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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have only had My 1.4 turbo 6 speed manual for 10,700 miles to the as of this moment 12,300 miles of its life. The guy before me had most likely driven it very easy since he was getting 37 mpg and lived in a retirement home. I have a couple of times hammered into it to use its full power potential, but generally drive it easy. I just changed the oil (did remember to reset the OLM) even though the OLM said 29%. My question is do I need to do anything special to keep my turbo in good health.

This site seems to be very hardcore and structured about what to do about maintenance.

Turbo Maintenance Tips and Advice | Miscellaneous Blog at Super Street Online Magazine

These guys seemed to be a little more laid back.

VWVortex.com - Maintaining A Turbo car

Do I need to idle when I get home? I live a mile from the entrance of my neighborhood and drive around 1k to 1500 rpms through the neighborhood.

The first site said something about pulling ECU fuse and starting car or something...?

After X miles does it need to be taken off the motor and cleaned or lubed?

How many miles can I expect it to live? (I generally don't go higher than 2,500 rpm's.

(I do use full synthetic)
 

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Dont remove the turbo. No need to. The maintenance you're talking about seems to be for high performance turbos. Ours isn't quite in that category.

Just be sure to change your oil regularly, and use Dexos approved oils or full synthetic(highly recommended), the turbo will be fine.
 

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Short answer - do what's in the owners manual.

Long answer - The Cruze will handle turbo warm up and cool down for you. The only thing you can really do to make your car happy in this regards is to keep the RPMs low (below 2000 and preferably below 1800) for the first quarter to half mile after starting the engine in the winter. You don't need to sit and idle to warm up the car as this just wastes gas and the engine is so small that it produces very little heat while idling. Also, until the car is at operating temperature, don't run the heater/blower on 3 or 4. This engine just doesn't generate enough heat to keep up with the cold air passing through the passenger compartment heater core.
 

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Do I need to idle when I get home? I live a mile from the entrance of my neighborhood and drive around 1k to 1500 rpms through the neighborhood.


(I do use full synthetic)
I've been wondering this myself. I've read on here where several people have stated to let the car cool down a bit before turning it off. On most trips that we go, we live out in the sticks and it takes around a 30 minute drive to the Grocery/Walmart store...plus all the driving in town...BUT! I live on a dirt road, about 1/8 of a mile down..and hubby was saying that he thinks since we only drive about 10-15 MPH down this dirt road, that's enough of a cool down for it, so he just shuts the car off as soon as he puts it in park. Not only that, but most of the drive is 55 MPH...so it's not like we are going fast anyhow. What do you all think...is driving 1/8 mile at 10 MPH enough of a cool down?
 

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I've been wondering this myself. I've read on here where several people have stated to let the car cool down a bit before turning it off. On most trips that we go, we live out in the sticks and it takes around a 30 minute drive to the Grocery/Walmart store...plus all the driving in town...BUT! I live on a dirt road, about 1/8 of a mile down..and hubby was saying that he thinks since we only drive about 10-15 MPH down this dirt road, that's enough of a cool down for it, so he just shuts the car off as soon as he puts it in park. Not only that, but most of the drive is 55 MPH...so it's not like we are going fast anyhow. What do you all think...is driving 1/8 mile at 10 MPH enough of a cool down?
Yes. You don't need to cool down the turbo on these cars. That's really only if you're running a diesel that makes 20+ lbs of boost or a car from the 1980's that didn't have a water-cooled turbo and used bad-quality oil of the era.

I owned a turbo car for a long time before this Cruze. No special maintenance or care is needed for today's turbo technologies, and anybody that tells you otherwise is just being a drama queen. That car is 14 years old and has 230,000 miles on the original engine, transmission, and turbo. It has NOT had an easy life.
 

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This is an air and water cooled engine/turbo. The ECU will run the main cooling pump, fan and open the ECO shutters if it needs to after you turn the car off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Short answer - do what's in the owners manual.

Long answer - The Cruze will handle turbo warm up and cool down for you. The only thing you can really do to make your car happy in this regards is to keep the RPMs low (below 2000 and preferably below 1800) for the first quarter to half mile after starting the engine in the winter. You don't need to sit and idle to warm up the car as this just wastes gas and the engine is so small that it produces very little heat while idling. Also, until the car is at operating temperature, don't run the heater/blower on 3 or 4. This engine just doesn't generate enough heat to keep up with the cold air passing through the passenger compartment heater core.
I never run the blower that high any way but good to know in the future. Thanks.
 

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With turbos running at 100-200 thousand rpm's, bearing lubricant is air, so make sure you change your air. Engine oil is used primarily for cooling. Using dexos approved synthetic oil is not only a good idea, but also mandatory for maintaining your warranty. Conventional oil will sludge up with the additional heat.

From Chevy:

"
The Ecotec 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility in smaller vehicles such as the Cruze. Typically, turbochargers are mounted at the outlet of the exhaust manifold or farther downstream in the exhaust system, but this design incorporates the turbocharger's turbine housing into the exhaust manifold as a single component. It requires fewer parts, is lighter than a conventional system, helps lower engine compartment temperatures and helps the engine warm up faster. The faster warm-up benefits emissions performance, as it enables a close-coupled catalytic converter that promotes a quick “light off.” The turbocharger is lubricated by engine oil and is liquid cooled for long-term reliability. The pressurized air charge is cooled via an air-to-air intercooling system prior to entering the engine. This lowers the temperature of the inlet air for more a more effective boost charge.
Additional details on the Ecotec 1.4L turbo include a reinforced crankshaft and stronger connecting rods, which offer additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band, as well as numerous mass-reducing features, such as a cast iron block with a hollow frame structure, hollow-cast camshafts and a plastic intake manifold."

For the issue of long term reliability, time will answer this question depending on the materials used in the construction, in 1986, Chrysler didn't do a very good job, turbos were crapping out at 10K miles. Least I know the Cruze is better than that. 88 Supra did an excellent job.

How you drive your car would have far more effect on its life, using the very finest components in these quarter mile dragsters, one or two runs is the maximum for a complete overhaul. Seen 88 Supra's that were wrecks even after only 20K miles.

My major reason for wanting the turbo in my 88 Supra was for vastly improved fuel economy, but try to explain that to your insurance company. Thought I was going to run into that same problem with the Cruze turbo, but to my shock, full coverage on it was lower than my 2004 Cavalier. Namely because the Cruze has ten airbags in it.

Pulling the ECU or PCM fuse as TM calls it is prehistoric. With pre 1996 OBD II vehicles, pulling the fuse did two things, erased all of the stored error codes and the learned open loop correcting codes. Those used powered up RAM, since then, all replaced by flashram. Nothing changes by removing the fuse.

If you want long term reliability, drive your Cruze sensibly. By using common sense and driving like a grandpa, still can stay ahead of these idiots slamming on their brakes or gas pedal in traffic.

Come to think of it, I am a grandpa, but drove that way even before becoming one.

Due for my second oil change. Should I save 6 bucks by using a top grade conventional motor oil that would have to be changed in 3,000 miles. Well not really, with that extra sludge, would break even by also having to change the oil filter. Or just stick with a dexos approved synthetic and get over 7,000 miles before the next change.

Would let my dealer do it if he charged me even ten bucks extra, but wants 40 bucks extra. Had a talk with him about this outrageous price increase, labor is the same. Be that way, will change it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. Seems to be all one general consensus of do what I've been doing and just don't worry about it.

Blackburn answered my turbo life expectancy with his 230k miles on his other car. I doubt that is probably the norm but most likely a good representation that the turbo is a resilient piece of machinery. I was figuring like 5 years or something, but I'll be happy with more.
 

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My mom had an '87 T-bird Turbo Coupe back in the day when she was commuting. Don't ask me how, but she blew the engine in it after only a couple thousand miles. At least it was covered under warranty and they put a whole new engine in it. Apparently those had a factory flaw though.

It was before my time, but given her right foot on-off behaviors, I guess I'm not surprised.
 

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My mom had an '87 T-bird Turbo Coupe back in the day when she was commuting. Don't ask me how, but she blew the engine in it after only a couple thousand miles. At least it was covered under warranty and they put a whole new engine in it. Apparently those had a factory flaw though.

It was before my time, but given her right foot on-off behaviors, I guess I'm not surprised.
It was an 80's Ford. Nuff said :D
 
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