Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Loss of power using turbo

asked by on

My turbo isn't working - the car frequently drops down to a lower power level. For instance, I was on a long trip last week. The car started out driving okay, but then the power cut down, the engine light and engine management light lit up, and the glow plug light popped up. When I shut off the car, it reset the power. Stopping and restarting the engine restores the driving power (though the management light stayed on), but the glow-plug comes on and the power drops anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes later. While I was driving back, the management light was still on, but the power stayed constant whether I was driving gently or pushing it. The dealership is recommending a new turbo, but these don't seem to point at my vanes sticking. What do you think? My local dealer has recommended a new turbo but these symptoms don't seem to me to be because the vanes are sticking. Any ideas?

A: It sounds like the vehicle is going into li...

It sounds like the vehicle is going into limp mode. This occurs when the powertrain control module (PCM) (also known as the electrical control unit) has determined there is an overboost condition. The computer disables the turbo to prevent damage from occurring. There are many potential causes for an overboost condition, with a failed turbo being just one of them.

Some other possibilities include vacuum leaks, a faulty vane adjustment solenoid, faulty turbo actuator or a bad MAF sensor. There is a technical service bulletin (TSB) # 21-07-65, which advises to check for vacuum leaks before replacing the turbo.

If you would like a second opinion from the dealer, I suggest you give the team at YourMechanic a call to inspect your loss of power condition.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: 2006 Jetta gli timing belt broke while driving on highway, valves damaged is it worth fixing

The car is worth between $5500 and $6500 with a running motor. If you spend $3500 to fix it then sell it outright you may profit about $2000 to $3000. If you trade it you may get $4500 or less...

Q: Main front seal

The front crankshaft seal seems to be one of those universal oil leak points on a car. If you desire replacement, simply request crankshaft seal replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get this promptly and professionally resolved for you....

Q: Cylinder #6 misfire on 4.0 liter SOHC

Hello. Good job on getting the basic tune-up work done! Given the mileage, this engine may have a longer-term issue, namely, accumulated wear on piston rings or a blown head gasket. Both of these can be diagnosed with a compression...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.