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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking at a turbocharged car today that I'm interested in buying. Right at start up there is a noticeable amount of smoke that comes out, but then it doesn't smoke. When you rev the engine up, it smokes a tiny bit AFTER you let off the pedal.

The mechanic that owns it said it seems just like condensation that builds up in the Turbo, and then it's let off when you let off the gas. Or something like that But he wasn't actually there when I was looking at it, we just called him and asked.

Is this a thing I should be worried about? It only does it at those two times, it's NOT constantly smoking. What are your thoughts?
 

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I was looking at a turbocharged car today that I'm interested in buying. Right at start up there is a noticeable amount of smoke that comes out, but then it doesn't smoke. When you rev the engine up, it smokes a tiny bit AFTER you let off the pedal.

The mechanic that owns it said it seems just like condensation that builds up in the Turbo, and then it's let off when you let off the gas. Or something like that But he wasn't actually there when I was looking at it, we just called him and asked.

Is this a thing I should be worried about? It only does it at those two times, it's NOT constantly smoking. What are your thoughts?
That's a good one!:rolleyes:

It is either motor or turbo related. If its the motor, the valve guides are probably going bad. If its the turbo, there is probably a seal going bad causing oil to be blown into the exhaust.

What kind of car is it and how many miles?
 

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Most likely, valve guide seals or the guides themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
VW GTI 1.8T
100,000 miles

I'll at least give the mechanic the benefit of the doubt because he wasn't even there, and the guy who was selling it for him just asked about right at start up, because we didn't think about revving it up to see what would happen. I'll meeting with him on Wednesday because I really like the car and it's a very good price for the year and model, its about $2000 under blue book, and I truly don't think he knew about the smoke before yesterday. And, if the turbo is bad, I guess I could just replace it with a BIGGER ONE! :D

Also, just from looking around online, it doesn't seem like the typical bad turbo seal. It only smokes at start up, and RIGHT when you let off the gas when you rev it up and as the engine JUST starts to slow down, a tiny amount of smoke comes out. It doesn't do it at all at idle, or when revving up. When driving it around there was no smell of burning exhaust.

Edit:
If it is bad, what would be to consequences of buying this car and not worrying about it right now? I really like these cars, and this one is at a price I really like, but I know that's because it's got a few little problems, but is this something I could still drive on, and just keep an eye on the oil? Plus, saying "My turbo's got a blown seal" sounds so b.a. ;). Plus, it still KILLS my 3.8L.
 

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VW GTI 1.8T
100,000 miles

I'll at least give the mechanic the benefit of the doubt because he wasn't even there, and the guy who was selling it for him just asked about right at start up, because we didn't think about revving it up to see what would happen. I'll meeting with him on Wednesday because I really like the car and it's a very good price for the year and model, its about $2000 under blue book, and I truly don't think he knew about the smoke before yesterday. And, if the turbo is bad, I guess I could just replace it with a BIGGER ONE! :D

Also, just from looking around online, it doesn't seem like the typical bad turbo seal. It only smokes at start up, and RIGHT when you let off the gas when you rev it up and as the engine JUST starts to slow down, a tiny amount of smoke comes out. It doesn't do it at all at idle, or when revving up. When driving it around there was no smell of burning exhaust.

Edit:
If it is bad, what would be to consequences of buying this car and not worrying about it right now? I really like these cars, and this one is at a price I really like, but I know that's because it's got a few little problems, but is this something I could still drive on, and just keep an eye on the oil? Plus, saying "My turbo's got a blown seal" sounds so b.a. ;). Plus, it still KILLS my 3.8L.
Have you priced any part for a VW lately? :beek:

The symptom you describe sounds exactly like a turbo seal. When you rev it and then take your foot off the pedal, vacuum goes very high.... smoke at that time means oil is getting sucked through a seal somewhere.

Before I bought it I would 1. Take it for a test drive while looking for smoke on hard acceleration and deceleration, AND 2. Take it to a VW dealership (or VW specialist mechanic) and have them do a full inspection with an eye on the turbo.

But just my .02. :thumbsup:
 

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my thoughts would be some teenager had the car before, ran the piss out of it, and this is the end result.

I'd pass.
 

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Plus, saying "My turbo's got a blown seal" sounds so b.a. ;). Plus, it still KILLS my 3.8L.
Spoken like a true kid.....


my thoughts would be some teenager had the car before, ran the piss out of it, and this is the end result.

I'd pass.
X2

My friend has a 01 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T with like 120K on it and it doesnt smoke. Smoke is not normal in any form unless it's condensation on a 20* morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you priced any part for a VW lately? :beek:

The symptom you describe sounds exactly like a turbo seal. When you rev it and then take your foot off the pedal, vacuum goes very high.... smoke at that time means oil is getting sucked through a seal somewhere.

Before I bought it I would 1. Take it for a test drive while looking for smoke on hard acceleration and deceleration, AND 2. Take it to a VW dealership (or VW specialist mechanic) and have them do a full inspection with an eye on the turbo.

But just my .02. :thumbsup:
I will take it on a test drive again and look out for smoke. Also, the guy who owns it is a VW specialist mechanic, but I don't think he's driven the car a whole lot lately, and the amount of smoke is so small I'm surprised I even noticed it. I'm meeting with the owner tomorrow and will see if he's looked at it. Even after buying it, and rebuilding the turbo, it would still be under blue book.

We'll see. Thanks for the input. The VW community is pretty big around here so I think I might be able to get the turbo done for a reasonable price. One local VW guy owns a shop, but it's mostly just for club members.
 

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Head gasket or turbo seal, do you really want to buy a car that you're immediately going to have to throw money at?

Not only that, but I work at a shop, and we can't even order the head gaskets for it. Each gasket is $62 from VW, and it's a 6.6 hour estimated job. The turbo is 4.5 hours labor estimated to remove and install that $1125 part. From VW. My computer might not have the exact price that they will tell you, but it's right around there.
I can already tell you now, anything goes wrong with it, you'll have to get it from VW, and although your wallet will be considerably thinner, you won't be able to sit down when they're through with you.

Oh, and if you're looking for a turbocharged car, avoid Mitsubishis too... they're the same with parts. I had to call a Mitsu stealership earlier today about an idler pulley. He told me that it was a $120 dealer only item. I told him that I'd have to ask the person if they'd be willing to pay that much for a little pulley and he said simply "Good luck!"
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I actually talked with the mechanic today. And it wasn't smoking at all anymore. I'm almost sure that since I stalled it about 6 times before I noticed the smoke :rolleyes: that that might be the cause. Plus, it wasn't really blue like oil smoke, just white like steam or carbon like when you get your injectors cleaned. It seems to be pretty solid. We'll see what happens.
 

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I actually talked with the mechanic today. And it wasn't smoking at all anymore. I'm almost sure that since I stalled it about 6 times before I noticed the smoke :rolleyes: that that might be the cause. Plus, it wasn't really blue like oil smoke, just white like steam or carbon like when you get your injectors cleaned. It seems to be pretty solid. We'll see what happens.
Or when you have a blown head gasket.....


I don't think there is any chance on talking this guy out of this car.....LOL
Hey, if you get it though, good luck man and hope you enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Or when you have a blown head gasket.....


I don't think there is any chance on talking this guy out of this car.....LOL
Hey, if you get it though, good luck man and hope you enjoy it.
Haha, Well, the oil is clear, and it's not overheating or doing anything weird coolant wise. I'm having it dropped off at a local stealership because they told me they can check the frame for free (carfax reported frame damage, but it was under the first owner, only a few months after the car was made, so I'm guessing insurance would have fixed it all right.) And I'm gonna see how much just a real basic once-over costs. I really like the car, and the price is pretty good. About $1600 under blue book (depending on which level you look at). I think it would be a very fun car. It would be the fastest car in the family (except my grandma's Lexus would probably keep up :rolleyes:)
 

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So let me get this straight:

1. It has been wrecked so bad that that was frame damage
2. It may or may not be smoking
3. You don't know how to drive a stick shift and stalled it 6 times
4. You haven't mentioned if you have priced any parts to see what standard, routine maintenance is going to cost. IN ADDITION to the monthly car and insurance payment.

It is definitely a good idea to have a dealership check it out. I would have them check EVERYTHING, not just the frame. It is the little things that can bite you. Like when was the last time a brake job was done? Do you have maintenance records of previous work including tune-ups and scheduled maintenance, i.e. has the timing belt been changed (if it has one), etc. At 100K miles I’m assuming a lot of things like that are coming due.

That’s just some simple advice from someone that’s “been there, done that!” :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
So let me get this straight:

1. It has been wrecked so bad that that was frame damage
2. It may or may not be smoking
3. You don't know how to drive a stick shift and stalled it 6 times
4. You haven't mentioned if you have priced any parts to see what standard, routine maintenance is going to cost. IN ADDITION to the monthly car and insurance payment.

It is definitely a good idea to have a dealership check it out. I would have them check EVERYTHING, not just the frame. It is the little things that can bite you. Like when was the last time a brake job was done? Do you have maintenance records of previous work including tune-ups and scheduled maintenance, i.e. has the timing belt been changed (if it has one), etc. At 100K miles I’m assuming a lot of things like that are coming due.

That’s just some simple advice from someone that’s “been there, done that!” :thumbsup
1. As long as it's fixed properly it should be fine
2. I don't think it is, I do believe the guy. He seems to be a reputable mechanic and two of my friends and their families have been taking their cars to him for years.
3. You gotta learn some how. I know HOW to drive a stick, I just haven't really had the chance to really do so.
4. Insurance will be more, but that's going to be almost any newer car. Right now I have liability only on a 12year old big slow car, it's not much. And I'm going to shoot to pay it off in a year. I've nearly got all the money for it so I could pretty much pay for it all now, but just so I'm not draining all my money at once I'll get a personal loan, and I have a solid job so I shouldn't have to worry about income. But that's gonna be any car, not just this one. And routine maintenance will probably be a bit more but not too much, especially depending on what your doing.

I know it sounds bad.

Brakes are new. Timing belt is new, water pump, spark plugs, clutch, flywheel (I think, I don't remember exactly). It just had a oil change. Uh, what else should I look into. I know it sounds sketchy, but I think it's alright. I just worry, so I ask about everything.

Don't worry, I will thoroughly make sure this car is solid before I drop the money on it. When I got my Thunderbird, I didn't look over it and immediately had to get brake lines drained, intake gaskets replaced, and tensioner pulley replaced. It was terrible, and ever since then I've been annoyed with my car. Every time I think "Ok, it's got to be fine for a while" something important comes up. So, I really want to make sure I get a good car, and with this one it already comes with a good mechanic.
 

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Cool. It sounds like you've done the homework. And it really helps that it is from a mechanic that you know. That makes a BIG difference (IMHO).

Good luck and post some pictures if/when you get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Cool. It sounds like you've done the homework. And it really helps that it is from a mechanic that you know. That makes a BIG difference (IMHO).

Good luck and post some pictures if/when you get it.
I will if/when I do. The stealership wouldn't touch the car without $100, so I just decided, the owner seems to be a reputable mechanic, I'll just have him lift it up and double check everything and I'll do it with him incase I see anything that raises a question. The car has a few little things that make it cool that I would put aside, like cat back (I think, unless it's turbo back) exhaust, tinted windows. If it's all straight (and with how straight it drove it would have to be pretty straight) then with some paint on the hood and some detailing on the inside and out (which I can do) I think it would be one sharp car. The exhaust and tint is my favorite thing about THIS gti. It doesn't look like a "ricer", you can't see a huge muffler, just 2 tips, maybe 2.5-3", I'm not sure, but it's not loud like a fart can, it's just right. Probably the best sounding 4cyl I've heard. And the tint is very dark, which I like, though the cops might not, hopefully that wont be a problem, I wouldn't expect it to be. I'll meet with the guy tomorrow and probably snag some pics then. And if I get it (probably won't actually get it until tuesday or wednesday because of loan processing) I will spend an afternoon just cleaning it, and it should shine right up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So I'm getting the car, but forgot to take pictures. So, tuesday I should have some, and it should be nice and clean by then.
 
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