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: Told oil separator in 2009 Volkswagon EOS is clogged and needs replacing. Should an oil change be done also at time of repair?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The oil should be changed at the same time as the oil separator is replaced. The separator is not located in a place where the oil needs to be drained to access it, so...

Q: My car won't start what can it be

A car needs fuel, air, and spark to start, if there is any problem with one of those three then the car may not start, or will not run correctly. The first thing I would check would be to...

Q: Turbo producing white smoke

If it is going out and you get white smoke and you've gone to the intercooler and you see there is oil in it, that means oil seals on the turbo are going out. I would advise fixing it very...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.