Turbo blowing oil through intercooler? - Subaru WRX Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 106 Old 07-22-2016, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
WRXtuners Member
 
ic3b3rg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 101
ic3b3rg is an unknown
Garage
Turbo blowing oil through intercooler?

I just traded in my beater '06 Honda Accord for a '12 WRX with about 75,000 miles on it. Luckily I bought the biggest, baddest warranty I could from the Toyota dealership that had it for sale because my local Subaru dealer found some problems...

The Toyota dealer claimed that the car had "undergone a 140 point inspection" and was caught up on maintenance and "100% stock". On the test drive I noticed the exhaust didn't sound stock. When I mentioned it the salesman assured me that it was and that's just "how the WRX sounds". The only reference I had was my buddies STI with an after-market exhaust so I believed him. I had my uncle (a mechanic that works on buses) look over it with me and everything seemed to be in good shape. Brand new tires and breaks; nearly complete service history; new clutch; hoses weren't brittle; etc.

After driving it around conservatively for about 200 miles I decided to really get on it on a highway ramp and heard a hissing or "whooshing" sound that I've never heard in any car, turbo or otherwise before (buddy has an STI, brother drives a SAAB 900 turbo).

So when I got home I took a look at the air filter. It looked like it had been gummed up with tree sap and road tar or something... Not what I would call caught up on maintenance. I did nearly all the maintenance on my Honda so I went about the basics on the WRX. I jacked it up and did an oil and oil filter change. The oil didn't look excessively dark or anything. The exhaust definitely did not look stock. The mufflers were removed but it looked like the cat and the resonator were still intact. Went to remove the spark plugs and... lets just say I rage quit.

Even with the air filter replaced the whooshing sound didn't go away so I took it to my local Subaru dealer thinking I had some kind of vacuum/boost leak.

I had them inspect everything and they found that, besides the exhaust, I also had a performance clutch and a kart-boy short-shift kit installed by the previous owner. I wonder if I could sue for false advertising or something - anyway, the downside was that they found a oil on the hose leading away from the intercooler leading them to believe that the turbo is passing on oil through the intercooler - most likely meaning I had a leaking seal and would require the turbo to be replaced. The hose clamp was essentially spinning freely from the oil. They think the sound I'm hearing is boost leak from that.

I invoked my warranty and the Subaru dealer is going to do the work next week.

My question is:

Is it actually safe to be driving around in this condition? The Subaru dealer didn't make it seem like a big deal at all. They told me "the engine will just burn the oil, you may smell it - keep an eye on the oil level." He told me not to even worry about driving it hard?! At the least I'm pumping oil into my intake, at most I could blow my turbo, right? If I break the turbo and send bits of metal through the entire engine...

I'm already driving very softly (trying to keep it under 3500RPM) but should I quit driving it altogether until fixed? Once the new turbo is in is there anything I can do to flush the intake out or will it just suck everything through and sort itself out? Anyone have anything like this happen to them before?

Last edited by ic3b3rg; 07-22-2016 at 12:06 PM. Reason: punctuation
ic3b3rg is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 106 Old 07-22-2016, 01:18 PM
WRXtuners Member
 
arcticscythe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: California
Posts: 1,540
arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
Sorry to hear your already jumping through hoops with your new car.

Anyway to answer your question and give you a bit of knowledge here goes. The condition your talking about is called blow by.It is a normal condition as the seals in the turbo wear but the ammount of oil that is blown by is the issue. The reason it can be dangerous for your car is because oil in your intake path means that the engine is getting a more knock prone fuel/air mixture. Assuming everything is stock ( which we now know it is not ) and assuming you have a stock tune you should be fine running with some minor blow by as long as you are not stomping on the throttle. The issues tend to start when you have more major leaks and your engine starts knocking becaues of the poor fuel air mix quality.

In the future you can help negate the possible harm to your car by installing an Oil Catch can ( which helps remove oil from your vac lines ) as well as runing the best quality fuel you can find. Fuel with a higher than 91octane rating will help negate some of the octane lowering going on with the blow by.

As far as a toyota dealership telling you everything is covered thats great. I would also have the subaru dealership return the exhaust to stock and reset the ECU to stock. In many cases drivers add aftermarket exhausts including downpipes that require the ECU to be retuned. When non Subaru techs return them to stock they can miss the aftermarket parts and or miss the retune leaving you with a dangerous tune or dangerous parts on your stock tune. Long story short I would talk to both dealerships and get your car reset to stock correctly by a Subaru mechanic. If toyota is willing to foot the bill thats even better.

Hope that helps
ic3b3rg likes this.

- Jason
Slow is Smooth > Smooth is Fast
arcticscythe is offline  
post #3 of 106 Old 07-22-2016, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
WRXtuners Member
 
ic3b3rg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 101
ic3b3rg is an unknown
Garage
Thanks for the quick reply! So it sounds like I really just need to be listening for the engine to start knocking - as that would mean the leak is getting worse and I should stop driving it at that point, correct? The work is being done in 3 days, so I'm thinking I'll probably be fine until then.

I was already considering an oil catch can - thanks for bringing that up. Would you recommend that over some type of air/oil separator (so I don't have to remember to drain the can, haha)?

I'll make sure the Subaru tech flashes the ECU back to stock - if the exhaust has only been modified from the cat (or even just axel?) back would it require a re-tune over stock? I don't mind that it is a little louder, I just would like to run on the stock tune.

It looks like the downpipe/cat/resonator are still stock (just going off of pictures I found online). It really just looks like a "muffler delete" or whatever they call it when they go straight-pipe from the resonator back.

Thanks again for the wisdom!

Last edited by ic3b3rg; 07-22-2016 at 02:03 PM. Reason: a word
ic3b3rg is online now  
 
post #4 of 106 Old 07-22-2016, 02:20 PM
WRXtuners Member
 
arcticscythe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: California
Posts: 1,540
arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
Almost,

Once you hear it knocking youve already caused the damage. the idea is not to cause that damage in the first place. Nice quality high octane fuel and driving like a grandma would both help keep the knock from happening in the first place. Honestly if you can afford not to drive it for the time being i would choose that option.

A separator is a good call if only because the amintnence is less and I think grimmspeed makes one that just drains right back into the oil inlet as well. The downside of a no maintenence unit is that you dont get to keep tabs on how much oil is actually being removed from the path. Thats a good meter to see how your engine is doing.

If the exhaust has been modified before the midpipe then you should get a stock unit or a custom tune to handle the new exhaust. Pretty much the rule of thumb is if you change the intake or exhaust path at all you tune. You can get away with an axlback system without a tune but most full catback systems change the exhaust flow in a meaningful enough way to warrant a tune.

- Jason
Slow is Smooth > Smooth is Fast
arcticscythe is offline  
post #5 of 106 Old 07-23-2016, 07:21 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
titter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,306
titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention
Garage
how cold does it get in ohio? the grimmspeed aos is not to be used in cold climates.

(All Years) Grimmspeed AOS Condensation Issue - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

the IAG unit is pretty nice.

Bugeye EJ207 Spec C 4EAT Wagon
happiness is measured in smiles per gallon
dont forget to wave
titter is offline  
post #6 of 106 Old 07-23-2016, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
WRXtuners Member
 
ic3b3rg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 101
ic3b3rg is an unknown
Garage
Steady diet of 93 - check
Granny driving - check

It can get fairly cold in Ohio. I live in Cincinnati (not that bad) but go to Cleveland occasionally for work and it routinely hovers around 0F/-18C for weeks at a time during the winter but usually isn't much colder than -10F/-23C.

It sounds like the catch can is the route I will go. I'll also have the Subaru tech take a close look at the exhaust and let me know where it has been modified. Hopefully just axle back. In that case I'll make sure the computer gets set back to stock.

Can anyone recommend their favorite catch-can system and/or other reliability and longevity mods?

Last edited by ic3b3rg; 07-23-2016 at 12:36 PM. Reason: changed the last sentence
ic3b3rg is online now  
post #7 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 07:12 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
GSMNZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 730
GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
I have a ebay special Oil catch can on my car. It does the job an was only $20! If you want to pay for a name then go with one of the big companies... but I promise you it is unneeded. You don't want a AOS where you live.

I check my catch can and empty it every week. Being in the cold climate it will look milky but that's because we get a lot of condensation where its cold. That's why we can't have the AOS.

Then just drive knowing all that crap is staying out of your piping, turbo an intercooler.
ic3b3rg likes this.

05 WRX Wagon - 409 AWHP / 334 WTQ Wicked Matt Tuned
GSMNZ is offline  
post #8 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 10:00 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
titter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,306
titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention titter is a WRX tech God, pay attention
Garage
yea catch cans and AOS's are quite different.

catch cans work great but require almost weekly maintenance in some cars.

the IAG AOS heats the unit and the oil using the engine coolant so theres no condensation. its expensive yes, you could probably buy 10 catch cans for the price, but the trade off is 100% maintenance free and the oil drains back into your crankcase, even in cold climates.

if you dont mind checking/draining often, then a catch can will be fine. i should also say the maintenance shechdule is dependant on the size of the can. smaller ones need to be checked weekly, larger ones u can probably check monthly or with every oil change.

Bugeye EJ207 Spec C 4EAT Wagon
happiness is measured in smiles per gallon
dont forget to wave
titter is offline  
post #9 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
WRXtuners Member
 
ic3b3rg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 101
ic3b3rg is an unknown
Garage
How difficult is it to drain the catch cans? The type I've seen just browsing around look like they all drain from the bottom. Obviously it is going to depend on where I put it in the engine bay, but do people typically get under the car and drain them almost how you would drain oil from the oil pan? Could you take them off the mounting bracket and just dump it in some kind of cup, etc., without having to get under the car? Do most people just pour the accumulated oil back into the engine or get rid of it?
ic3b3rg is online now  
post #10 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 10:32 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
GSMNZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 730
GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
I use a syringe and pop off the little hoses on the side that tell you how full they are. Connect the syrindge to that and suck out all the shiznit out. Super simple and no removing or getting under the car.

When you have a catch can it is going to be milky like I said before. That means this oil is no good. Just dispose of it.

05 WRX Wagon - 409 AWHP / 334 WTQ Wicked Matt Tuned
GSMNZ is offline  
post #11 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 10:33 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
arcticscythe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: California
Posts: 1,540
arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful arcticscythe is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
Yeah if you use something like a wing nut to hold the catch can on the brackets you could easily turn it off and dump it into a cup. Just be careful not to dump any oil back into the vac lines, kinda negates the purpose if you know what i mean.

- Jason
Slow is Smooth > Smooth is Fast
arcticscythe is offline  
post #12 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 10:49 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
GSMNZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 730
GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
Don't run a line back to the intake. Its not needed and if you ever let it get too full you will suck tons of it back through where you are trying to keep it out of.

05 WRX Wagon - 409 AWHP / 334 WTQ Wicked Matt Tuned
GSMNZ is offline  
post #13 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 11:14 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
GSMNZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 730
GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
Below you see my set up before I finished my build completely. One line going into the Can is form the driver side head an I have the crank case breather T'd into it. The other hose is just the passenger Head.
Attached Images
 

05 WRX Wagon - 409 AWHP / 334 WTQ Wicked Matt Tuned
GSMNZ is offline  
post #14 of 106 Old 07-26-2016, 11:16 AM
WRXtuners Member
 
GSMNZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 730
GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful GSMNZ is known to be trustworthy and helpful
Garage
Here it is a little zoomed in. The pic is bad i know
Attached Images
 
ic3b3rg likes this.

05 WRX Wagon - 409 AWHP / 334 WTQ Wicked Matt Tuned
GSMNZ is offline  
post #15 of 106 Old 07-29-2016, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
WRXtuners Member
 
ic3b3rg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 101
ic3b3rg is an unknown
Garage
Got it, thanks guys!

Other than EPA concerns couldn't I theoretically just vent it onto the ground or something, too?
ic3b3rg is online now  
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome