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A friend of mine has a 98 AEB 1.8t with 101k miles. What is the easest and fastest way to determine if the turbo is bad? The engine sounds good with no "ticking" or oil pressure problems to date.

It doesn't seem slow when driving it, but I can't feel the boost either. Maybe the boost is kicking in but I just can't tell because I'm used to my car (03' 1.8t). I know one way would be to get a boost gauge but I think he would rather spend the money on a turbo first.

thanks . . .
 

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I think it is normal that you cant feel the boost with stock 1.8t AEB. I didnt feel the boost at all with my -97 Passat before chipping, but now with Upsolute chip i can definitely feel the turbo kicking in.
 

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If the turbo is not working at all, the car won't produce much hp. It'll feel like you're trying to push around a Lincoln Town Car with an 1100cc engine. I know... my turbo failed.

If it's beginning to go out, you'll hear a noticable whine or yowl when you rev the motor. You can hear the turbo bearings going out just by standing in front of the car and goosing the throttle. If you can hear a noticable whine, yowl or whir spool up and down with significant RPM's your turbo bearings are on the way out. A very light hiss or barely noticable high pitched whine, that's normal and ok.

If you're a DIY and out of warranty there are plenty of low mileage used turbos out there for $100-$250. I replaced my failed '98 with a 2001 for $117 + $30 in gaskets. Works beautifully. About 6 hours round trip to replace it. Just look for little or no side play in the shaft bearings and good operation of the waste gate, waste gate actuator that works, etc.
 

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ericpeterman said:
If the turbo is not working at all, the car won't produce much hp. It'll feel like you're trying to push around a Lincoln Town Car with an 1100cc engine. I know... my turbo failed.

If it's beginning to go out, you'll hear a noticable whine or yowl when you rev the motor. You can hear the turbo bearings going out just by standing in front of the car and goosing the throttle. If you can hear a noticable whine, yowl or whir spool up and down with significant RPM's your turbo bearings are on the way out. A very light hiss or barely noticable high pitched whine, that's normal and ok.

If you're a DIY and out of warranty there are plenty of low mileage used turbos out there for $100-$250. I replaced my failed '98 with a 2001 for $117 + $30 in gaskets. Works beautifully. About 6 hours round trip to replace it. Just look for little or no side play in the shaft bearings and good operation of the waste gate, waste gate actuator that works, etc.
Can you describe these sounds a little better? My turbo's been much louder since being chipped, and maybe even a tad more so lately? Everything *seems* fine but I am paranoid. And if I rev it, I can definitely hear the turbo.

-Wapptor (TIA)
 

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It's rather difficult to describe. It's a louder and noticable yowl. When the bearings start to go out the turbine blades strike the body of the turbo and that is what you hear.

With a chip you will hear the turbo more anyway so don't get confused. The chips increase the pressure so you'll hear the turbines compressing the air at very high rpm... like a jet.

If the bearings are going in the turbo it will also put metal into the oil. Run the engine for a bit and then pull the dipstick and look at the oil in the sunlight. If you see scintillating bits that's metal... bad news. If you don't then don't worry about the turbo. There's nothing you can do about it anyway if it starts to go bad except replace it. So run it with good oil until it doesn't work (puts metal or awful sounds out).
 
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