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Old 02-02-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
Focus Rookie
Join Date: Feb 2013
Fan#: 109475
Location: stoke on trent, United Kingdom
What I Drive: 2003 Focus LX tdci estate in blue

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1.6 tdci turbo failure (that old chestnut!)

Firstly, let me say hello to you all! I'm a newbie here and a relative newbieto the Ford Focus, my first one being a 2003 tdci estate I purchased before christmas, and what a cracking load lugger it is, hugely impressed!

I (maybe a little blindly) more recently purchased a 55 plate 1.6 tdci estate, lots of service history, overall excellent condition despite wearing 135k on the clock, interior very clean, nicely specced.

However, bought as spares or repair due to knackered turbo bearings (I can hear air being sucked between teeth already), and they were knackered! Around 3mm of play in the turbo shaft though no damage to either the compressor or turbine housings.

So after reading up on this shared development PSA/Ford power unit it appears this is a hugely common thing and just about anything from blocked dpf filters to leaky injector sealsto witchcraft is cited as the reason.

To be fair, as far as my example goes, prior to me removing the turbo either all the fasteners have been replaced at the last turbo replacement or this is the car's original turbo, and I can hand on heart say all fasteners were in a perfect, unburred untouched state.

So to surmise, for my particular car at least, I don't think 135k is terribly outrageous as far as a new turbo being required is concerned. Reading online though there are many horror stories of cars suffering repeated failures and slightly differing reasons for this, though excess carbon in the oil seems to be king of the quoted causes, usually injector no 3 (why only number 3?!) Leaking allowing either: hot gasses to escape the combustion cycle and thus causing carbonisation of the engine oil which in turn leads to excess carbon blocking the small gauze filters within the feed pipe for the turbo, or, and I like this, leaking injector seals allowing carbon to leak directly into the oil. While the first one is at least plausible, the second reason sounds like utter rubbish, sorry but it does. Where is this carbon coming from directly from a piece of the inlet tract exactly? Mind you, that did come from the 'honest john' website, a goldmine of unintentional mirth.

And I had another thought, firstly, the oil filter should be trapping debris down to about 25 microns which is quite tiny, and also, carbon, isn't that actually a form of lubricant which is closely related to graphite? Or is it more to do with other impurities including metallic debris embedded in the carbon which causes the issue? Though thinking on even more, if that's the case both my old impreza and 620ti should have also been privy to the premature and repeat failures of their respective turbos, which they weren't.

While it doesnt seem to be just Focus based applications which fail, it would appear the fail rate is higher in the Focus, say compared to the BMW mini, but then that's unfair as I'm sure there are many more Focus diesels compared to mini d's so the comparison will be artificially lop sided.

Just musings really. I'd like to know of any stories which are confirmed and not just internet fables, 'a mate of a mate had terrible warts after driving a 1.6 tdci' etc etc, and your stories and experiences are much welcome in reply be they negative or positive.

After reading the Ford TSB it looks likely I know what my days off next week will be spent doing! the freshly built turbo will just have to kick its heels for a few days!

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