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September 30, 2010

Comments

Jesse Menn

My car has a turbo, and has for the past 7 years. Still goin without an issue.

Jeffrey McMahon

How many miles on that WRX of yours?

Jeffrey McMahon

Jesse, I should add that I'm glad your WRX has been reliable. My mechanic makes his observation based on a very big sample. I'm talking the law of averages. Subaru may be better than many.

Neil

Very generalized advice. Earlier mass-marketed turbo cars in the 80's gave the technology a bad name with many mechanics. Most car manufacturers have gotten past the early issues. Good example: VW and Audi 1.8T engines are known for sludging up and dying prematurely, but the newer 2.0T engines seem to be much more reliable. There are going to be A LOT more turbo cars on the road in the next few years, so as with any major shift, mechanics that can adjust to the changes will succeed.

Jeffrey McMahon

Neil, my mechanic warned me about turbos when I told him I was intrigued by the 2011 Sonata with about 275 hp with the new turbo.

No doubt he makes his claim based on a history of working on cars, which includes a huge swath of older models.

Are the new ones more reliable? We won't know for several years.

Neil

My brother has owned a couple of the newer Audi/VW turbos (for my sister in law), and his daily driver is a VW Turbodiesel with 270K miles on it. For longevity, he recommends putting about 3-5 thousand on a new car, and then switching to Mobile1 (the break-in period is important). His little circle of auto-enthusiast friends includes some racing engineers, and Porsche mechanics, and very few of them would warn you away from a modern turbo, as long as you maintain them properly. One of the guys has an older Audi 5-Cylinder turbo with over 300K. Believe me, a lot of these mechanics are basing this on the god-awful Chrysler turbos from the 80's, and the early Saab and Volvo turbos.

With that said, I too would be nervous in your example, simply because I don't think Hyundai has much turbo history to look at. On the positive side, Hyundai has been known in the last few years for exceptional quality, and customer satisfaction. I would imagine they wouldn't jeopardize their current standing with an un-tested technology. Tough call. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one from a company with some turbo history though.

Gary

I read in Motor Trend that Ford is going to put a high-powered, turbo, 4-cylinder engine into the Explorer. I'm not sure a small turbo engine is a good choice for a heavy SUV. A clean diesel might be better for both torque and gas mileage. Unfortunately, only European SUVs seem to have diesels at the moment, at least in the US.

Dan

Our company runs Dodge turbo diesel trucks made be Cummins and our mechanic says they are way more reliable than gasoline truck engines. (every 18 wheeler you see on the highway has a turbo). I think the problem is that your mechanic is more familiar with the typical highly stressed high performance turbo charged engines of the past. I would be much more concerned about the reliability record of your vehicles transmission.

Dan

Many consider Ford's 6cyl dual turbo ecoboost to be the best engine (foreign or domestic) introduced in the last few years. It would be a shame to miss avoid it due to superstition. Check put this torture test Ford is conducting on the Ecoboost to show it's durability, it's amazing

http://i.autoblog.com/2010/09/26/mike-rowe-narrating-ford-f-150-ecoboost-web-documentary/

Shawn Patrick

BMW does make turbo engines, very popular in Europe. I think turbos in cars got a bad rep in the 1980s when Ford and others put them in underpowered cards to begin with, like the Ford EXP. If the resale value on turbos was bad, they wouldn't lease them at all (they can't make money off a lease if the resale value is low). Turbos aren't really needed today, even the smallest 4 cylinder has plenty of HP for American roads, but there's still those who want that extra kick.

Dave Kernan

BMW has had twin turbo engines for several years now, both gas and diesel, while Ford's ecoboost engine certainly looks promising, BMW was the first to use the concept on a large scale basis.

Jeffrey McMahon

Dave and Shawn, thank you for correcting me about BMW's use of turbo engines.

Jesse Menn

I'll be turning 100k miles in my Scooby within a month or so. I can still outrun a bunch of cars and load 3/4 of a punk band into the trunk. Unfortunately, the stiff suspension is starting to get a little tiresome.

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