Turbo Not Turbo-ing
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This is a discussion on Turbo Not Turbo-ing within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey all, I'm hoping I can get a general idea what what's wrong with my car here... I have a ...

  1. #1
    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Turbo Not Turbo-ing

    Hey all, I'm hoping I can get a general idea what what's wrong with my car here...

    I have a 2004 wrx with 75k miles on it, and on my way home from work today, I noticed that I wasn't getting any power. Looking at my turbo gauge, I also saw that the pressure was stuck between -20 (idle) and -10 to -8 (full throttle). I'm getting NO extra power.

    I can't audibly hear the turbo spinning up at all, but I don't hear any other odd noises. When I took a peek under the hood, I think it's running a little loud, and I could feel some air blowing out near the front (probably the engine fan?). There's no check engine light on, temperature level is normal, and all exhaust seemed normal, there was no visible exhaust.

    Are these any clues to what could be wrong? I don't know a whole ton about cars, but I'm kind of suspecting that either the turbo is completely locked, or there is some kind of loose connection somewhere that the turbo can't get air.

    Thanks for any insight

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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Do you have an aftermarket exhaust? The reason I ask is because it would be harder to hear any kind of leak. When I had my '02 WRX, one of the joints on the stock exhaust manifold broke. I had full TBE so I couldn't really tell the difference with the sound, but upon inspection, sure enough, broken manifold. It was doing the same thing you're describing. It could be that the wastegate flutter valve is stuck open.

    Don't drive the car around like that btw.
    Last edited by xxxxxxxAnub1s; 05-06-2010 at 07:16 PM.
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    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anub1s View Post
    Do you have an aftermarket exhaust? It seems like there is an exhaust leak before the turbo. That's the only reason I could see you not getting out of vaccuum, because even if the turbo wasn't being regulated properly, you'd see 6-7 psi.
    Nope, it's a completely stock car (except for the turbo gauge).

    Quote Originally Posted by Anub1s View Post
    When I had my '02 WRX, one of the joints on the stock exhaust manifold broke. I had full TBE so I couldn't really tell the difference with the sound, but upon inspection, sure enough, broken manifold. It was doing the same thing you're describing.
    How easy is it for me to verify this? It just kind of sucks, cause just last week I had the car in for 75k mile service, and they said everything was fine.

    Does this mean a new exhaust is needed? I did eventually want to get a TBE, but not this soon!

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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombor View Post
    Nope, it's a completely stock car (except for the turbo gauge).



    How easy is it for me to verify this? It just kind of sucks, cause just last week I had the car in for 75k mile service, and they said everything was fine.

    Does this mean a new exhaust is needed? I did eventually want to get a TBE, but not this soon!
    Check my edit, sorry I had a brain fart. If you haven't heard anything really loud happening from the engine bay, that's probably not your problem. I AM wondering if the wastegate got stuck though.
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    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anub1s View Post
    I AM wondering if the wastegate got stuck though.
    Hmm, OK, I'll have to see if I can check that somehow...

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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, have you checked your intercooler piping at all? Wondering if something came undone.
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombor View Post
    Hmm, OK, I'll have to see if I can check that somehow...
    I think it is a good idea. See if the wastegate actuator has any spring tension by unclipping it and pulling on it. This thread describes adjusting it, it is the same to pull on it some. ONce it is undone make sure the flapper side sounds like it is flapping and the spring side feels like a spring (don't adjust it unless you really need to and know why).

    http://www.scoobymods.com/wastegate-...54.html?t=3654

    More likely is the boost control solenoid. If that sticks you will only see wastegate spring pressure (7-8 psi). To test that I think if you put the car in test mode it is supposed to click. The info on testing/cleaning it is all here if you want to search (sorry my pizza just finished cooking).
    Last edited by mycologist; 05-06-2010 at 08:02 PM.
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    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anub1s View Post
    Just out of curiosity, have you checked your intercooler piping at all? Wondering if something came undone.
    All I really did was open the hood and take a quick look around, and nothing really looked out of place. I'm not really a car expert or anything. I know how things work in theory, but thats about it

    On Saturday I guess I can go through and thoroughly check all the connections and wastegate.

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    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    I think it is a good idea. See if the wastegate actuator has any spring tension by unclipping it and pulling on it. This thread describes adjusting it, it is the same to pull on it some. ONce it is undone make sure the flapper side sounds like it is flapping and the spring side feels like a spring (don't adjust it unless you really need to and know why).

    http://www.scoobymods.com/wastegate-...54.html?t=3654

    More likely is the boost control solenoid. If that sticks you will only see wastegate spring pressure (7-8 psi). To test that I think if you put the car in test mode it is supposed to click. The info on testing/cleaning it is all here if you want to search (sorry my pizza just finished cooking).
    Ah, yeah, I was doing some googling, and saw that here: http://www.scoobypedia.co.uk/index.p...urWastegateArm

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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombor View Post
    All I really did was open the hood and take a quick look around, and nothing really looked out of place. I'm not really a car expert or anything. I know how things work in theory, but thats about it

    On Saturday I guess I can go through and thoroughly check all the connections and wastegate.
    Shouldn't take long to check the intercooler piping, the visible connections anyways. There is one underneat the damn thing that you'd have to take the intercooler off to see. But if you look at the turbo and the throttle body where the intercooler makes connections, you shouldn't see any gaps and should see a tight clamp. If anything looks amiss, remount the connections and tighten the clamps and see if that fixes it. It's the easiest place to start at the moment really.
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    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Didn't see anything wrong with the intercooler connections. I'm going to try and get a lift tomorrow and check out the exhaust manifold for cracks, and also take the turbocharger heat guard off and check the actuator bar.

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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombor View Post
    Didn't see anything wrong with the intercooler connections. I'm going to try and get a lift tomorrow and check out the exhaust manifold for cracks, and also take the turbocharger heat guard off and check the actuator bar.
    Bummer. Hopefully you see something tomorrow.

    Something else I thought of is that it could even be a stuck BPV. Something to also check out.
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    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    Heh, I'm hoping this is my problem:

    http://www.scarpace.com/images_misc/...linder_arm.jpg


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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Yeah, check the clip and the spring and the flapping as I said.

    Intercooler leaks etc. are still going to allow audible spooling of the turbo.

    Did you understand the bit about your BCS? The BCS is on the top right. Here is how it works - without the BCS active the boost pressure flows from the turbo to the actuator and opens it at the spring pressure (roughly 7-8 PSI). Now it is open and you can't boost above spring pressure (or below incedentally). When the BCS is active it opens and bleeds off pressure going to the actuator, allowing the actuator to stay closed by the spring. Now you can hit target boost above spring pressure. The BCS gets stuck closed and it causes low boost and it is a known (semi common) problem.



    Quote Originally Posted by theweedaman View Post
    no, you don't have to take it apart. you can just take the vacuum lines off and spray some electronics part cleaner in each end...I picked up a can at radio shack, but this didn't fix my problem. my stock bcs was so clogged up, it was useless...i bought a used one by posting in the wanted section on the forums. fixed my problem. :-) if you apply 9v or 12v of power to the bcs, you should be able to blow through it...if not, then its bad.

    You could also have bad enough gas etc. to cause your ECU to pull the boost. It does that by keeping the BCS closed as well.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

  16. #15
    Registered User zombor's Avatar
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    I took the intercooler off, to try and get the heat shield above the turbo off to check the wastegate cylinder arm. All the bolts were so rusted that all of them except one tore clean off when I tried to loosen them. One bolt just refuses to come off. I'm going to try and apply some wd40 to it and see if it can come off that way...The wastegate cylinder arm was also very rusted from what I could see.

    But, i did take a pair of needle nose pliers to the arm, and it was easy to move around, so I'm thinking that confirms that that arm is loose, probably because the damn thing is so rusted.

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