Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So ... You Have a Turbo !

In today's automobiles often it isn't enough anymore to just have a vehicle that will break the 30 mpg barrier but it also must be an impressive performer. To keep up with public demand and to satisfy both requirements manufacturers are producing more turbo charged engines then ever before. These little beauties are a marvel when rolled off of the showroom floor and properly maintained they do for the most part have a reliable record. Last post I covered what happens when you don't service your engine regularly. This as an extension to that post relates that information to where we are headed in this industry. Much more common is it today to have the manufacturers recommendations on engine oil to be a fully synthetic oil. and at times if not it may effect your warranty. What you need to know is... What are your specific vehicles requirements? Now for the most part I agree oil is oil unless it requires synthetic. They do this to try and protect the harsh environment that turbo and supercharged engines are subject to. Standard oil will break down under the higher loads and greater temperatures that the greater horsepower brings to the engine. An old racer adage is that horsepower is heat, meaning the better it goes the more damage it is capable of to the engines internals. So you have a turbo charged or supercharged engine? Make certain you feed her the right oil. Next .... what happens when you don't !

This little demonstration clip is from a little Audi that had too little too late. Too much time between changes run the oil too low and damage results. If this were to happen to you please don't continue driving, please... even though it does still run, if you can call it that. The damaged turbo bearings cause the remaining oil in the crankcase to pour into the engines exhaust where it caused an additional $1000 damage in the exhaust system damaging catalytic converters and sensors. In the video clip you can hear the noisy bearings. We couldn't run it long, didn't want to smoke out the shop too much and didn't want to add any more oil to the already damaged exhaust.

The ONE quart of oil drained from the engine when it came in.



The videos and pictures speak for themselves. The oil on the floor in the picture to the left is after 40 seconds of run time needed to evaluate the rest of the engine for possible damage. Needless to say there aren't any mosquito's around our shop today. Anyway the engine in this case lived to see another day but most assuredly worse for wear. Final note: Turbocharged engines require more attention to maintenance then the average vehicle. If you tend to be just a wee bit late for service I would recommend you consider a different engine option.

Here at GPS Auto Solutions we encourage you to take good care of your vehicle and it will take good care of you. Come visit out website @ or Google us on the web. If you are a customer of ours please leave us some feedback on any of our sites or links. Again located in Lodi, CA. @ 1023 East Vine St. Call us at (209) 329-7995 to set up an appointment.


Sunday, April 15, 2012


by GPS Auto Solutions

It has occurred to me that in today's society not everyone can appreciate the abuse their car's engine is faced with. Owners that neglect regular service to save a buck however still get to pay me, their auto technician, later. As many consumers race from here or there, to little Johnny's baseball game or Suzie's ballet, the family vehicle often takes a beating. What most people don't understand is while today's vehicles have been built much more reliably and typically survive longer then days of old, their sophistication requires more attention to service detail. Manufacturers are requiring better quality fluids at regular intervals. Gone are the days of the 350 engine with 12,000 miles on it since the last oil change with just a few quarts added in along the way. Try that with today's vehicle and you will be spending many thousands of dollars on a new engine. The oil screens in the car's oil pan clog up with crud and starve the power plant of its life blood. Oil lights come on and yet the driver pushes it to the next appointment somewhere. Engine failure results, often seen after only 70,000 or 80,000 miles and customers don't understand why. We are asked often in this field why engine failure happens at such low mileage and the answer is still the same old truth: pay me a little now to take care of your car or an ever increasing amount of a LOT later. In short, please take care of your engine.

Below are pictures from an oil screen in an engine with just 77,000 miles. The car's engine had no oil pressure and would not have lived much longer. The first picture is of the dirty oil pick-up. The second photo was taken after the engine oil pick up was removed and cleaned. Notice the difference? Your engine certainly does.

In the next Auto Maintenance 101 post look for a video of what happens when a turbo charged engine is subjected to this type of engine abuse. In the meantime visit us at for more information about caring for your car. You can also give our service writer Adam a call at (209)329-7995 to book your next appointment so this doesn't happen to you.

Gps Auto Solutions