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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Turbo engine care? in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; This is my first turbo, and I have been reading about their functioning. I have also been reading about tuning ...
  1. #1
    flycaster's Avatar
    flycaster is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Turbo engine care?

    This is my first turbo, and I have been reading about their functioning. I have also been reading about tuning cars as I [I]may[I] want to do this. I plan on keeping this car for 5-7 years (average 4-5K miles/yr,) I think, and have concerns about not causing any undo engine problems.

    First, I have read that it is a good idea to let the engine idle a bit before turning off so as to let the internals cool down. Is this the case with our present engines, or does this apply to older turbos?

    As for a simple tune, and assuming occasional spirited driving (no tracking), will this wear the engine faster.

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    ATSFL is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Turbo engine care?

    it can't hurt to let the engine idle before shutting off for turbo cars IF you've been flogging the car, then plan on immediately shutting the car off. the easiest thing to do is to go easy on the car a couple minutes before you're going to arrive at your destination and shut it off - that's if you're really worried about it.

    a tune will absolutely cause the engine's lifespan to be shortened. as for HOW much shorter; that's unknown. GM tunes the car from the factory with what they feel the perfect balance of safety and enjoyment is, most likely biased toward safety as to save money on warranty costs.

    it's important to simply do your research before pulling the trigger on parts, and know the possibility of their affects; both long and short term.

    Quote Originally Posted by flycaster View Post
    This is my first turbo, and I have been reading about their functioning. I have also been reading about tuning cars as I [I]may[I] want to do this. I plan on keeping this car for 5-7 years (average 4-5K miles/yr,) I think, and have concerns about not causing any undo engine problems.

    First, I have read that it is a good idea to let the engine idle a bit before turning off so as to let the internals cool down. Is this the case with our present engines, or does this apply to older turbos?

    As for a simple tune, and assuming occasional spirited driving (no tracking), will this wear the engine faster.

  4. #3
    roadpie4u is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Turbo engine care?

    The specific reasons for letting the engine "cool" are twofold.

    First, turbo engines run hot - so getting excess heat out of the engine via the radiator is handy. Most manufacturers make "turbo timers", that run the car for a short period of time after the key is removed to help with this.

    The second is the same - heat - but specifically in the oil/bearings. When shutting off oil flow to hot turbo bearings, the oil rapidly breaks down and leaves carbon deposits on the bearings. To combat this, many manufacturers add water cooling passages to the turbo center section. The downside to this being complexity of course.

    Are both of these issues critical? Clearly not. However, changing oil on recommended intervals and letting the engine "cool off" by not going into boost the last minute or two of the drive is a good thing and will help to extend the life of the turbo. Now, we could argue the stock turbo is terribly small and letting it die would open the chance for an out-of-warranty upgrade, but hey!

    For what it's worth (and I cannot confirm these numbers as accurate from GM corporate, but rather what I've heard from dealers/shops/service mgrs/etc) the last generation of our engine, the LNF, had unacceptable turbocharger maintanance rates under warranty - 1 in 8 LNF cars apparently had to have turbo maintenance done while the vehicle was under warranty - and 1 in 3 needed work when people got the GMPP tune. That isn't the engine - that's the turbo itself. By odd coincidence, the Sky/Solstice weren't nearly as likely to have these issues - less than 1 in 20 - this is either due to better care by their owners as they were targeted to a different demographic, a larger cooling package/different layout or a combination thereof - but the FWD LNF cars fared worse than RWD.

    Just treat her well and don't beat her like a $5 escort and she'll be fine stock. With a tune? If you're getting rid of her before 100k, I don't think it'll be an issue as long as its a good tune. There are plenty of guys with 150,000mi LNF cars with the GMPP tune.

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