TTAC commentator sprite948 writes:
I once owned, to my sorrow, a 1978 Saab Turbo. The bearings in the snail went belly up in about 50,000 miles, which pretty much made the turbo a maintenance item that needed regular replacement.
So now we see increasing numbers of vehicles with smallish engines with turbos. What’s your estimate of their longevity?
Luckily, these modern motors won’t fail like an old turbo mill from the disco era. But I don’t like these new turbo motors in mainstream machines: I’d prefer more modestly sized platforms, with cheap/simple naturally aspirated powertrains to net the same improvement in fuel economy. Or Corvettes/Panther-like rigs with tons of low-end grunt (i.e. no need to run WOT) and tall gearing.
And now that I got that out of the way…
Most OEM’s work hard to minimize component failure in the first 100,000 miles. And these new crop of turbocharged and direct injected engines will pass that test for a bazillion reasons, all stemming from improved technology across the R&D spectrum. But, and there’s a big butt:
1. Regular oil changes with the right type of oil, as per manufacturer guidelines. And with that in mind, insert VW/Audi 1.8T engine sludging joke here.
And if you expect the vast majority of modern Turbo engines to not have a turbo failure before 250,000 miles, well don’t bet on it. And that’s not a slam on auto manufacturers: that’s a slam on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th owner of these vehicles.
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