I have a small oil leak in the Intercooler, which obviously will need replacing. Had a service and check done to find the leak on Monday, when they assured me that the turbo is a bit worn but fine.
I am still driving the car, as advised this was okay, but frequently checking the oil. Went to buy oil yesterday - usually have fully synthetic 5/40, but checked the garage receipt to discover they had refilled with 10/30 - semi synthetic.
Will this oil damage the engine?
The Uniparts store I bought oil from said I could not top up with the normal oil - is this right?
Can I leave this oil in until the intercooler is changed?
Finally, the Intercooler is quite an expensive bit of kit. I feel it would be safer to buy new, despite the cost - or could I get away with second hand?
The oil is not the best for your engine but it wont actually damage it, so leave until the I/C job is done. You can top up with 'normal' oil - whatever that is.
The intercooler is a static item, just a heat exchanger, so seconhdand is fine so long as it is in good shape.
'I have a small oil leak in the Intercooler, which obviously will need replacing.'
The oil will be coming from the worn turbo bearings, so if you get a new intercooler it will just get oiled up like your present one.
If you want to change anything then get a new turbo & get the intercooler cleaned out.
This is normal with a turbo diesel that has done a few miles.
The turbo may go on for many thousands more miles without giving out, but if it blows on the inlet side you can have a runaway engine on your hands.
Using the correct oil will help the turbo last as long as possible.
I had a new intercooler fitted to my 2004, during the first year of ownership.
Do not fit a second hand one, unless it is the modified version, that replaced the original, or it will leak again.
The first version was a "crimped" arrangement, oil leaked from between the crimp joint, put your hand under the front LHS of the cooler top, you should feel oil.
The later version is completely different and 5 years later has not leaked.
The oil i was assured by a experienced nissan mechanic comes from the engine, as with ALL diesel engines, and is normal. I had doubts myself, but still on the original turbo at 35K. So NO the turbo is not guaranteed to have leaking bearing seals.
My son runs it now, his useless BMW stands on the drive at the first sign of snow.
I had semi oil put in on the last service when i had, and my son the same, with no problems, i understand that full synthetic is the correct oil.
The oil i was assured by a experienced nissan mechanic comes from the engine, as with ALL diesel engines, and is normal.'
Air is drawn through the air filter, through pipes into the turbo where it is compressed & blown through more pipework to the intercooler where it is cooled. The only place it can collect oil on its journey is at the turbo.
It is normal for turbos to pass some oil through the bearings & past the basic seals.
The air hasn't got to the engine yet.
I can't get my head round this one. How does it get from the engine if not through the turbo seals? Where am i going wrong:
Air comes in through the path: Air filter -> turbo -> intercooler -> inlet manifold -> engine.
Oil could enter the intercooler from the turbo i follow that bit.
The inlet manifold might have an egr valve connection i think? I can't think where the EGR valve connects to right now, but i'm sure it's directly feeding into the inlet manifold? It could have fuel or oil vapour i guess. I don't think it'll be this though?
There's maybe an oil breather / PCV feeding into the inlet manifold? it could come from here? Maybe the oil vapour gets into the inlet manifold which is colder, causes the oil vapour to condense on the walls then dribble down into the intercooler?
I think there should be an oil separator valve there though so would that be faulty to cause this?
'I have a small oil leak in the Intercooler which obviously will need replacing.'
The oil will be coming from the worn turbo bearings so if you get a
new intercooler it will just get oiled up like your present one.
If you want to change anything then get a new turbo & get the intercooler
Hmm, this is a how long is a piece of string job. Most used diesels will have some oil in the intercooler, it goes with the territory. You or your mechanic need to make a judgement as to whether too much oil is being throw into the intake. Usually they pass a bit of oil and they settle to a steady rate for many miles.
Thank you both for the information. Garage boss is in on Monday so I will go and have a chat with him, armed with your information.
Btw, X-trailman, mine has done around the 70,000 mark and apart from the heater fan motor, this is my first problem - fingers crossed!
Intercooler failure is a known problem on the 2.2 DCi versions. Mine (2004) was replaced under warranty (which I believe Nissan ended up extending to 5 years for Turbo/Intercooler failures). As someone commented earlier, the original Intercoolers were "crimped" together leading to a regular leak at the front edge, left side as you look at it from the front. Later Intercoolers are brazed/welded and do not suffer from this problem. There is somewhere around Stafford that does guaranteed rebuilds with welded joints for about £700 if i remember rightly. No idea about the type of oil though. I think the local Nissan dealer uses Castrol Semi (Magnatec?) for X Trail oil changes.
Same problem. Oil leaking from front and left side of intercooler, only had the vehicle just over a year. Its a 55 plate, with 71k miles. I have extra warranty but as usual this item is not covered. Local garage advised that this should not fail through wear and tear, so suggested I contact Nissan.
Nissan advised that the vehicle has been given extended warranty on the turbo, but they know of no problems with the intercooler?
My oil cooler just started leaking. Took it to a semi-retired, experienced mechanic who replaced the gaskets and seals for me. $30 in parts vs an new oil cooler ($650). Did the trick. Pays to hire someone that knows what they are doing.