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Old 12-07-2003, 01:55 AM   #1
Unabomber
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Exclamation Turbo Timer FAQ: Read if you are thinking of buying one!

Turbo Timer FAQ

The primary purpose of an aftermarket turbo timer is to allow your engine to idle unattended for a user specified amount of time. This will allow your engine, specifically the turbo, to return from elevated temperature levels to normal temperature levels prior to the engine being turned off. This can prevent oil coking in turbochargers that are cooling by engine oil.

Are these necessary with Subaru Turbos? No.

June 2001 TechTIPS published by Subaru for Subaru Technicians states:

"2002MY WRX TURBO COOL DOWN PROCEDURE
FHI's position regarding this is that it is not necessary to perform a "cool down/idling" procedure, as was recommended with past turbo models. Our current 2.0L turbo engine has a far greater cooling capacity and, coupled with technology advances, makes this practice no longer necessary. This explains why information about cool down is not included in the 2002MY Impreza Owner's Manual.

The heat contained in the turbo charger will begin to vaporize the coolant at the turbo charger after the engine is stopped. This hot vapor will then enter the coolant reservoir tank which is the highest point of the coolant system. At the same time the vapor exits the turbo charger, coolant supplied from the right bank cylinder head flows into the turbo. This action cools the turbo charger down. This process will continue until the vaporizing action in the turbo charger has stopped or cooled down."

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent "bad" turbo timers on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad timers sold, but not enough to report as "bad" overall.

Are there any downsides to turbo timers? There have not been significant amounts of problems with turbo timers. It goes without saying that repeated use of turbo timers has obvious effects on gas mileage.

Are there other uses for turbo timers? Yes. A turbo timer makes a great tool to warm up your car during cold days. Jump in, start your car, set the timer, remove your key, exit the vehicle, set the alarm, and enter a toasty vehicle 10 minutes later. It can be a more appealing and cost effective option than conventional remote starting devices. It also eliminates all thought of remote starting in gear (though there are safetys for this on remote starting equipment) for manual transmission vehicles or entering a cold vehicle because you forgot to set the climate controls prior to exiting the vehicle the night before.

Where do I buy turbo timers? Every Subaru/Import performance store sells turbo timers. For purchasing, support your local economy or the NASIOC Vendors.

How hard is it to install turbo timers? Allow around 1-2 hours for install time. Professional installation, depending on your area, is around $100. This is one vehicle modification that is very simple and can be successfully accomplished by even the greenest shade tree mechanic.

How do I install turbo timers? Refer to the turbo timer manufacturer's instructions. For turbo timers without instructions, below is a link to some of the better known turbo timer installation instructions:
scoobymods.com instructions (with photos)
nasioc.com instructions (with photos) catered towards factory alarm users

Editors Note

This post was created because I wasn't able to find a good turbo timer FAQ. I came up with the text based on LOTS of searching here. Upon reading this you should have an idea of whether a turbo timer best suits your needs or not. The manufacturer is up to you.

If you find an error in this FAQ, please PM me with factual details and I will update this post. Responses such as, "I have XXX's turbo timer and it's great!" or "XXX's turbo timers broke after 1 month" are not appreciated here, that is what the Car Parts Review Forum is for.
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Last edited by Unabomber; 04-03-2004 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 12-07-2003, 01:41 PM   #2
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another great post by unabomber
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Old 12-09-2003, 04:35 PM   #3
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Well.. one of the link doesn't work
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Old 03-22-2004, 11:56 AM   #4
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unabomber,


you are truly an asset to this club.



thanks


-Ciro
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:33 AM   #5
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The other day my friend told me i installed my turbo timer wrong, because the whole engine is running? Is there a way so that you just have the turbine running? Thanks
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:09 AM   #6
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(my appologies if you were being serious)
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by e23k13l420
The other day my friend told me i installed my turbo timer wrong, because the whole engine is running? Is there a way so that you just have the turbine running? Thanks
Seriously, no. Just running the turbine (you can't anyway) without oil flow would be a very bad thing.
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Old 03-31-2004, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by e23k13l420
The other day my friend told me i installed my turbo timer wrong, because the whole engine is running? Is there a way so that you just have the turbine running? Thanks

That was a good one

I had a great laugh!
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Old 04-17-2004, 01:39 PM   #9
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I would go kick your friend in the teeth and them laugh at him
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Old 04-18-2004, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sirbryanclark
I would go kick your friend in the teeth and them laugh at him
nice bump dude...
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:05 AM   #11
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Love your FAQ's unabomber, keep em coming
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Old 09-26-2004, 02:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e23k13l420
The other day my friend told me i installed my turbo timer wrong, because the whole engine is running? Is there a way so that you just have the turbine running? Thanks
at your friend
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Old 09-26-2004, 02:48 PM   #13
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I wasn't thinking of buying one, but I read the thread anyways. Is that wrong??



Good post.
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:14 PM   #14
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even i just beat my car really hard, and i shut down the engine right the way, it still won't hurt the turbo?
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:29 PM   #15
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You can run your car at redline for 2 hours and immediately shut it off. As far as the turbo is concerned, it will be fine. That being said, it is a good idea to run your car nicely for a few minutes so ALL the fluids in your car can return to their normal operating temperatures prior to shut down. Obviously this advice only applies if you really tear up your car via autocrossing or HARD driving out in the country. Some people confuse a "power run" or two for hard driving. Getting on the gas pedal once in awhile, or taking a corner or two hard is not hard driving.
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:54 PM   #16
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I dont care if I don't need one its still cool to lock your car and walk away whiles its running. People on base that are new give the most messed up look when you do this!!!
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:04 AM   #17
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Just wanted to add that although the timer itself isn't necessary the harness itself is useful for such things as alarm installs, remote starting etc.. A good place to hack wires (12 volt constant or accessory) without bothering stock wiring.
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Old 11-07-2004, 04:17 PM   #18
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Just curious, but are they necessary for aftermarket turbos such as the VF series?
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Old 11-07-2004, 05:50 PM   #19
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They are not necessary for any water cooled turbo on a Subaru engine. If it's a purely oil cooled turbo, the answer is yes.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:47 AM   #20
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sticky???

-Shane
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Old 12-19-2004, 03:57 AM   #21
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As long as the engine has cooled sufficiently it would seem to hold true that a timer in unecessary even with oil only turbos (i.e. no water jacket). No?
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Old 12-19-2004, 11:25 AM   #22
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That's a pretty accurate statement. The TT for an oil cooled turbo car is merely a safety feature for those without the sense to do what they are supposed to do.
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:40 AM   #23
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one question...apexi does not make a harness for their turbo timer so has anyone done one with thet apexi where you had to splice into the ignition harness instead of just using the adapter??
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:58 AM   #24
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A similar and related question: What about the relevance of an oil catch can then?
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Old 02-27-2005, 11:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber
They are not necessary for any water cooled turbo on a Subaru engine. If it's a purely oil cooled turbo, the answer is yes.
Is it accurate to say this applies to ALL subaru turbo motors, or just the 2002 and up Subaru motors?

The older soob turbos are water cooled too
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