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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we all know these Suv's have the little ass motor and turbo. What is the best strategic/approach to preserve them to last the longest they can? What can I do, driving habits, to get the most life out of the turbo? Never have had a car with one?
 

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In my opinion use 89 or higher octane and change the oil every 5k miles or when the oil life monitor reaches 30%. I wouldn't go the recommended 7500 miles between oil changes even though today's synthetic can handle it. These small turbo engines run much hotter than a typical non turbo 4cyl and they work hard especially a little 3cyl.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had a 93 Geo Metro Convt, that little 3 popper (no turbo) was fun. Top down fun pulling upwards of 50 mpg on the hwy. Just want to do what I can to preserve this little power plant in the TB.
 

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I had a 93 Geo Metro Convt, that little 3 popper (no turbo) was fun. Top down fun pulling upwards of 50 mpg on the hwy. Just want to do what I can to preserve this little power plant in the TB.
An old girlfriend of mine had the same Geo. I believe that 3cyl only had 55hp and was made by Suzuki, but yeah the gas mileage was amazing, lol.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes it was a Suzuki motor. Ours was a 5 sp. We put 50k on it before selling (had kids, was a 2 seater). It never gave us any trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So running higher octane gas and changing oil often is the way to keep the life longer with a turbo?
 

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So running higher octane gas and changing oil often is the way to keep the life longer with a turbo?
Yes. Small turbo engines work very hard and get very hot. More frequent oil changes (every 5k vs 7500k) and running higher than 87 octane will help. Even 89 octane is better than 87, but I've already noticed 91 makes a difference so that's what I've been running. A drop in performance air filter like a K&N or similar will also make the engine run better due to less air restriction. A less restrictive exhaust will also help quite a bit. The double muffler system on this SUV is huge and most likely very restrictive. GM was clearly more concerned about keeping it quiet than adding a little more power. Hopefully these aftermarket parts companies get some stuff made soon. :rolleyes:

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So is it hard a turbo after a drive where it get to running temp when you come home or park it to get into a store for a bit to let it sit and idle for a moment to cool down or just shut it off. Just looking for some best practices here to make the best of this thing.
 

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It's also worth pointing out that climate has a big effect on turbo engines. I believe we are running an air to air heat exchanger which are very efficient, but they have limitations. Your engine's air inlet temperature will always be a few degrees higher than the outside air temperature. If you live in the northern states or Canada your engine will run much cooler and be happier than the same engine in the southern states or Mexico. Cold air is more dense than hot air and has more oxygen molecules packed in it, so cold air not only makes the engine run better but it makes a little more power. If you live in a hot climate I would run 91 octane all the time and do more frequent oil changes, but if you live in a cold climate your probably fine with 87-91 octane and running closer the recommended oil change intervals. It's also a good idea to add a bottle of fuel injector cleaner every 3k miles or so to clean the combustion chambers. Direct injection is very efficient, but also notorious for fouling up. The high pressure injectors can't self clean like the older injectors because they are inside the combustion chamber vs being in the intake manifold so they experience high heat and pressure while the older ones did not.

Steve
 

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So is it hard a turbo after a drive where it get to running temp when you come home or park it to get into a store for a bit to let it sit and idle for a moment to cool down or just shut it off. Just looking for some best practices here to make the best of this thing.
Your fine just shutting it down. Idling may actually increase the engine temp. It's really just the turbo itself getting hot, so idling without air flow will increase undehood temps.

Steve
 

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Quite simple. Oil Change, Oil Changes often!!!!!
every 5000 KM or less all depending on how had you drive!
Trevor
 

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Quite simple. Oil Change, Oil Changes often!!!!!
every 5000 KM or less all depending on how had you drive!
Trevor
Absolutely! I did my first oil change at 3600 and the oil was very black, but I expected that since it was break in oil. No way would I wait until 7500 as Chevy suggests.

Steve
 
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I've been running turbo vehicles since I learned to drive at 16, and have modified several for higher output, all have gone over 100K miles problem free before I sold them, and my current is at 77K miles problem free that I'm looking to trade.

A few myths to dispel:
1) Fuel injectors themselves usually aren't the concern with GDI, its valve carbon deposits, and cleaner won't do anything about that because the fuel isn't spraying on them, otherwise the fuel itself keeps it plenty clean as all gasoline has detergents mixed in. Only thing you can do about that is run quality fuel, replace a failing PCV asap, and occasionally you can seafoam it. Eventually 100K+ miles you may just need to have it walnut blasted.

2) Early full synthetic oil changes and maintaining proper oil level work wonders for longevity. I change mine every 5K miles along with a fresh filter.

3) Most modern turbo engines have turbos mounted up high and often even have timers so even if you race the engine hard and them park the oil will drain and not coke up. Turbos are designed to get hot as heck, you don't have to worry, but the oil if it stops circulating in a hot turbo can cook. I haven't checked out a Trailblazer, but even on the most primitive systems for the last couple miles of the trip you just don't run crazy high boost so the turbo is a bit cooler, and yes you can idle the engine for a bit. When the engine is idling its not making boost and the turbo is cooling off accordingly, and it doesn't matter if the engine has airflow. Engines are ice cold compared to a turbocharger which can actually glow if you drive hard and look at one at night behind the heat shields.

4) There is generally no advantage to running higher octane than what the vehicle was tuned for, and on a modern vehicle even turbo engines designed for higher octane will have no problem running lower octane because knock sensors are so extremely sensitive now that they will retard timing and richen the fuel mixture to prevent knock. You CAN make a lot more power with higher octane fuel, but you'll probably need a retune to see any benefit, but you certainly won't harm anything running 87 octane and most likely will be wasting money running higher. On the plus side, it means that when they start making OBD2 retunes or piggy backs, you'll likely be able to make quite a bit extra power running 93 octane.
 

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Once I get mine. Lord only know when. I will find out if the use a actually GM ECM or a Bosch. If it the GM ECM I will be in there making changes 😊😉
 

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Once I get mine. Lord only know when. I will find out if the use a actually GM ECM or a Bosch. If it the GM ECM I will be in there making changes 😊😉
You will definitely void your warranty as soon as you change anything in the computer. Just something to think about.
 
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It's also worth pointing out that climate has a big effect on turbo engines. I believe we are running an air to air heat exchanger which are very efficient, but they have limitations. Your engine's air inlet temperature will always be a few degrees higher than the outside air temperature. If you live in the northern states or Canada your engine will run much cooler and be happier than the same engine in the southern states or Mexico. Cold air is more dense than hot air and has more oxygen molecules packed in it, so cold air not only makes the engine run better but it makes a little more power. If you live in a hot climate I would run 91 octane all the time and do more frequent oil changes, but if you live in a cold climate your probably fine with 87-91 octane and running closer the recommended oil change intervals. It's also a good idea to add a bottle of fuel injector cleaner every 3k miles or so to clean the combustion chambers. Direct injection is very efficient, but also notorious for fouling up. The high pressure injectors can't self clean like the older injectors because they are inside the combustion chamber vs being in the intake manifold so they experience high heat and pressure while the older ones did not.

Steve
Given the nature of direct injection engines, any thoughts on whether using a higher octane risks greater and/or accelerated carbon build up, necessitating professional cleaning?

Thanks,
Mark
 

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Given the nature of direct injection engines, any thoughts on whether using a higher octane risks greater and/or accelerated carbon build up, necessitating professional cleaning?

Thanks,
Mark
The engine will run cleaner with higher octane, but it won't make any difference in carbon build up on the intake valves vs lower octane. There might be some benefit to higher octane in keeping the combustion chamber cleaner, but the intake valves will still get carbon build up due to the PCV system adding oil vapor back into the intake manifold. Since DI engine's inject fuel directly into the combustion chamber vs the intake manifold, there is no "wash down" on the intake valves to keep them clean. That's why DI engines need periodic cleaning to remove carbon. It is important to use top tier gas whether it's 87 or 93 octane mostly due to the added detergents that help keep the fuel system and engine clean.
 

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The engine will run cleaner with higher octane, but it won't make any difference in carbon build up on the intake valves vs lower octane. There might be some benefit to higher octane in keeping the combustion chamber cleaner, but the intake valves will still get carbon build up due to the PCV system adding oil vapor back into the intake manifold. Since DI engine's inject fuel directly into the combustion chamber vs the intake manifold, there is no "wash down" on the intake valves to keep them clean. That's why DI engines need periodic cleaning to remove carbon. It is important to use top tier gas whether it's 87 or 93 octane mostly due to the added detergents that help keep the fuel system and engine clean.
Thanks for the response and detailed information - I greatly appreciate it. I am a long time user of top tier only fuel and will give the 91 octane a try for a few months and see how it performs for me.

Thanks again,
Mark
 
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