't burn thier newbs for being...... newbs lol.
    Last edited by JW-RX; 03-04-2010 at 01:46 PM.

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