Automotive

Turbocharged Engines

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Turbocharged Engines

Hey guys, just wondering what's your take on turbocharged engines. Are there going to be more problems than they're worth down the road and how long does a turbocharger last? Thinking about buying a 2016 Honda Civic EX-T and it has a 1.5L turbocharged engine. I guessing with a 1.5L engine, there's going to be some or lots of turbo lag. We were looking at the EX but the 2.0L engine has a recall and there was a stop sell on all the cars with the 2.0L and I sure don't want one of these. New car with a rebuilt engine >> no thanks.
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Turbochargers have been around for 100 years now.
Turbocharger technology has evolved to become a very reliable performance enhancing device. The old problems of lag is long gone. They last for as long as the engine will last.
They were in aircraft in WWII.
Turbos have been on diesel engines for mny decades too.
Turbochargers are an efficient way of drawing power from smaller engines.
They have become almost trouble free at this time in their life....although regular oil changes are critical.
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Jun 10, 2008
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I have a 2007 rdx 2.3l 4 cylinder turbo. Haven't had any issues with approx 190 000 km.
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I've had turbo car for 8 years, 0 problems with turbo. Now another car with turbo and soon another car with turbo.

Turbos are here to stay and for a very good reasons too. Get turbo for sure.
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Nov 13, 2007
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2006 Forester XT - original turbo, no problems after 9 years of ownership.
2011 BMW X3 35i - no problems with the turbo after 4 years of ownership.
2016 WRX - solid engine, no issues so far. 1 year of ownership.

As as someone mentioned above, stick with the regular maintenance intervals and you'll be fine.
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Sep 22, 2009
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Problem is not with the turbocharger. It is with the operator.

I had a factory turbocharger that lasted more than 200k km. It was still okay but I upgraded to a different turbocharger.
My aftermarket turbocharger has +30k km with no issue.
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Mar 30, 2010
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Nothing to worry about.

They obviously add moving parts compared to a similar NA engine, but have been around for ages and manufacturers take them seriously for the average person/daily driver including all of the rigourous temperature extreme and logetivity testing.
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thisischris wrote: I have a 2007 rdx 2.3l 4 cylinder turbo. Haven't had any issues with approx 190 000 km.

I remember when the RDX first came out and thought about it but questioned Honda going with a Turbo.


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Timely OCI is a must for turbocharged vehicles.
Otherwise, they're maintenance free and don't generally fail.

But, tuning them to produce more boost can result in catastrophic failures.
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I just read a review on the 1.5L and there is turbo lag on this engine from a standing start. There always will be until the revs wind up. Wish it didn't have a CVT tranny though.
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Modern turbos are much better than the old ones, but I wouldn't say lag has gone. We test-drove a 2015 Forester XT for a few hours, and there was none of the old 'floor the gas and count to 10' feeling from a 1980s turbo car, but the lag was still noticeable... enough that my girlfriend simply couldn't drive it with her lead foot.
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Am I the only one who absolutely loves turbo lag? It's so fun when it finally kicks in.
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jackrabbit000 wrote: I just read a review on the 1.5L and there is turbo lag on this engine from a standing start. There always will be until the revs wind up. Wish it didn't have a CVT tranny though.
Turbo needs to spool up in order to create boost...
You shouldn't expect much on an economy vehicle.

When performance becomes a requirement, you will see twin turbo as the preferred setup.
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Pete_Coach wrote: Turbochargers have been around for 100 years now.
Turbocharger technology has evolved to become a very reliable performance enhancing device. The old problems of lag is long gone. They last for as long as the engine will last.
They were in aircraft in WWII.
Turbos have been on diesel engines for mny decades too.
Turbochargers are an efficient way of drawing power from smaller engines.
They have become almost trouble free at this time in their life....although regular oil changes are critical.
Mechanics echo this about the infamous BMW 335i. Turbos often die from neglect.
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jackrabbit000 wrote: I just read a review on the 1.5L and there is turbo lag on this engine from a standing start. There always will be until the revs wind up. Wish it didn't have a CVT tranny though.
I think that, while there may be some "turbo lag", we are dealing with a 1.5 litre honda engine and not a race car. The lag would not be evident nor really detrimental in your daily commuter. Where the turbo helps is highway driving where it is already spooled up and you have power to pass.
It is a small commuter car, if you are after performance, then perhaps that should not be your choice? :)
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FirstGear wrote: Mechanics echo this about the infamous BMW 335i. Turbos often die from neglect.
Everything dies from neglect. It is nature's way. :)
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jackrabbit000 wrote: Hey guys, just wondering what's your take on turbocharged engines. Are there going to be more problems than they're worth down the road and how long does a turbocharger last?
Have a ~8 year old Subaru with a turbo and it's fine - only thing is that you need to fill it up with premium gas according to the manual.

Turbo lag is fine once you get used to it - on my car it's only 1 second or so if you slam on the gas.
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coolspot wrote: Have a ~8 year old Subaru with a turbo and it's fine - only thing is that you need to fill it up with premium gas according to the manual.
Maybe for your Subaru but my Kia runs fine on regular. The owners manual will let you know what is suggested and what can be used.
Premium can provide a bit more horsepower but, it it worth the expense for 2 to 4 more HP? Oh and, you may get a bit better mileage depending where you get your gas as many premium fuels do not have any ethanol...again, is it worth the extra 15 to 22 cents per liter?
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