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    Thread: New American turbo fours: do you trust their reliability?

    1. Member
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      05-25-2012 02:24 PM #1
      As everyone is jumping on the turbo-4 bandwagon, so are American manufacturers. But given (1) their horrible reliability in the eighties and (2) that they are essentially new at it after such a long absence in the US from the turbo scene, do you trust their reliability? These engine are going into family sedans whose typical owners won't use synth and who will never cool down when necessary. If Ford/GM mess up even a little with shielding oil lines, proper cooling, etc., could we end up with a mess?

      Or are the European branches of Ford/GM experienced enough in turbos that they won't mess up the US models?

    2. 05-25-2012 02:26 PM #2
      I don't trust any turbos.

      Never had one, probably never will.

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      05-25-2012 02:27 PM #3
      In the case of the Regal, isn't that motor essentially in Opel/Vauxhall for years before coming here?

      Not sure about the 1.4 turbo though...

      Ford also have their turbo 4 in EU for a while too, and Chrysler is leveraging the FIAT motor...

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      05-25-2012 02:28 PM #4
      I fully trust them, and will buy. After all these are world engines, not just North American.

    5. 05-25-2012 02:30 PM #5
      American carmakers improved big time, like everybody else. I'd trust them for 120K miles minimum. Yet I don't see the least necessity of a turbo in a mainstreamer - waste of money and more concerns for nothing.
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    6. Member G0to60's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 02:33 PM #6
      The typical owner of many turbo econoboxes probably didn't use synthetic oil or treat those motors any different then any other appliance over in Europe. Also, the domestics have had plenty of practice outside the US with small turbo motors so I don't see any problem.

    7. 05-25-2012 02:33 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by av_audi View Post
      (1) their horrible reliability in the eighties
      The EIGHTIES?!?!?!? You hold a grudge for while eh?

      Don't you drive a VW? Talk about the hydrant pissing on the dog

    8. Member Corrado1900T's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:04 PM #8
      I had a 1987 LeBarron Turbo,family owned from new, and that thing had the original turbo with over 179.000 miles on the engine. Horrible reliability in the 80's? I don't think so. America lead the revolution on water cooled turbos that everybody embraces today. Now the straight oil cooled turbos could present problems if not cooled down for a couple of minutes after running. This was why turbo timers were developed as well as pre and post oilers. I think turbo design has come a long way as far as turbo's designed for different applications instead of the one size fits all approach of the 80's. I don't know about poor reliability even with the oil cooled ones as I have a Callaway turbo Scirocco with around 75,000 on the clock that had doubled as my DD for a couple of weeks. My 1.8T retired its original turbo at 85,000 so I guess that destroys the watercooled turbo argument, however I did not own that car from new.

    9. Member MightyDSM's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:11 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      I don't trust any turbos.

      Never had one, probably never will.
      Ronald Reagan is not the president anymore, you can trust turbos...they have come a long way.
      Look at your signature, now back to mine, now back to yours, now back to mine. Sadly, yours isn’t mine.

    10. Senior Member JustinCSVT's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:12 PM #10
      LMAO. This thread is hilarious.

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      05-25-2012 03:13 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
      American carmakers improved big time, like everybody else. I'd trust them for 120K miles minimum. Yet I don't see the least necessity of a turbo in a mainstreamer - waste of money and more concerns for nothing.
      When implemented conservatively, I think turbos provide a nontrivial increase in efficiency.

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      05-25-2012 03:19 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by G0to60 View Post
      The typical owner of many turbo econoboxes probably didn't use synthetic oil or treat those motors any different then any other appliance over in Europe. Also, the domestics have had plenty of practice outside the US with small turbo motors so I don't see any problem.
      I hope you are right on the latter. As to oil changes "over in Europe", they typically use higher quality oil and they actually take the manufacturer's recommendation for oil type a little more seriously.

      Here in the US, you only have to look at how the VW 1.8T engine was serviced by dealers. The manual recommends 5W-40 VW spec oil. If that is not available, then at least ACEA A3 oil, and if that is not available, then API spec generic 5W-30 (you can sense the desperation of the service manual writer ) Guess what all dealers used: the cheapest 5W-30 oil they could get their hands on, leading to numerous problems down the line. VW and Audi dealers wisened up a little. But I wonder how GM/Ford dealers/customers will handle the oil requirements of their family sedans.

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      05-25-2012 03:20 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      I don't trust any turbos.

      Never had one, probably never will.
      Unless you are 60 years old I would bet against this.

      Also, a lot of things have changed since the 80's. Based on computers in the mid 80's I wouldn't buy one of those either.

    14. Geriatric Member SSLByron's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:21 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by av_audi View Post
      I hope you are right on the latter. As to oil changes "over in Europe", they typically use higher quality oil and they actually take the manufacturer's recommendation for oil type a little more seriously.

      Here in the US, you only have to look at how the VW 1.8T engine was serviced by dealers. The manual recommends 5W-40 VW spec oil. If that is not available, then at least ACEA A3 oil, and if that is not available, then API spec generic 5W-30 (you can sense the desperation of the service manual writer ) Guess what all dealers used: the cheapest 5W-30 oil they could get their hands on, leading to numerous problems down the line. VW and Audi dealers wisened up a little. But I wonder how GM/Ford dealers/customers will handle the oil requirements of their family sedans.
      Maybe the domestics will simply engineer their engines to accept any semi-syn or synthetic grade 5W-20 or 5W-30 and eliminate all of the guesswork.
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      4+ pages and at least 1 death threat in a compact-car comparison test thread - oh wait, this is TCL.

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      05-25-2012 03:24 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by I once had a jetta View Post
      The EIGHTIES?!?!?!? You hold a grudge for while eh?
      Never owned an American car, though my dad had a POS Pontiac in the eighties. It is no secret that American manufacturers saw their worse days in the eighties and early nineties.

      But I was more generally referring to the reliability of turbos of that era, which weren't widely used in American cars, but they were used in enough cars like the Sunbird that a reputation for turbos being "bad" was born.

      Don't you drive a VW? Talk about the hydrant pissing on the dog
      Been pissing on the dog for 230+K miles now No turbo problem, no oil burning. The engine is still good. I am curious (not tempted yet) about the fusion/malibu, but I would prefer first to see how the new American turbo engines hold up over a few years.

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      05-25-2012 03:26 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      I don't trust any turbos.

      Never had one, probably never will.
      It wasn't the turbos. It was everything that supported them

      It was the tuning/computers/carburetors that managed old turbo cars that were horrible. PCV systems were terrible.

      Ran bad, blew seals, horrible gas mileage. Also don't forget it was the emissions crisis era in the 80's, where cars with V8s made like 180hp with turbos and under the hood was a sea of vacuum lines/emissions equipment everywhere.

      Those days are long gone.

      I trust them, and love them. As a matter of fact, i feel every engine should have one. It's wasted exhaust energy that should've been properly harnessed decades ago.

    17. Member G0to60's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:26 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by av_audi View Post
      I hope you are right on the latter. As to oil changes "over in Europe", they typically use higher quality oil and they actually take the manufacturer's recommendation for oil type a little more seriously.
      I kind of doubt that. I think a lot of people hold European drivers and car owners to a higher level then they should be. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they would go to a typical Jiffy Lube type place like a lot of people do over here.

    18. Member patrickvr6's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:26 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      I don't trust any turbos.

      Never had one, probably never will.
      What is there to trust? Turbos do nothing more than pump air. Engines are nothing more than glorified air pumps themselves. It isn't exactly black magic.

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      05-25-2012 03:29 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by dmorrow View Post
      Also, a lot of things have changed since the 80's. Based on computers in the mid 80's I wouldn't buy one of those either.
      Of course a lot has changed, and I am simply wondering whether Ford/GM will diligently apply all the learned lessons to their turbo engine designs. I am hoping they will, especially Ford, since I am contemplating buying Ford stock soon

    20. Member Volvo_D's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:32 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by patrickvr6 View Post
      What is there to trust? Turbos do nothing more than pump air. Engines are nothing more than glorified air pumps themselves. It isn't exactly black magic.
      he's just living up to his last name.
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      05-25-2012 03:34 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant Dan View Post
      with turbos and under the hood was a sea of vacuum lines/emissions equipment everywhere.
      Was it worse than in say the 1.8T AWM from VW? I did have to change a few emissions related rotten hoses/valves that seem to run everywhere under the hood.

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      05-25-2012 03:40 PM #22
      What about the 03-05 srt4 neon's?! Domestic turbo engine, with no real engine issues. Easy as always to tune and make power.

      I think the real question should be related to Direct Injection Turbo engines. I also think the real answer to this question is the capability of the stock cam driven fuel pump and carbon build up in the engine. This seems to be the common issues with new turbo engines, from any auto maker.
      I'll take my Koenigsegg Agera R anyway they want to give it to me. It can be pink, covered in 'Hello Kitto' livery and have a plate that reads 'I SUCK IT" and I'd still drive it with pride....

    23. Member MightyDSM's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 03:41 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by G0to60 View Post
      I kind of doubt that. I think a lot of people hold European drivers and car owners to a higher level then they should be. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they would go to a typical Jiffy Lube type place like a lot of people do over here.
      But it's Europe, man...



      I think that not having places like Walmart and Jiffy Lube is one of the reasons. I'm sure if they were available, people would use them.
      Look at your signature, now back to mine, now back to yours, now back to mine. Sadly, yours isn’t mine.

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      05-25-2012 03:48 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      I don't trust any turbos.

      Never had one, probably never will.
      ...

      really?

      The transportation logistics industry seems to do just fine with them.
      be brave and be kind.

    25. 05-25-2012 03:59 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by leakslikasieve View Post
      What about the 03-05 srt4 neon's?! Domestic turbo engine, with no real engine issues. Easy as always to tune and make power.

      I think the real question should be related to Direct Injection Turbo engines. I also think the real answer to this question is the capability of the stock cam driven fuel pump and carbon build up in the engine. This seems to be the common issues with new turbo engines, from any auto maker.
      Can you elaborate on the cam driven fuel pump thing? Haven't seen any of those since EFI.

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      05-25-2012 04:00 PM #26
      80's?

      I remember Apple computers had crappy graphics, hardly any processing power, almost no memory or storage space and had tiny screens. I doubt they've improved much in the last three decades.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

    27. 05-25-2012 04:04 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by MightyDSM View Post
      Ronald Reagan is not the president anymore, you can trust turbos...they have come a long way.
      You can't have problems with a turbo that isn't there.

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      05-25-2012 04:04 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by deadernie View Post
      Can you elaborate on the cam driven fuel pump thing? Haven't seen any of those since EFI.

      All direct injection petrol engines I"m aware of have a came driven fuel pump, it is the only way they can reach the pressures they do.

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      05-25-2012 04:06 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      You can't have problems with a turbo that isn't there.
      thats why i drive a Morgan 3-wheeler. i mean 4 wheels is pretty excesive....i cant have 4 flat tires! have fun with your extra tires idiots!
      What I do for a living? This is a small part of it www.lehmanvolvo.blogspot.com ...and now, so is this: www.infinitiofmechanicsburg.blogspot.com

    30. 05-25-2012 04:09 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by chris@revotechnik View Post
      All direct injection petrol engines I"m aware of have a came driven fuel pump, it is the only way they can reach the pressures they do.
      Cool. Did not know that.

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      05-25-2012 04:09 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by av_audi View Post
      As everyone is jumping on the turbo-4 bandwagon, so are American manufacturers. But given (1) their horrible reliability in the eighties
      Not all turbo cars had horrible reliability in the 80's. Heck, even the ChryCo 2.2L/2.5L TI cars were pretty reliable overall for a good many of their owners. Also, consider that apart from Honda/Toyota, MOST cars in the 1980's were so far off the pace of reliability as we know it today that you can't make any comparison.

      I don't think anyone has a serious advantage in R&D/manufacturing when it comes to drivetrain technology and reliability today, frankly. Which means I'd unhesitatingly recommend a Chevy Cruze or Sonic with the 1.4T motor.

      GM products with the 2.0T motor have proven to be very robust in service. Thus far, no major failure trends with the Ford EcoBoost V6, either, in transverse or longitudinal applications.

    32. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      05-25-2012 04:11 PM #32
      Welcome to the stone age. Holy crap this thread is making me laugh.
      ■■■■■■■■■■■■

    33. Senior Member
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      05-25-2012 04:13 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      You can't have problems with a turbo that isn't there.
      It's just a nonissue with many turbo cars. I've owned 5 of them and only had issues with 1 so far--my heavily modified '99 Audi A4. And that wasn't the fault of the Audi-supplied longblock; it was the fault of the shop that incorrectly remapped the ECU.

      All of the others--which have been stock for the most part--have been faultless for 70+k miles. That includes my Saab, a Subaru 2.5T, my current VW's, and another Audi.

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      05-25-2012 04:15 PM #34
      turbos have horrible reliability?

      maybe home brew strapped on to otherwise factory stock turbos do, but turbos designed in from the beginning have really had almost zero problems in cars/trucks.

      <-owner of an 80s turbo car with a non-rebuilt stock turbo with over 120k miles, that has been tracked, autocrossed and otherwise beat to hell.
      Quote Originally Posted by Time for a GTI View Post
      Something has gone horribly, horribly wrong when cockerpunk is representing the voice of reason. Holy ****.

    35. 05-25-2012 04:17 PM #35
      I'm scared of turbos and to be honest, I don't fully understand how they work. I don't know if oil is routed through them to cool them, variable vane, bypass valves, blowoff valves, intercoolers. When I look at friend's turbo engine bays, I don't honestly know everything I am looking at.

      Three wheeled cars inherently are unstable. NA motors don't have any real drawbacks besides efficiency.

      Also, turbo lag. I have driven turbos, just not owned one.

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