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Old 12-21-2005, 02:27 PM   #1
cpokay
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Default Turbocharger care for long life Legacy 2.5 GT Ltd. '05

I have my first turbocharged motor in this car, and never having had a turbo before, I am all confused about how to treat it --> Do I let it warm up before driving it, do I cool down for a few minutes before turning it off when I reach my destination? I want this engine to run long and well, and not to gnarf my turbo if I can help it. The Subaru Owner's Manual makes NO mention of turbo care at all. I wrote Subaru Customer Care, and they're like, "well, you don't have to let it cool down before you turn it off, but you can if you like . . ."

Ok, ***!!! I know I CAN (what, if I want to "feel better" about myself or something? SHOULD I let it cool down? MUST I let it cool? Or can I start it up, drive it off, bring it home, shut it off and go inside, and never think about doing any damage to the Turbo?

Also how is the new air-to-air intercooler better than the old oil- or water-cooled intercoolers of old that used to burn up turbos with some frequency?

I hope I'm not wasting everyone's time with these questions, they are probably deep down in the archives somewhere, but I looked around and didn't find exactly what I was looking for, mostly tuning info . . . I need basic care advice . . .

There is ABSOLUTELY no info on this stuff at Subaru*com, or in the Manual.

I want this car to be trouble free in the turbo arena for a good long time.

Any help you all can provide is greatly appreciated.

Chris
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:36 PM   #2
conker69
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Your turbo is water and oil cooled. There is no need at all to let the turbo cool off prior to shutting down the engine. The only exception is if you race the car so that everything is stupid hot and then just shut it down. Other than that, don't worry about it. It is best to not run over 3,000 rpms until the engine reaches operating temperature. Keep that in mind.

I'm not sure what you mean about the intercooler.

I don't think an intercooler can burn up a turbo?? All the intercooler does is cool the hot compressed air coming from the turbo prior to intake.
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:37 PM   #3
Stanley
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You will probably get lots of opinions, here's mine:

Don't accelerate hard, and try to stay off boost until the engine oil is fully warmed up - this will be a few minutes after your coolant temperature needle reaches "normal". Ideally you would install an oil temp guage to know for certain.

If you have been on boost prior to shutting the car off, let it idle to "cool down" by cirulating fresh oil through the turbo. If you drive gently for a few moments before parking you can shut her off immediately.

Consider doing your oil & filter changes according to the "severe" service schedule as "insurance". This is 3,750 miles for my WRX.

Consider using synthetic oil after the first few oil changes, as it resists thermal breakdown better than dino.
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:48 PM   #4
cpokay
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Thank you both SO much for the quick response. I live on a quiet road with a 25 mph speed limit which I religiously abide by, and both before I hit the highway for my commute, and after I get off the highway headed for home, I have several (5-8) minutes of 25 mph "cool down" time built into my drive that should provide a perfectly sufficient "no boost" zone during which the motor (and I) can settle down before, and after top-gun-ing up and down the interstate. So it sounds like I got that covered.

I guess my understanding of the unreliability of some turbo motors in the 80s was due to inadequate intercooling (=turbo burned up from excess heat), and due to intercoolers that malfunctioned/cracked/spewed their coolant out and due to such failure, turbo overheated and died. Yes? Maybe I misunderstood. But presumably Subaruski's don't suffer from such gremlins?

One thing I read on one Subaru web site (think it was Aussie) in technical papers was a reference to the hood scoop being an "air-to-air intercooler" for the turbo . . .yes?

Anyway, thanks for the tips, I feel very fortunate to have found the Legacy GT Ltd. wagon in the 5spd manual, as I see they've discontinued the manual transm in the '06 wagon.

Peace

Cpokay
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:04 PM   #5
Jon Bogert
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No. Intercooling has nothing to do with the topic. Everything you wrote above is wrong.

Turbo longevity is all about keeping the oil in the bearings hot enough, but not too hot. Your car does this very well on its own, but following Stanley's advice is a good idea if you want maximum longevity.

On the other hand, Subaru turbos are cheap and easy to change, so why worry?
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:27 PM   #6
cpokay
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So the turbos can be replaced for what, $1500 or so? And would typical turbo life before having to do so with a good break-in period, moderate driving habits and no racing be . . . 7-8 years, 150,000 miles? Or less? (more?)

Like I said, this is my first turbo of any kind, although I was completely impressed with my '97 Legacy as far as reliability went.

So why did so many turbo cars in the 80s (Saab, Volvo, Chrysler/Dodge) get such a bad rep for premature failure, expensive repairs, and all that -- if you have a couple more minutes to talk about it . . . Did Subaru turbos in the 80s suffer from the same problems? or is that just misperception?

Should I have any reason to believe my GT Ltd will be any less reliable than my normally-aspirated '97 Legacy L because the new car has a turbo?

P.S. I was thinking about switching over to fully synthetic oil after 3000 miles, because that seems to be something a lot of people recommend for a high-performance engine like mine. thoughts?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is my first ever performance car, literally going from the family truckster to a nearly track-ready sophisticated driving machine with a VERY expensive engine. I LOVE this thing already, and know I am giong to have a ball in this car, but its too expensive for me to want to be careless about it or to do something that would F it up . .. . and honest to God, I can't believe that the Subaru Owner's Manual and Technical Info sites don't have anything posted that provide answers to what HAVE to be FAQs like this . . .

Chris

Chris
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:17 PM   #7
esteve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpokay
So why did so many turbo cars in the 80s (Saab, Volvo, Chrysler/Dodge) get such a bad rep for premature failure, expensive repairs, and all that -- if you have a couple more minutes to talk about it . . . Did Subaru turbos in the 80s suffer from the same problems? or is that just misperception?

Should I have any reason to believe my GT Ltd will be any less reliable than my normally-aspirated '97 Legacy L because the new car has a turbo?
Earlier turbos only used oil for both cooling and lubing so they had oil coking issues but that's a thing of the past. Modern turbos like in your LGT use both oil and water so reliability is much better...you don't have to worry. Just follow the good common-sense advice given here by the others. Also, your commute is perfect for a turbo car.
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:25 PM   #8
garie
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if your turbo does ever go you can always buy a used one here in the classifeds or on ebay for cheap. Extremely cheaper when compared to dealership prices.
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:32 PM   #9
Uncle Scotty
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....d000d....ya worried about the sky bein' blue.

drive it like ya stole it and in all likelyhood, the turbo will outlast your wanting to own the car....if not....swap turbo's in an afternoon for cheap.

these are, really, very dureable and reliable if ya keep the oil changed and coolant in it.


Worry and fret and drive like grandma?????....go buy an Olds
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:48 AM   #10
conker69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpokay
So the turbos can be replaced for what, $1500 or so? And would typical turbo life before having to do so with a good break-in period, moderate driving habits and no racing be . . . 7-8 years, 150,000 miles? Or less? (more?)

So why did so many turbo cars in the 80s (Saab, Volvo, Chrysler/Dodge) get such a bad rep for premature failure, expensive repairs, and all that -- if you have a couple more minutes to talk about it . . . Did Subaru turbos in the 80s suffer from the same problems? or is that just misperception?

Should I have any reason to believe my GT Ltd will be any less reliable than my normally-aspirated '97 Legacy L because the new car has a turbo?

P.S. I was thinking about switching over to fully synthetic oil after 3000 miles, because that seems to be something a lot of people recommend for a high-performance engine like mine. thoughts?

Chris
If you take care of your car, the turbo should last at least 100,000 miles. You can get stock turbos much cheaper than that and install them yourself. I'm not sure what a dealer would charge.

In the 80s, turbos failed because of the way they were cooled...or the lack of proper cooling actually. Typically they ONLY used oil which, when you turned off the engine, just sat there and cooked. Not good for your turbo. However, that has changed in modern times. Subaru uses both water and oil to cool the turbo. Read the highlighted section of this document (ignore that is states WRX; this applies to all modern Subaru turbo engines):



There is no answer to your oil question. I switched to synthetic on my first oil change in both my WRX (sold it) and my STi. Have not had a single problem so far.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:19 AM   #11
cpokay
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Thanks to all for your answers to my newbie questions, and thanks Conker69 for the article, that makes it perfectly clear to me!

If I wanted to drive like a grandmother, I wouldn't have bought this car I have a 60-mile commute each way every day, and wanted something comfortable, safe, reliable, that would have some utility and something that would pass a smokin, stinkin old logging truck or farm vehicle without endangering my life in the passing lane out on the country roads I travel between Danville, and Durham every day. I think I found the perfect beasty for the job, I'm really looking forward to driving it daily - I turn in the rental car from the accident this evening, and wifey's bringing my new Subie to the office for me, so my journey begins! Thanks again for the words of encouragement!

Peace
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:29 AM   #12
conker69
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That article is actually 3 pages long with some other information you might be interested in. I can email it to you if you like. Just send me a PM.

Your Legacy sounds awesome. Take some pics and post them in the Member's Car Gallery forum.
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