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My Turbo is shot, apparently. The shaft is broken and the impeller is flopping around. This is what my mechanic tells me. He wants to replace with a VNT 17 turbo. I'm looking for pros and cons. I guess it will give me more power, which I don't know that I necessarily need. And he said something about having to retune the engine or computer or something so the CEL doesn't come on after the upgrade.

The other option is to use the regular turbo. He says it's a weak one, and he doesn't recommend that. I'm not an enthusiast like many of you on the forum or like he is. I just want to replace this with something that will be a good value. I've already had to sink $2k into this car, which I just bought a month ago.

Any thoughts/opinions are appreciated.

Thanks,

Erin
 

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From what I've read it's a good turbo to use and shouldn't give you any bother, it can take more and give more but wont give any extra without a tune but if you're staying standard and not tuning it's probably a waste of time.:)
 

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The CEL will not come on. It's a stronger design turbo but it will run like the regular turbo. It will not give you any more power without the computer retune. Response may be slightly slower due to the larger size but the difference is so small it's not noticeable and can be made up with a heavier foot.

I would drop by the shop and want to see the broken turbo impeller. This is sounding fishy. If the shaft breaks, the turbo will totally fail. Most of the time lots of engine oil will pour out of the broken shaft area too. All this oil will have to be cleaned out before running the engine. History? Symptoms?

If I were you, I'd buy a replacement VNT 15 from a reputable vendor. If the price is too low then it's probably a fake part.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good info...is the VNT 15 the same as the factory installed part? Sorry to be so uninformed.

I know that my other mechanic (who has admitted to me freely that he doesn't work on diesels or turbos often and is not an expert) replaced the intercooler thinking that was the issue. He said when he took it off that oil just poured out of the thing. He wasn't sure what caused it and thought it was unusual.

There was a TON of smoke coming out of the tailpipe when I drove it from the 1st mechanic to the 2nd, and the turbo never kicked in. The mechanic who has it now says the turbo is totally shot. His initial thought was that maybe my whole motor was shot. He said that it made a clunking noise when he started it and thought it could be a rod. He also saw smoke coming out of where the oil dipstick is. There was also major smoke out of the tailpipe on startup. He thought this indicated a motor problem but has since revised this initial impression and thinks the whole issue is the bad turbo. The first mechanic did have a friend of his look at it who is more familiar with TDIs. His friend said I needed a new turbo and that the impeller wasn't spinning. He did not say the shaft was broken, though. This analysis all happened after I spent the $$ to replace the intercooler...thinking that was the issue.

This is the whole history to date.....the car lost power and 10 mins later the clutch went out. Replaced the clutch and then went to diagnosing the power loss. There were not indications of low power (as far as I could tell) prior to all of this happening. Keep in mind that I only had the car for 1 week before it broke down, and I have never driven a TDI before now. It's possible that there was low power all along but that I did not notice because I didn't know what good power felt like.

The new mechanic is going to take the valve cover off and look at the cam (I have no idea what all of that means...something with the motor). I asked him to do what he could to rule out that the motor is bad, and that is what he said he could do. He said he can't really diagnose anything beyond that.

Anyway, all additional thoughts are very welcome. I appreciate everyone's time.

Thanks,

Erin
 

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Yeh the vnt 15 is the standard turbo, I think the clunking noises are probably caused by the extra oil going through the engine, it does make a right racket. No harm in checking the cam but I don't think there should be any problem there unless yours is the PD then it's worth checking, the turbo going will cause a lot of smoke especially if the oil is pouring through it, also you can get smoke if the turbo isn't working because there's not enough combustion pressure without it to burn the fuel efficiently.:)
 

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The camshaft is what opens the valves. the valves let the engine breathe.

It is possible your turbo is bad. If the wheel is seized, yes replace it ASAP. It's possible it died suddenly, when the dead turbo puts oil out into the intake the engine burns it and blows smoke.

VNT is factory installed turbo. IMHO, if bad, replace w/direct replacement. all that other stuff will cost $$$. You can do it but until the diagnosis is confirmed I would not budget anything or spend money on upgrades. Fix the problem first.

I don't know how in the world anyone would think the intercooler is bad, especially when it's so easy to test. If it holds air pressure it's good, has nothing to do with oil. Based off your questions, you probably misinterpreted what the first mechanic said or they are totally clueless.
 

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if you really want to remove your turbo, dont remove it by under the car ( i know its sounds ****ing obvious but some people do it that way and they dont understand why is it so pain in the ass
 
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