Oil leaking into turbo on BMW 3 Series - is this a serious problem?

I have a BMW 3 series 1.8 diesel. Having had an oil change about 4000 miles ago, the i-drive flashed with a low oil warning and I put in one litre of oil immediately. I did this and took it to my specialist, who did the oil change and ran a few checks, There was nothing obvious, but did mention that it could be leaking into the turbo, but just keep an eye on the level for now. The car is running fine and has just covered 70,000 since 2014. But am I looking at a failing turbo?

Asked on 12 October 2021 by Robin Garner

Answered by Dan Powell
It isn't uncommon for any diesel turbo bearing oil seals to leak at this sort of age and mileage. But I do believe it is an early sign of turbo failure. You will eventually need to replace the unit with a new or recon turbo. You will also need to replace the oil feed pipe from the engine to the turbo and oil return pipe because they are likely to be clogged up with carbon.
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