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Should I Check Other Things Before Replacing My Turbo?

I_N_J

Buick Newbie
6
1
3
Buick Ownership
Buick
Hi all,

Driving home on the highway yesterday I got this horrible whining noise coming from my car. It sounded almost like a siren. It also smokes from the back of the engine, which might be visible in the video.

Sound here: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

That video was taken with the car up against a curb in 1st gear to load the engine. It doesn't make the sound at idle or even free revving, only while loaded.

It seems like it's pretty obviously the turbo, but I want to know if there are common causes for this. My car is a 2011 non-GS (Not sure if the GS was available in 2011) and it's got 146,000 miles on it. Is it normal or at least heard-of for a turbo to die at this age? Or should I be looking for lubrication or cooling problems?

Further background: I did notice a slight burning smell starting a couple weeks ago. At first I thought I had an oil leak, so I looked around for one a bit, and without finding it resolved to just keep an eye on the level and see if it gets worse. It didn't just die suddenly. I did have some warning, I just mis-diagnosed it.

I've got a replacement turbo and oil lines on the way. I just want to make sure there are no other common issues I should address before putting a brand-new turbo in there. The last thing I need is to kill a part I just spent $1000 on.
 

CoyoteEcotec

Active member
215
52
28
Buick Ownership
2016 Regal AWD T
Hi all,

Driving home on the highway yesterday I got this horrible whining noise coming from my car. It sounded almost like a siren. It also smokes from the back of the engine, which might be visible in the video.

Sound here: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

That video was taken with the car up against a curb in 1st gear to load the engine. It doesn't make the sound at idle or even free revving, only while loaded.

It seems like it's pretty obviously the turbo, but I want to know if there are common causes for this. My car is a 2011 non-GS (Not sure if the GS was available in 2011) and it's got 146,000 miles on it. Is it normal or at least heard-of for a turbo to die at this age? Or should I be looking for lubrication or cooling problems?

Further background: I did notice a slight burning smell starting a couple weeks ago. At first I thought I had an oil leak, so I looked around for one a bit, and without finding it resolved to just keep an eye on the level and see if it gets worse. It didn't just die suddenly. I did have some warning, I just mis-diagnosed it.

I've got a replacement turbo and oil lines on the way. I just want to make sure there are no other common issues I should address before putting a brand-new turbo in there. The last thing I need is to kill a part I just spent $1000 on.
Some of them don’t even make it to a 100,000 or die even earlier than that. It’s like any other component. Build quality, driving style and maintenance all play into how long it does or doesn’t last.
That being said, Is your oil line still intact and providing oil to the turbo? Any codes stored? Have you inspected the turbo itself?
 

I_N_J

Buick Newbie
6
1
3
Buick Ownership
Buick
Pulled it today. Both oil lines are still intact. The turbo is definitely dead. There's significant play back and forth along the axis of rotation, as well as side to side relative to it.

Going to pull lines tomorrow. The oil lines are being replaced just because I may as well if I'm here. Coolant lines seemed fine so unless something jumps out to me tomorrow they'll be reused.
 

CoyoteEcotec

Active member
215
52
28
Buick Ownership
2016 Regal AWD T
Pulled it today. Both oil lines are still intact. The turbo is definitely dead. There's significant play back and forth along the axis of rotation, as well as side to side relative to it.

Going to pull lines tomorrow. The oil lines are being replaced just because I may as well if I'm here. Coolant lines seemed fine so unless something jumps out to me tomorrow they'll be reused.
Sounds like the turbo just met it’s life expectancy. Appreciate the update.
 
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