TURBO: 2012-2014 Passat turbo failures [discussion thread]

jrm

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Location
Oregon
TDI
2013 Passat SE with nav (totaled)
My father was a F106 pilot, you would be amazed at how much fuel they dumped just to land light- hundreds of thousands of gallons a week! so much off topic story potential-
On topic, My wife interrupted a regeneration last night in our garage and this morning as she was loading the kiddos into the car I grabbed the keys to start er up and give it some extra idle time before she floors it in her late to work rush.
First startup after the interrupted regeneration-
-Smelled pre treated pre DPF exhaust from under the hood
-Loud Lifter tick on 2 cylinders- sounded like a old subaru
-Turbo sounded like a dentist drill as she pulled away

Will keep everyone updated on this one
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
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Springfield, VA
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Dentist drill, you say? More than the usual whistle?
 

Matt927

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Dec 29, 2013
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several
Jrm,
Take a mirror and look at the actuator rod/lever on the turbo. Do you see any exhaust/soot staining where it mounts to the turbo housing?
 

dzcad90

Rolex & gin
Joined
Mar 15, 1999
Location
Joliet, IL USA
TDI
Jetta - 97 (RIP), '03 (Sold), '09
Welp, I can officially join the club. Fortunately, this is the first "club" of this type on TDIClub I have had the misfortune of joining.


'14 Passat TDI - Oct 16 '13 Production date. 28,257 miles. Car was purchased on Nov 30, 2013. Sometime last week the turbo whistle started getting noticeably louder. At first I attributed it to cold temperatures, me having the radio off, and hypersensitivity to automobile issues. On Thursday I went out to run some errands at lunch and the noise was LOUD. The car drove just fine and no warning lights came on the dash. Drove it to the dealership and they didn't have a tech available to take a ride, so I left it.

They call me back a couple hours later and state that it needs a turbo. The service writer said it would be overnighted and the car should be ready to go on Friday afternoon. Friday afternoon came and they said that one oil line didn't come in and that it would be sometime the next week, so they arranged a loaner car for me. (Got to drive the '15 Passat TSI SE/Nav - pretty fun.)

Monday afternoon about 3:00P I got a call that said the car was good to go. Tech only put 3 miles on it, but it drove great and of course there was no notable turbo noise. Knock on wood, it's been about 100 miles or so now and it's driving great.

Overall, I got lucky - the turbo didn't catastrophically fail, however I did recognize the abnormal sound and took it in before anything did happen. I think I got even luckier that when it first started to get noisy it didn't grenade. There were a few highway runs and such, and with something spinning 150K+ RPM, I would expect any imbalance to just cause the thing to grenade.

So far, I have to give props where props are due - Pugi VW in Downers Grove was excellent in handling the situation. In on Thursday, out on Monday. Total repair time, about 2 business days. Even though I didn't buy the car there, they gave me a loaner no problem and so far the job seems to have been done right the first time.

One thing I did notice is that after driving 100 miles or so the oil is STILL clear. The oil pump and oil pan must be where all the soot collects that turns our oil black pretty much immediately after a change. I'm going to run back down and check it again - it's just too weird!

Verbatim tech notes on the service order -

"28260 The turbo failed internally causing a whining noise while driving. I test drove the vehicle and the was a whining noise from the turbo while driving under boost. I removed the intake pipe to the turbo and found the impeller rubbed into the side of the turbo housing. I followed tech bulletin 21-15-03 for replacing the turbo. First I loosened the DPF filter to inspect for contamination. No oil was present in the DPF filter. Then I reinstalled the DPF filter and plugged off the oil feed line to the turbo. I ran the vehicle then drained the oil and filter. Next I removed the oil pan and removed the oil pump. Then I reinstalled the oil pump and remove the DPF filter and the turbo. When cleaning the intake pipe I found debris present in the charge air cooler. I cleaned all the intake lines and replace the charge air cooler. Next I installed the new turbo and reinstalled the DPF filter. I filled with fresh oil and test drove the vehicle. No noise present under boost. In mileage 28257 and out mileage 28260."
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
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Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Good on you for getting it in before it blew up, and good on them for handling your issue correctly! :cool:
 

psd1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
OR
TDI
2006 Jetta 2013 Passat SE 6Man
Welp, I can officially join the club. Fortunately, this is the first "club" of this type on TDIClub I have had the misfortune of joining.
'14 Passat TDI - Oct 16 '13 Production date. 28,257 miles. Car was purchased on Nov 30, 2013. Sometime last week the turbo whistle started getting noticeably louder. At first I attributed it to cold temperatures, me having the radio off, and hypersensitivity to automobile issues. On Thursday I went out to run some errands at lunch and the noise was LOUD. The car drove just fine and no warning lights came on the dash. Drove it to the dealership and they didn't have a tech available to take a ride, so I left it.
They call me back a couple hours later and state that it needs a turbo. The service writer said it would be overnighted and the car should be ready to go on Friday afternoon. Friday afternoon came and they said that one oil line didn't come in and that it would be sometime the next week, so they arranged a loaner car for me. (Got to drive the '15 Passat TSI SE/Nav - pretty fun.)
Monday afternoon about 3:00P I got a call that said the car was good to go. Tech only put 3 miles on it, but it drove great and of course there was no notable turbo noise. Knock on wood, it's been about 100 miles or so now and it's driving great.
Overall, I got lucky - the turbo didn't catastrophically fail, however I did recognize the abnormal sound and took it in before anything did happen. I think I got even luckier that when it first started to get noisy it didn't grenade. There were a few highway runs and such, and with something spinning 150K+ RPM, I would expect any imbalance to just cause the thing to grenade.
So far, I have to give props where props are due - Pugi VW in Downers Grove was excellent in handling the situation. In on Thursday, out on Monday. Total repair time, about 2 business days. Even though I didn't buy the car there, they gave me a loaner no problem and so far the job seems to have been done right the first time.
One thing I did notice is that after driving 100 miles or so the oil is STILL clear. The oil pump and oil pan must be where all the soot collects that turns our oil black pretty much immediately after a change. I'm going to run back down and check it again - it's just too weird!
Verbatim tech notes on the service order -
"28260 The turbo failed internally causing a whining noise while driving. I test drove the vehicle and the was a whining noise from the turbo while driving under boost. I removed the intake pipe to the turbo and found the impeller rubbed into the side of the turbo housing. I followed tech bulletin 21-15-03 for replacing the turbo. First I loosened the DPF filter to inspect for contamination. No oil was present in the DPF filter. Then I reinstalled the DPF filter and plugged off the oil feed line to the turbo. I ran the vehicle then drained the oil and filter. Next I removed the oil pan and removed the oil pump. Then I reinstalled the oil pump and remove the DPF filter and the turbo. When cleaning the intake pipe I found debris present in the charge air cooler. I cleaned all the intake lines and replace the charge air cooler. Next I installed the new turbo and reinstalled the DPF filter. I filled with fresh oil and test drove the vehicle. No noise present under boost. In mileage 28257 and out mileage 28260."
You may be the first in the 235N upgraded turbo failure NMS. :/

Glad it's taken care of!
 

dzcad90

Rolex & gin
Joined
Mar 15, 1999
Location
Joliet, IL USA
TDI
Jetta - 97 (RIP), '03 (Sold), '09
You may be the first in the 235N upgraded turbo failure NMS. :/

Probably true, however I don't put a lot of stock into that.

The car ran for over 90% of it's in-service life without the update, including 1 very cold full winter, and the beginning part of this winter.

If the sample size weren't so low, now would be a good time to start the baseline as to whether or not the 2N35 update actually helps or hurts. New turbo with the new update, never subject to the older warm up procedure.
 

psd1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
OR
TDI
2006 Jetta 2013 Passat SE 6Man
Probably true, however I don't put a lot of stock into that.

The car ran for over 90% of it's in-service life without the update, including 1 very cold full winter, and the beginning part of this winter.

If the sample size weren't so low, now would be a good time to start the baseline as to whether or not the 2N35 update actually helps or hurts. New turbo with the new update, never subject to the older warm up procedure.
Regardless, your car should have been able to complete at least 30K miles without a failure...2N35 or not.

We still have a lot to learn on the turbo failures and what works and what doesn't. Unless something changes, my Passat will likely be history once the turbo warranty expires, which is sad, as it has been a great car to this point.
 

dzcad90

Rolex & gin
Joined
Mar 15, 1999
Location
Joliet, IL USA
TDI
Jetta - 97 (RIP), '03 (Sold), '09
Regardless, your car should have been able to complete at least 30K miles without a failure...2N35 or not.

We still have a lot to learn on the turbo failures and what works and what doesn't. Unless something changes, my Passat will likely be history once the turbo warranty expires, which is sad, as it has been a great car to this point.
Agreed on all points - unless I make it 6 years without hitting 120K miles, at which point I'll decide to drive it til it dies or see what kind of value it has
 

tyrntlzrdking

Banned
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Location
Michigan
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE 6MT
You may be the first in the 235N upgraded turbo failure NMS. :/
Glad it's taken care of!
No. I have had three reported turbo failures on my Facebook page. All within one week after having the software updated. Last one had 17,000 miles on the car. :confused:
 

psd1

Veteran Member
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Location
OR
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2006 Jetta 2013 Passat SE 6Man
No. I have had three reported turbo failures on my Facebook page. All within one week after having the software updated. Last one had 17,000 miles on the car. :confused:
Nah, they don't count until they are documented in the turbo failure thread here at the TDIclub! ;)
 

NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
Maybe the 235N doesn't work? (They had to tell NHTSA and their customers they were doing something..)

With failures on low - as low as 700 mile Passats- and warm weather cars kept in heated garages, there still could be a bad engineering issue here.

Like not enough clearance for enough oil flow for sufficient lubrication, too much load on the turbo for the strength of the metallurgy, who knows? The software update may help by decreasing "load" for a period on startup, but if the underlying problem is a weak turbo design or build, software won't fix it.

Is there something special about a diesel turbo as opposed to a gas turbo, like on a VW 1.8T or gas 2.0T? They don't seem to be blowing up?

Don
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
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My chips are on "too much load (boost and heat) on cold oil, combined with a small high-strung turbo."

Gas cars and the older diesels don't load the turbocharger up the way the new commonrails do. And by new commonrails, I mean 2012+ Passat with the SCR warm-up mode. It is still too soon to tell what is going on with the 2015s.
 

jrm

Veteran Member
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Jul 24, 2013
Location
Oregon
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2013 Passat SE with nav (totaled)
Its not just the Passat with its blow torch warmup, I know of 3 friends with Jetta's that ate turbos, two friends who drive semi's that ate multiple turbos and a handful of people who drive late model pickups that all ate turbos. One thing that they all have in common is the word "regeneration" On the upside, my dodge 12V easily passed 300K on the stock turbo before I bought a larger one for 50PSI of boost
And for my off topic video, fastest way to remove an engine Russian style
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5MZcxZdZdw
 
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NSTDI

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13 Passat Sep 12
Sounds like a sensible answer that summarizes what people here have been saying.
It doesn't deal with why they are failing in the first place.

Don
 

jrm

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Location
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2013 Passat SE with nav (totaled)
The only thing the Passat does that previous generations don't do is:
Back pressure changes with exhaust throttle
Much higher RPM- my Cummins turbo doesn't even spool when cold
Crazy EGT's
So until a coolant line is routed to the turbo or Post injection is no longer needed I think this issue will plague us clean diesel drivers for a while. As talked about in the lubercation thread- I threw some 507 oil in a old camping frying pan and monitored the tempature, it started to smoke and fry just above 500F, half what a shutdown in regen is
 
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BPofMD

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Maryland
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2012 Passat SE
We all know that diesels just flat out do NOT like COLD! And the colder it is the better they don't like it! :( Let's all move to Florida or S. California!
 

passsattdi

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Location
NE PA
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2012 Passat SEL Premium TDI
Sounds like a sensible answer that summarizes what people here have been saying.
It doesn't deal with why they are failing in the first place.

Don[/QUOTE

my guess is metal fatigue due to the blow torch effect when things are -20 f jumping to 1300f in no time.... that and shut downs during regen. You can hold off the blow torch by staying in second for a while.... and can stop regen by doing a fast shutdown/ restart. Won't start regen again until warmed up again. What i do now.
 

kjclow

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2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
Once you shut off the engine, the regen stops. In 75k miles, I think I have only noticed one time where the regen restarted on my next start, and even then it wasn't immediate. The fans continue to run after shutdown to cool the engine, regardless of whether or not the car was doing a regen. My 2000 beetle did this too.
 

passsattdi

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Once you shut off the engine, the regen stops. In 75k miles, I think I have only noticed one time where the regen restarted on my next start, and even then it wasn't immediate. The fans continue to run after shutdown to cool the engine, regardless of whether or not the car was doing a regen. My 2000 beetle did this too.
Stopped shutting down. Fast shut down restart idle until cool.
 

jhinsc

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2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium
Once you shut off the engine, the regen stops. In 75k miles, I think I have only noticed one time where the regen restarted on my next start, and even then it wasn't immediate. The fans continue to run after shutdown to cool the engine, regardless of whether or not the car was doing a regen. My 2000 beetle did this too.
The problem with shutting while going thru regen is while the fan will continue to run to cool the engine coolant down, the oil circulation through the turbo has stopped while it's practically red-hot, therefore increasing your chances of oil-coking, and the turbo cooling down on it's own. For a lot of people, waiting from 2- 10 min while you let the engine finish the regen or cool down is not an option when they arrive at their destination - there should be a default where the oil is still circulated by an electric pump at shutdown if the fan is still on cooling the engine.
 

VeeDubTDI

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The regen obviously stops when the engine is shut down. The problem is that all of the residual heat is still in the system, including the turbocharger. Without the flow of oil to carry away the heat, the oil can coke inside the center housing of the turbo. I would suggest, as passsattdi did, that the engine be restarted and allowed to idle for 2-3 minutes to cool.

You still have to wait a little bit, but you have canceled the regen, so at least you don't have to wait for it to complete.

Shutting off and just walking away is a no-no for me.
 

kjclow

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Ok, I misunderstood the reasoning behind the comment. Even cutting power and doing a quick restart to help cool the engine is not always possible.
 

VeeDubTDI

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Ok, I misunderstood the reasoning behind the comment. Even cutting power and doing a quick restart to help cool the engine is not always possible.

Emergency situations call for drastic measures.
 

jrm

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2013 Passat SE with nav (totaled)
The regen obviously stops when the engine is shut down. The problem is that all of the residual heat is still in the system, including the turbocharger. Without the flow of oil to carry away the heat, the oil can coke inside the center housing of the turbo. I would suggest, as passsattdi did, that the engine be restarted and allowed to idle for 2-3 minutes to cool.

You still have to wait a little bit, but you have canceled the regen, so at least you don't have to wait for it to complete.

Shutting off and just walking away is a no-no for me.
Yup, any legacy diesel driver knows to let engines idle a bit before shutdown, even back prior to regenerations as older turbos and Dyno oil had issues with EGT's above 800F. I always let my rigs idle prior to shutdown, lets both the Torque converter and turbo cool in my pickups- mostly because I drive em hard. Even broke a dana 70 axle pulling hole shots on sports cars in my Cummins
 

NSTDI

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Location
Nova Scotia
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13 Passat Sep 12
We've had a really cold winter and no big jump in turbo failures like there was last winter. This is Feb 17.

We can speculate on why that is. Maybe they just had a binch of turbos that were lemons?

We now have another year of driving on the 2012-2014"s, one would think if it was a regen issue or cold start issue alone, we would be seeing more failures now, especially on the 12 & 13's which would have had the original OE model turbo.
 
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