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Old 23-09-2018, 07:36 PM   #1
Fairtony
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Oil pooling at bottom of turbo intake

I was replacing the oil filter on my partners Corsa D. I’ve not done it before, and it required me to take off both ends of the intake pipe from the air box to the turbo. While it was off, I noticed a puddle of oil in the bottom of the turbo. Is this normal? And if so how much oil is to much?
It’s a 2012, with 60k miles.


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Old 23-09-2018, 07:41 PM   #2
Sharpy296
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I think this sort of thing is quite common due to the way the engines now recirculate gases , there are some people that will install a catch tank to grab the oil before it ends up in the turbo as it can cause issues. Its something that will always be there, if you are losing a lot of oil the cat / dpf will die as they are not happy about being really oily. Also if the oil level is dropping generally that can suggest a bigger engine issue. Otherwise its normal.
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Old 24-09-2018, 01:14 AM   #3
Sh1ner
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There will usually be a little oil residue in the turbo.
It is not due to recirculating gases at that point. It is because the turbo bearings are fed oil under pressure and there will generally be a little age related leakage even with relatively new vehicles. As the turbo bearings and seals wear the leakage increases. The most oil will collect at the lowest point of the intake system and it is not uncommon for intercoolers or the lowest pipe to collect significant amounts of oil.
The air feed pipes after the turbo and to and from the intercooler will have oil residue due to the pick up of this oil from the turbo as the air is forced through the ducts. This can fill throttle body electronics with oil over time because the oil carried by the air charge can collect around and be forced down and past the flap spindles especially if the throttle flap is vertically oriented.
The EGR and inlet manifold are where any recirculated gases are let in and go to, either from the exhaust or breather system and recirculating exhaust gases in particular can cause significant sludge build up in either, stopping things like the EGR, swirl flaps, map sensor etc from working correctly.
As a very rough guide with your turbo if you can lightly grip the inlet side spindle nut on the turbo and slide it side to side or lift it up and down at all then you might have some bearing wear and a decision to make. The only way to really check though is to remove the turbo but the situation you describe sounds like what I would normally expect to find.
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Old 24-09-2018, 07:18 AM   #4
Fairtony
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Thanks a million guys. Very detailed replies. I’ll just keep an eye on it every service. Check for play and for if anything changes drastically.
When you mention things gumming up on components after the turbo, would that only be an issue once it throws up a code on the obd?


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Old 24-09-2018, 10:50 AM   #5
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To a point yes but the build up of gummy sludge will be happening whenever the engine is running and particularly when the egr valve is open as exhaust gases are being sent back into the inlet manifold and this is where build up will be at its worst.
The build up can be such that the inlet ports can be nearly sealed up although the engine will still run.
The eml light might only come on once there is a fault or the adaptation system within the ecu has reached its limits although the engine may not have been working its best for some time.
A quick google for BMW N47 swirl flaps or Vauhall/Fiat swirl flaps might show the sort of issues that can arise.
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