Q: The turbo is not working at all.

asked by on August 17, 2016

A few hundred miles ago, as I was in cruise control on the highway, my turbo did not kick in. There was no bang or smoke associated with this (as people previously inquired). It simply stopped working. My engine cannot keep speed up a Vermont hill on the highway without the turbo. Not long after I pulled off the highway and drove the rest of the way home (about ten minutes further), the 'check engine' light came on indicating to check the emissions system. When the car was revved up to a certain level (around 4000 RPM), the 'check AWD system' came on. I believe it switched the car into FWD mode, which is apparently a common occurrence when the turbo stops working. Are there some things that I, myself, can check? Plenty of mechanics seem pretty eager to replace the entire turbo without actually looking into it. As I will be selling the car very soon, I do not want to sink a ton of money into it with a new turbo, only to sell it and end up with not much back at all.

My car has 104000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are a number of things occurring all at once and may all be related to one thing. Unfortunately, that one thing very possibly could be the turbocharger assembly. That said, the best thing to do is have it properly diagnosed, rather than have a shop that is guessing it needs a turbo without looking at it thoroughly.

There are a number of things it could be, and the first step in diagnosis would be to have the Check Engine Light scanned. Speak with a qualified mobile technician, and let them know of what your budget is for properly diagnosing the vehicle. Two to three hours should be a fair amount to look into the issues. That would be a safer bet than allowing someone to replace a turbo for thousands without confirming it is actually the problem.

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