View Full Version : [Need inputs ASAP]Is it safe to drive a long distant with a fail turbo (info inside)?

08-16-2010, 01:16 PM
This is the story, my stock K03 is leaking exhaust gas out to the engine bay (possibly because of a clogged cat which pushes the gas back out from the turbo?), and is possibly burning oil. I need to drive to another town that is 125 miles away, and I won't have enough time to get the turbo fixed and so is the shop. I will be staying at that town for long enough to get the turbo fixed providing I can drive the car there. But, is it safe to drive a long distant with exhaust gas leaking turbo which makes the turbo, cat area very hot even after a short drive. I will do everything possible to disperse the leaking exhaust gas in the engine bay by removing the right headlight and front grill to let more air through. I will drive 55mph, I can stop every 10 or 15 miles to let it cool down a bit.

But the question remains, is it safe (for the car) to do this? (For now, ignore the problem that some exhaust gas will get into the cabin.) Thanks.

08-16-2010, 02:43 PM
I won't do that. It's possible that your turbo will blow-up and metal parts will come into your engine...and that's gonna be a very expensive turbo swap. Better dump the car for repair and get a rental car.

08-16-2010, 03:24 PM
I drove mine with the seals in them that were done for 200 km, Just as long as you don't gun it, the turbo creates no boost, so its practically not there.

08-16-2010, 04:18 PM
turbos dont leak exhaust, if it smells noxious, your turbo to cat seal is bad. if your cat was backing up you would know, it would cough and buck and choke. if it just smells odd, you could have a boost leak. take the inlet hose off and test for play, look for oil, etc....blown you can run it, just dont boost.

08-16-2010, 04:22 PM
the leasking exhaust gas (or odd smell) is not coming from the turbo to cat seal. Checked the shaft for play, nothing and no oil marks.

The machanic told me (by just looking at the problem) that mostly is caused by a fail turbo, because the leaking gas is before the turbo/cat flange, he suspected that the "push rings" (or seal rings?) inside the turbo (if I remember correctly) is fail which leads the exhaust gas doesn't go through the cat but escaping out from the turbo, not a lot, but enough to feel and smell the hot gas.

08-21-2010, 07:56 PM
Looking for final inputs. The porblem of the turbo is either a small oil-burning within the turbo (but no smoke out from the tail pipes) or leaking exhaust, either of them which makes the turbo a bit hotter than normal.


A1 A2 German
08-21-2010, 09:31 PM
Long story, but I drove for 2 months on a blown turbo....to do it proper (aka safe guard), and would take 20 minutes.....is prevent the turbine from spinning. There is no problem driving on a non-spinning turbo minus the decrease in power, the problem people speak of is it blowing up (tearing apart) and the engine sucking in the parts. Hell, you don't even need the guts of the turbo installed or even spinning (minus keeping the journal bearing as you'll see right through to the hot side of the turbo with it gone) to drive.

Remove induction boot, install a ~1' length of ~24 gauge steal wire around the turbine nut or fin to prevent it from spinning, install the induction boot with the steel wire exposed to the outside and secure it to the induction zebra clamp. And obviously there's a right way to secure it to the cold side turbine, your just not going to shove of wrap a wire around a fin and casually hang it to the outside. If you've ever seen how they wire wrap aviation parts (goggle it, easy) you can see how it's done. I would not drive with a spinning turbo.

08-21-2010, 11:26 PM
How hot is the turbo getting? Is it glowing red while you are driving it? Is your oil and coolant mixed? And where exactly are the fumes coming from?

Easiest thing to do would be to get some other sort of transportation and buy a new turbo.

08-22-2010, 10:55 AM
After a 20miles test drive this morning, the turbo area isn't as hot as I expected, it would say the temperature is very normal considering today is very hot. If it isn't a small amount of fumes coming out from the turbo (area pictured below), I even wouldn't say the turbo has any problem. Oil temp is constantly at 200F.