Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Anata
A SHOCK report claims turbodiesel power may be more costly and not as reliable as motorists have been led to believe.....

Full article www.dispatch.co.za/2003/05/27/features/MOT1.HTM

This squares pretty much with my anacdotal experience, particularly in the 4x4 arena.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - mlj
I've read the article and it includes two old chestnuts about turbodiesel engines.
1. The turbocharger on a diesel engine does a different job to that on a petrol engine. This is not the first thread to overlook this and mislead readers.

2. Servicing costs higher? Are we talking scheduled services or repairs? Show me some facts and figures which are not anecdotal.

The main accusation in this article seems to be overheating being a regular problem. This is simply irrelevant to the UK.

Reliability is dependent on many factors for all types of engines but I would expect diesels to outlast petrols any day of the week.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Anata

Also we have more problems with diesel quality than Blighty, though this is improving. We have higher sulphur content and service intervals are thus typically 5000 km for diesel engines. This is a bit of a pain.

Your point about overheating is valid in the UK where 30º c is considered a blisteringly hot day and temperatures of 50º c like we get in Namibia just don?t happen. However this is not valid even in Southern France, Spain etc where temps over the 35º c are quite common. Many UK based folks use their vehicles in Europe, a goodly few tow caravans where overheating is more likely.

I don't understand your first point at all.

Certainly it is my experience that EFI petrol engines are more reliable than turbo diesels and take bigger miliages before big expenses start kicking in.

Interestingly the Toyota Land Cruiser workhorses- the 100 Series GX (not available it looks like an Amazon but has a solid front axle and not wishbones) and 79 Series pick up are both only available in EFI Petrol and normally aspirated diesel. Turbo diesel is only available in the 'lifestyle' off roaders...... the reason I suspect has alot to do with reliability.

Of course the economy spreadsheet looks different in SA. Our fuel cost around 32 p per litre so the fuel consumption difference in favour of diesels does not weigh as heavily as service costs.

Alas I have no hard figures to hand but a couple of folks have looked at vehicle costs pulled off - full service fleet cards databases and generally at least in 4x4s the petrols win despite the 20-30% fuel consumption disadvantage.

Certainly anacdotally I'm always hearing about folks with turbo deisels having doggy do, particularly 4x4s. I've heard about a few 320 BMW turbo diesels that have had major turbo problems. Interestingly as an aside UK spec 4 door 3 Series BMWs are built in South Africa at the Roslyn plant in Pretoria. UK VW Golfs too - built down in the Cape.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - John S

You've lost me there - in what way does the turbocharger on a diesel engine 'do a different job to that on a petrol engine'?

Surely in both cases they use energy in exhaust gases to power a turbine which is connected to a compressor which increases the presure and hence flow in the engine intake - exactly the same function for both petrol and diesel engines.


John S
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - CM
I am no expert but it seemed to be saying that if you did not service your car (esp changiong the oil) then there was a chance that the engine would pack up.

Also if this is true then most of Europe, all lorries, taxis and such like are all going to have to be scrapped ;-).

I don't quite understand the point about DTs not lasting that long. How many examples have reached 250k+ miles? More than petrol ones?
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - wemyss
Considering there are thousands of commercial vehicles virtually all with turbo diesel angines doing astronomical mileages how could developement be 20 years behind petrol?.
Also I have never understood the often stated more expensive servicing. Oil filters, fuel filters, air filters??? What exactly is supposed to make the difference?.

Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - dave18
The article seems to be simply 'anti-diesel' more than anything. It claims that there is little leeway for poor servicing etc ie neglect but surely this is true of any modern petrol engine aswell. Where are the facts and figures? Such a story would be easy to invent.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - madf
"High mean effective pressure (MEP) increases piston and bearing loads, especially at low revs when labouring due to bad driving habits. In some vehicles cooling systems are so marginal that full throttle running should be avoided. Fitment of an aftermarket bumper or spotlights can affect air flow"

Hmm: at low revs! whne turbo is working slowly so pressure is less!

" High MEP increases blow-by, the leakage of combustion gases into the crankcase breather system, causing excessive carbon deposits. If not regularly removed they restrict air intake and increase heat inside the engine. "

Hmm: !? proof? What is regular? every 100k miles? My Audi A4 1.9tdi was ok after 100k....

"Turbo blades can erode and result in overspeeding"

Hmm and so can cambelts fail: does this mean don't buy a car with a camblet?

"Delayed oil and oil filter changes accelerate wear, leading to turbo bearing failure."

True for any car : petrol or diesel , Turbo or not....

"The informed and well-researched report by technical editor Jake Venter in the June issue of South Africa's respected and authoritative Car magazine"

Informed and well-researched? With apologies to South Africans but if this is the best they can do, I feel sorry for the worst....

Rearrange the following words: "carp of piece" to describe the well-researched side of it...

Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Anata

The link I published was a reference to the article by Jake Venter, not the article itself. It is reasonable to reserve judgement on the article until it's published, before leaping to condem the quality of the research it in such colourful terms!
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Baskerville
I've driven or been in several new turbo diesel cars recently and they seem to run at just over 80 degrees C come what may. Some Peugeot and Citroen models have separate cabin heaters because the engine doesn't generate enough heat to warm the cabin in cold weather. This doesn't sound like an overheating problem waiting to happen to me. At least not without some other kind of failure first and that's a problem for any engine, petrol or diesel.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Marcos{P}
I think this chap has a serious problem with diesel power and I reckon he has bought a petrol Gti model only to race a diesel engined equivalent and got badly beaten.
My mates hate it when my diesel Merc leaves them standing and I reckon that is this blokes problem.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - blank
OK, I've not seen the article to which the link you posted refers, but the one we have read is a ridiculously hysterical piece of nonesense.

Contains no facts and lots of rubbish. The article would even look bad in Britain's worst Tabloid newspaper. I mean, of course, the Daily Mail.

Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - chris2
let the turbo cool before switching engine off is good advice but much more a problem for petrol turbo cars. Exhaust temps for petrol are alot higher and spirited driving can result in the turbo glowing red with the heat.

Heard of many turbo failures on petrol engines with oil feeds coked due to this.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - mlj
Exactly my point earlier. Diesel turbos operate at much lower temperatures and the advice given in the article/report merely underlines the writer's ignorance.
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - THe Growler
Like the SUV issue, probably a quiet week in the local auto world down there and he has to drum up something for his 2,500 words. Bit if alarmism helps to sell.

Round here we call that sort of story "blowing smoke up my (synonym for donkey)"
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Ian (Cape Town)
madf, I haven't read the article yet (only got the mag this morning) but Venter definitely knows his stuff on most aspects.

If you wish, I can faxyou a copy of the article tomorrow.
Please let me know.

Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Flat in Fifth

any chance of it being scanned in and e-mailed?

email on profile OK to use


Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Marcos{P}
Are all the high mileage lorries about to pack up now?

Or is this bloke an absolute muppet?
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Flat in Fifth
Are all the high mileage lorries about to pack up now?
Or is this bloke an absolute muppet?

A troll more like IMO.

Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Ian (Cape Town)
I read the article yesterday evening. It is nowhere NEAR as shock-horror is the Dispatch* report makes out, but does raise some worrying issues.
Mainly, if points out that local Turbo Diesels suffer because of:
a) carp fuel
b) lack of servicing/long oil-change intervals (surprise!)
c) The turbo working overtime because of the high altitudes.
d) Working the engine too hard (towing etc) in hot conditions, and then not letting ot cool down

FiF, I'll scan it in later this week, and send over.

*The Dispatch used to be a reasonable paper - it is where Donald Woods of Cry Freedom fame cut his teeth. These days it seems to be a bit of a Daily Mail ...
Turbo diesel reliability shock horror! - Marcos{P}
One of my dad's freinds owns a large haulage company and they run around europe all the time. The servicing on these lorries has gone up from 6,000 mile intervals to 20,000 mile intervals in the past 10 yrs and as he says reliability has also gone up. These lorries go through the Alps, through some dodgy countries where the fuel grade is probably lower than here and the lorries are obviously towing heavy loads.
Surely if turbo diesel engines are suceptable to problems it would show on the lorries that run round Europe.

Value my car