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Turbo or No Turbo?

2

Comments

  • "... FYI, the turbo on my 04 XT is still going strong at 66k miles.

    That is good.

    "Recently, the turbocharger on my Forester scorched a bearing due to an oil seal that let loose. The dealer wanted $2380 for a stock turbocharger plus installation of $400. The car has 70000 miles and is out of warranty."
    paisan, "subaru transmission problems" #6, 7 May 2007 8:17 pm

    "... I take it to my mechanic.....TURBO IS BLOWN!!!!!! The car only has 135,000 KM's on it! I always ensured I allowed the turbo to spool down after driving it. The oil was changed every 5,000 KM's. The fix is gonna cost me between $3-4,000."
    http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/new-owner-turbo-blown-31258/
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    So you only found two instances of failed turbos out of how many of thousands of units sold? If you're intent was to imply that the turbo isn't reliable, I don't think you made a very convincing argument :)

    And even with the two examples you gave:

    a. The first was bought used so there's no telling how it was driven. One of the replies to that post says it best:

    "you buy a used car with that amount of mile's and then you complain because the turbo went out? did you expect the car to go a million miles with out ever having to replace a major part?"

    b. With the 2nd example, I can't tell for sure but since the poster was looking to upgrade his turbo with one that provides more HP, I'm guessing that he probably drove it pretty "spiritedly".

    Of course Subaru's aren't perfect (no manufacturer is) so yes, there's always the potential that a turbo will fail but then so might the head gaskets or any number of other expensive to repair items.

    -Frank
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Let's see, you can blow a radiator, and warp the head from overheating on any car. The same could have been said about the "expensive" fuel injectors, "I never had this problem with my good old Holley Carbs", etc.

    As for maintenance, if you read the specs, the "severe" interval for the NA cars is 3,000 miles as well, so the oil changes are probably not even an extra cost. If you drive the car hard, sit in traffic, take short trips, etc. Those are all considered 3k changes even on the NA cars.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    22mpg is driving pretty lightly, no?

    Why get a turbo, then? :P

    For insurance, are you sure you don't pay more for a performance model? Check again, a Legacy GT costs a lot more to insure than a Legacy L (when I was quoted in 2002). I'm pretty positive you'd see a difference to insure a Forester turbo vs. a non-turbo.

    I didn't actually get a quote, but I would be SHOCKED if the turbo engine didn't increase your insurance premiums.

    As for resale, you looked at 2004s, which are only 4 years old. After 8 years the resale advantage will be a lot smaller. Valid point, but we're talking maybe $500 extra in resale value, not $1200. Plus it's harder to sell a turbo that requires premium fuel, fewer buyers would be interested.

    I'm sure the actual number is somewhere between mine and yours. Closer to mine. ;)
  • I've just finished shopping around for insurance on my new XT. Yes, buying a turbo does increase your premium...but not very much. It ends up being a few dollars per month. And Subaru extended service plans do charge more for turbo's (I think it's about $200-$400 depending on length of the plan). I decided to buy the plan because I don't even want to worry about costly turbo repairs or repairs to any other part of the car.

    This has been an interesting thread. I think, ultimately, the decision between turbo and non-turbo has to come down to the value you place on power and acceleration, your own particular situation (I bought my turbo for mountain driving) and your financial situation. Even 7-8K over an 8 year period is considered pocket change to a lot of people...and, a lot of money to a lot of people, like me!! I have to say that I love my turbo and I've made peace with the financial hit. I wish I could say the same for my wife! I think there is some value to feeling that rush of 224 horsepower.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's not just cost - I like the extra range, too.

    I was happy the 2009s got a 16.9 gallon tank because it meant I could drive an extra 25 miles per tank.

    Basically you delay having to get gas for a couple of days, every tankful.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    22mpg is driving pretty lightly, no?

    Not really. We obviously don't do jack rabbit starts away from every light but do regularly take advantage of the turbo.

    I didn't actually get a quote, but I would be SHOCKED if the turbo engine didn't increase your insurance premiums.

    When I traded my 01 Forester for the 04 the premium only went up marginally and was in line with the difference in replacement cost. Why do you think the turbo should cost more? Maybe in a sports car there will be a premium but Forester owners aren't likely to be drag racing (although if they did they'd be pretty competitive) ;)

    As for resale, you looked at 2004s, which are only 4 years old.

    Well duh! 04 was the first year the turbo was offered so I couldn't go back any further :P

    Plus it's harder to sell a turbo that requires premium fuel, fewer buyers would be interested.

    Quite possibly true but don't you think the resale/trade-in formulas already take that into account?

    I'm sure the actual number is somewhere between mine and yours. Closer to mine

    Hmm... I'm still pretty comfortable that my number is pretty accurate.

    Face it Juice, you're just trying to rationalize reasons not to buy the XT. Rather than try and convince yourself that it costs a lot more, you should stick to the tried and true arguments that the non-turbo gets better gas mileage (it does), has perfectly acceptable acceleration (it does) and will keep your wife from getting too many speeding tickets (undoubtedly true) :shades:

    -Frank

    P.S. If you're nice, maybe I'll let you test drive my 5.3 sec 0-60 350Z killer when I move to DC next April :)
  • Here in Massachusetts insurance cost is based on replacement value. With identical insurance my wife's 05 Bean costs a bit more to insure than my 06 Premium, even though with the options I have added the only real difference between the vehicles is her leather.

    If both cars got stolen or totaled she would get more money from the ins. company even though it is a year older, so she pays more.
  • "... So you only found two instances of failed turbos out of how many of thousands of units sold? "
    Yes, that is all that I found out of thousands.
  • "... As for maintenance, if you read the specs, the "severe" interval for the NA cars is 3,000 miles as well, so the oil changes are probably not even an extra cost. If you drive the car hard, sit in traffic, take short trips, etc. Those are all considered 3k changes even on the NA cars. "

    So under the same driving conditions, just maintain your turbo like an NA and you should do fine, right?

    "... Caring for Subaru Turbocharged Engines ... The following information updates factory recommendations for the care and maintenance of new Subaru turbocharged vehicles... Due to heat generated by the turbocharger and carbon deposits contained in exhaust gas, the oil in a turbocharged engine will deteriorate faster than the oil in a naturally aspirated engine. Therefore, special care should be taken to use proper grade oil and to monitor oil deterioration. Under normal driving conditions, the recommended oil and oil filter change
    interval for turbo vehicles is every 3,750 miles or four months, whichever comes
    first. However, for vehicles driven in conditions beyond normal, such as racing
    conditions, the oil and oil filter may require more frequent changing... Any driving where the engine speed is kept high – either by using lower gears at higher speeds or using engine braking – is considered racing-type driving. A “track day” or autocross event requires an oil and oil filter change immediately before and immediately after the event.... Carbon deposits produced by a turbocharged engine can accumulate at the bottom of the oil pan. When changing the oil, always drain the oil through the oil drain plug hole on the oil pan..."
    http://www.drive.subaru.com/Sum08/Sum08_Turbo.htm
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that case I'll go back to the speeding ticket argument. ;)

    I just got nailed by a speed cam doing 46 in a 35. Gimme a break. I'm the slowest minivan on the road! Randolph Road has 3 lanes in that area, 3 lanes, and it's just 35mph.

    266hp = speeding ticket
    175hp = no speeding ticket

    At least there are no points assigned. I've been nabbed twice in the Miata and once in the van. Usually in places where they set the speed limit artificially low (25mph on MacArthur Blvd).

    :D

    You're moving to DC? Really? Cool, yeah I definitely want to drive it again.

    Though you're going to have to trade it in else you'll be getting tickets like those on a weekly basis.

    Bob's been nailed twice in the DC area with his WRX, and he lives closer to Baltimore! :surprise:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    "... As for maintenance, if you read the specs, the "severe" interval for the NA cars is 3,000 miles as well, so the oil changes are probably not even an extra cost. If you drive the car hard, sit in traffic, take short trips, etc. Those are all considered 3k changes even on the NA cars. "

    So under the same driving conditions, just maintain your turbo like an NA and you should do fine, right?

    "... Caring for Subaru Turbocharged Engines ... The following information updates factory recommendations for the care and maintenance of new Subaru turbocharged vehicles... Due to heat generated by the turbocharger and carbon deposits contained in exhaust gas, the oil in a turbocharged engine will deteriorate faster than the oil in a naturally aspirated engine. Therefore, special care should be taken to use proper grade oil and to monitor oil deterioration. Under normal driving conditions, the recommended oil and oil filter change
    interval for turbo vehicles is every 3,750 miles or four months, whichever comes
    first. However, for vehicles driven in conditions beyond normal, such as racing
    conditions, the oil and oil filter may require more frequent changing... Any driving where the engine speed is kept high – either by using lower gears at higher speeds or using engine braking – is considered racing-type driving. A “track day” or autocross event requires an oil and oil filter change immediately before and immediately after the event.... Carbon deposits produced by a turbocharged engine can accumulate at the bottom of the oil pan. When changing the oil, always drain the oil through the oil drain plug hole on the oil pan..."
    http://www.drive.subaru.com/Sum08/Sum08_Turbo.htm


    That's all pretty vaguely written. So what's "more frequently than 3750? 3k? I always change mine at 3k-5k miles on my cars and no issues. Heck my 94 turbo legacy went 150k miles with 10k+ track miles (6000 rpms for 2hrs at a time) and never burned a drop of oil.

    -mike
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Don't even get me started on speeding tickets. I went almost 20 years without getting one and then got two in the span of a couple of months after I moved out to the land of photo radar. The first ticket was for going 23mph in a 15mph zone :cry: I even went to court on that one and while the judge was very sympathetic, he still found me guilty. can you say "revenue stream"?

    To keep this post on topic though, I don't think having more HP increases your chances of getting a speeding ticket, although it does get you to the speed limit faster. The key is to know your speed and keep it below the photo radar's threshold.

    Interestingly enough, both my wife and I have discovered that it's easier to speed in the XT than the SLK. Uh oh, I think I just made an argument against getting a turbo ;)

    -Frank

    P.S. Yep looks like we'll be moving to DC next April.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    On that photo radar, what band radar do they use? I'm assuming X, K or Ka, and is it detectable by a radar detector? If so it should be easy to avoid tix on them.

    -mike
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hmmm, good point. I gave up my "Fuzz Buster" over 20 years ago but it may be time to look into them again :)

    -Frank
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    8mph over the limit? :sick:

    Here they are everywhere, plus my old detector would false a lot. A ton actually.

    Not to mention they're illegal in VA, which I go to on occasion.

    I dunno, Frank, the wife used to get a lot of tickets with her old V6 sedan. She dropped to a 4 cylinder Legacy and didn't get a single ticket in 7 years.

    Definitely driver's fault but the extra power sure doesn't help in that regard.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Not to mention they're illegal in VA

    Oh well then, that options out... I'll be living and working in VA.

    For some reason I thought that radar detectors were illegal in MD? Seems like when I used to drive up I-81, you had to be careful on that short stretch that goes thru MD.

    -Frank
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,678
    Radar detectors are illegal in both VA and DC. Maryland is not a problem, as they are legal there.

    Move to MD Frank, not VA. ;)

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    He'd still have to take it down every day on the way to work.

    Oh boy, you're gonna hate northern VA traffic. Watch, your next car will be a CVT Prius. :D
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The new dectors are pretty advanced. I just got my first one an Escort 9500i, it allows you to block out a frequency @ a particular GPS location (has a built in GPS chip) so that you can eleminate false reports like at toll booths, banks etc. There is also a feature to mark speed traps and cameras. It will warn you 1 mile in advance. The GPS also can display your GPS speed which gives you an almost heads up display. There is an even newer version where you can download speed trap and camera info from Escort's website. The GPS also allows it to have speed sensitive radar (if you are going under 30mph it will only warn you briefly since you are likely under the limit)

    Technology is pretty nifty!

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes it is, and I appreciate tech gagdets as much as anyone.

    Around here, though, the traps are EVERYWHERE, so you basically have to slow down all the time, and that's annoying.

    I try to keep a consistent speed, usually 6-9 over. They nabbed me for 11 over, which is lame since the limit is set artificially low. It's a 3 lane road where I was fined, 3 lanes and 35mph?!
  • So I just test drove both a 2.5X Limited and a 2.5XT Limited. Sigh. Is it my imagination or is the 2.5X underpowered? I'm coming off of a Honda Odyssey and I really don't want a dog of a car. (I really want a car not an SUV, but we have so much &*#^%$* snow here in Rochester NY that I know I'll regret buying a regular car.)
  • robm2robm2 Posts: 53
    The XT Limited has the proper amount of power for that chassis, and that transmission. You're not imagining anything.
  • You can get good mileage in the Turbo if you're "easy" with the throttle. Highway driving helps - On freeway, I've hit 27.5 mpg in my '09 XTL :) . But what is nice about the XT is: When you need to accelerate, it does.

    Also, you can help minimize engine and turbo wear by simply letting the car idle 15 - 20 seconds after starting, before you drive off.

    Finally, there's a reputable oil additive around, ASL Camguard (web search will find it). Although promoted for aircraft, its maker shows it helps prevent oil burning and deposits in any engine, especially ones with turbochargers. The maker is considering making a version specifically for autos - why not email or write them if that sounds interesting?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try a PZEV model, which has 175hp.

    I don't find ours underpowered.

    Power to weight is 3360 lbs / 175 hp = 19.2 lbs per horse.

    What Ody do you have? For the 08 it's 4385 lbs and 244hp, so 18.0 lbs per horse.

    Fairly similar IMHO.

    The XT's is 14.2 so it's in another league.

    Your Ody should feel more like the Forester X, though.
  • My XT got 33 MPG on the highway today on a 30 mile stretch. When I got off the highway, it dropped to 27. I am learning the "art" of getting better gas mileage on this car. I've talked to many people who swear they can match the MPG of non-turbos. I'm not there yet, but definitely getting better. Easing on the accelerator at lights (and in general) helps MPG dramatically. I agree with the poster who said the 2.5X seemed underpowered. But hey, less power to anyone who finds that it works for them! I really like having the option of more power when I need it and for mountain driving. I am also convinced that the turbo runs smoother and quieter than the non-turbo. Thanks for the information regarding the oil additive. I'm going to do some reseach on it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It should mellow out the exhaust, that's true. Driven hard you'll hear the blow-off valve, though, so it really would depend.

    The turbo is geared taller so I can see how it could potentially do better, but in practice the non-turbos are getting several MPG higher averages.

    I looked it up - the final drive on the XT is 8.1% taller. The 4 ratios on the automatic are the same, so on the highway it should rev 8.1% lower at a given speed compared to the X Limited, which has the same size tires. Off boost, in theory it would use less fuel in steady, flat cruising.

    In practice, unless you have cruise control on and are driving on a totally flat surface with zero traffic, I doubt that's the case.

    The hood scoop alone increases aerodynamic drag at highway speeds, plus it's 100 lbs heavier. Though come to think of it, once up to speed I don't think the weight is a factor. It's the slowing down and then speeding up, the latter which the XT does at a higher rate, that would hurt your real-world MPG.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It should mellow out the exhaust, that's true. Driven hard you'll hear the blow-off valve, though, so it really would depend.

    Unless there is something wrong with your stock BOV, you should never hear it. The Subarus use a recirculating BOV and the air isn't released it's fed back into the system, so there is no tell tale BOV sound.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is that right? Cool.

    I guess I've heard so many aftermarket BOV applications that I thought they all made the noise! :D
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Been hanging with the yungins again juice? :)

    -mike
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