Does my van *need* its turbo??

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  • The turbo broke on my van today (renault kangoo) :(. The engine seems ok, but obviously it's lost a lot of power. The van's booked in for a service on Tuesday (too late, I know, the damage is already done), but I'm terrified of how much a new turbo's going to set me back. I've been basically living off beans, tins of soup and my parents' frozen leftovers trying to save up some money before college, and then something like this could wipe out the whole lot in one go.


    So, does my van actually need the turbo? It'll still function without it, right? I'll be slow, but I can cope with life in the slow lane. Would it be road legal without it? Do I risk damaging any other part of the engine running it with the turbo removed?


    Sorry if it's a stupid question, but saving this money has been painfully slow and I can't stand to see it just swallowed up in one lump. I need the van (I love my van!), so I can't put it off the road or get rid of it. But if I can get out of this massive bill then I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of power for a while.


    Thoughts?

  • As far as i know, newer diesel engines that were built for a turbo need the turbo for the engine managment system. Older engines you could do away with the turbo n just accept what little power was left was it. Im going to the scrappy on sat if you want me to have a look for one. Its an old fashioned scrappy where you take your own bits off n they cost £10 or £20 not a vehicle dismantller thats cost loads.

  • It started yesterday on the way to work. I didn't get far before the oil light and 'stop' light came on briefly and went off again. I went on a little bit and they came on and went off again. I stopped and looked for oil leaks but couldn't see any, but when I tried to drive off again there was a grating, scratchy noise. So (being mechanically useless) I phoned my dad...


    He put oil in it (it seems to go through a lot of oil, and I neglected to keep an eye on it - my own fault), ran it for a bit, and drove it home. The noise was gone, but there was a whistly noise (the turbo) that wasn't there before.


    Couldn't get it booked into the garage till Tuesday, but I stupidly thought it might be ok to drive it to work today with the new oil in it. The accelerating whistle from the turbo was pretty loud. A mechanic at work said this wasn't good (that the bearings could have been worn with the lack of oil and, since you can't just replace the bearings, the turbo might need replaced). I didn't get far on the way home. The whistling was even louder, and after a couple of miles the engine went 'shuddery', the whistling stopped, and the power died. Phoned dad again...


    He drove it home while I followed in his car. He said there's no power and thinks the turbo's gone :(

  • As far as i know, newer diesel engines that were built for a turbo need the turbo for the engine managment system. Older engines you could do away with the turbo n just accept what little power was left was it. Im going to the scrappy on sat if you want me to have a look for one. Its an old fashioned scrappy where you take your own bits off n they cost £10 or £20 not a vehicle dismantller thats cost loads.


    How new is new Pyke? Mine's an '07 model.

  • That is fairly true pyke13 but I have had a turbo go on modern car and took it off and it ran fine. yes if you code read it throws up a fault code but It was fine. If the turbo seals that are gone get it sorted soon cause it will just keep burning oil. you could just adjust the actuator so it does boost, but that will only work if the turbo isn't too bad. I would either get it replaced or get it rebuilt, will work out better in the long run and less hassle

  • If it is your turbo that's gone, I have a good one from a kangoo which I bought off eBay in case mine ever failed, haven't got the van anymore so you can have it, just pay me for the postage, I'm based on the Wirral at the moment

  • Careful driving it with a buggered turbo on it. If the seals go it can suck the engine oil in through the air intake and run on the engine oil. If that happens you can't turn it off and the revs get higher and higher with MASSIVE clouds of smoke, until either something goes bang or it runs out of oil and seizes. If this starts to happen on you STALL IT, as soon as possible, before it gets out of control and you may save your engine.

  • If it is your turbo that's gone, I have a good one from a kangoo which I bought off eBay in case mine ever failed, haven't got the van anymore so you can have it, just pay me for the postage, I'm based on the Wirral at the moment


    Curro, that would be brilliant - thank you so much! :) I'll PM you in a sec.


    One of the mechanics at work is going to put it in and check it over for me to make sure that's all that's wrong. I'm going to see if I can find anyone with a towing bar they can lend me so we don't have to risk driving it again.


    - - - Updated - - -


    Careful driving it with a buggered turbo on it. If the seals go it can suck the engine oil in through the air intake and run on the engine oil. If that happens you can't turn it off and the revs get higher and higher with MASSIVE clouds of smoke, until either something goes bang or it runs out of oil and seizes. If this starts to happen on you STALL IT, as soon as possible, before it gets out of control and you may save your engine.


    Thanks for the warning Chris! :eek:

  • That's ok Beachcomber. It happened to my wife when she was out in our van with the kids. She got everyone out in a panic, and phoned me. By the time she'd done that the smoke was so dense she couldn't see the van. By the time she'd explained it to me, it was too late and it went bang, and we ended up having to get an engine. :(

  • Well took your advice Chris and didn't drive it! I managed to get lucky and my work got one of the drivers to collect the van on one of their trucks and took it straight to the mechanic for me :eek:. I actually can't believe they did that (though I'm not sure the boss knows about it!). So it made it through safe and sound.


    Apparently the bearings and seals in the turbo are knackered. He's going to take it in for me to look at tomorrow, and he'll go over the rest of the engine after work tomorrow and see if everything else is alright.


    For all my whinging about work I do actually work with some decent guys :).

  • Well took your advice Chris and didn't drive it! I managed to get lucky and my work got one of the drivers to collect the van on one of their trucks and took it straight to the mechanic for me :eek:. I actually can't believe they did that (though I'm not sure the boss knows about it!). So it made it through safe and sound.


    Apparently the bearings and seals in the turbo are knackered. He's going to take it in for me to look at tomorrow, and he'll go over the rest of the engine after work tomorrow and see if everything else is alright.


    For all my whinging about work I do actually work with some decent guys :).


    I'm glad they are being so helpful :-)

  • Careful driving it with a buggered turbo on it. If the seals go it can suck the engine oil in through the air intake and run on the engine oil. If that happens you can't turn it off and the revs get higher and higher with MASSIVE clouds of smoke, until either something goes bang or it runs out of oil and seizes. If this starts to happen on you STALL IT, as soon as possible, before it gets out of control and you may save your engine.


    THIS!


    To me, on Saturday, just seconds after the chap in the garage said I wouldn't drive it if I were you :( I see the funny side now, but hanging on to a racing engine in the middle of a busy road when you cant even see the back seats for all the smoke, let alone whats coming up behind you is a challenge in sphincter control :O


    hope all goes well.

  • Shit Troll, that sounds scary (please forgive me for laughing at the image just a little though!). Really glad now I didn't chance it. I hope your car's not too wrecked :/

  • Thanks chaps :) I'm fighting a battle between head and heart at the moment, but it looks like either a Renault master or an Iveco Daily so I can have room for work stuff and a possibility of converting to part living in the future. Trying to find a good van in Cornwall is a challange though :(

  • That thing where the engine destroys itself is scarily common... just do a youtube search for "runaway diesel"


    Definitely something to be aware of for anyone that drives a diesel


    Even more scary when its 12litre lump of a scania truck - your sitting on top of the engine.. if it happens get it stalled vry very quick or your will end up like edward scissorhands out of your rear end ;)