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Old 04-01-2011, 01:12 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 277792
Join Date: Mar 2011
Default Steam spitting out of exhaust! Help!

I did a job to replace the CMP sensors which required removing the turbo for access. I also removed the uppipe to check for debris after I noticed some chipping on the turbine blades.

The car was running fine before the job, except that it would quit after running for a while. After replacing fuel pump and filter, I determined the blame was with the CMPs which came up faulty on the OBD.

After reassembly, the quitting of the engine has not reoccurred, but I can't drive very far because now coolant seems to be burning off through the exhaust. Large quantities of steam are emitted, especially at rpms that engage the turbo.

I don't see how a head gasket could have blown, since all was well before the job, and the new problem arose immediately. I also don't see how coolant could get into the exhaust at the turbo, since the turbo coolant cavity is sealed and couldn't have been damaged during the repair. I don't see how I could have confused any coolant lines either, and there aren't any visible leaks.

Arrgh! Why is coolant in my exhaust?!!
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:53 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 208321
Join Date: Apr 2009
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2012 WRX
Extremely Red


What year and model of vehicle are you referring to? Are you the first owner or did you buy used? Is the car modified or stock?

Subaru OEM turbos pass both coolant and oil through them, it's possible your seal(s) are shot.

Chipping on the wheels should have been the first sign that things weren't right, turbo wheels turn upwards of 100,000 RPM when spun up, if your compressor wheel comes apart, you'll be looking at a much larger issue than just coolant in the exhaust. Speaking of which, if your compressor wheel is chipped, chances are your engine has ingested metal which can account for all manner of horrible things.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 163601
Join Date: Nov 2007
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Brooklyn. NY
2002 WRX


Originally Posted by Exarch View Post
chances are your engine has ingested metal which can account for all manner of horrible things.

Not really, it will just get stuck in the intercooler.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 277792
Join Date: Mar 2011

Model is 04 Forester XT. No mods. Turbo is a stock TD04L. Bought used from dealer, Owned from 17,000 to 170,000 miles.

I don't think there is any metal coming from the engine. The "chipping" may be better described as heat-eroded looking tips. I think the cause of this may have been engine slag build-up from incomplete burn cycles, or debris from a worn cat in the uppipe (converter, not feline).

The problem seems to be in the exhaust or turbo, so I agree that there won't be any particles traveling through the engine, which is running fine. Blown seals in the turbo could be, but I can't tell that there are any seals to the water cavity on the TD04L. Looks like fluid is retained in a solid metal cavity that wraps around the cylinder of the turbo.
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