Now I’m sure this a hot topic amongst us technicians and I’m sure you will all have something to say about it and I encourage you to do so !
I’m not renowned for beating round the bush so I’ll get on with it.
Long Life servicing is a complete cock up and a bad idea unless of course you’re a vehicle manufacture.
I will explain my theory, It’s my firm belief that long life servicing is being marketed at driving down the cost of motoring and appeal to drivers and would be car buyers that its affordable to drive the modern diesel and lure you in to tempting service packs which appear to be excellent value for money !!
I cant disagree that the temptation to allow the vehicle manufacture to service and maintain my shiny new car for 3,5 or even 7 years for as little as £300 or £500 would get any bodies wallets salivating !
Despite the advances in materials, chemical and Automotive engineering process leaving oil changes for 18’000 or in some cases 2 years is mad !!!
In reality it only jeopardises the longevity and reliability of the modern car and engine especially diesels !!
We as repairers are witnessing a sharp and sudden increase in what can only be described as an epidemic failure rate on EGR valves, Turbos, DPF filters I’m sure you will agree. I know turbo chargers do have a limited service life like any mechanical component but I’ve been in this job for almost 18 years and I’ve never witnessed such a high failure on Turbo chargers.
Historically if your well maintained turbo would last at least 100’000 or 150’000 miles, where as now I’ve replaced them at 30’000 miles. why ???????
Modern Turbo diesel engines are being stretched to the limit partly due to the gentlemen in Zurich imposing tighter and tighter emission legislation, and increased torque limits to eliminate flat spots and most Turbo’s are pushing 2300-2500 mb (atmospheric) in the mid range putting substantial strain on the bearing assembly.
Now most variable vane assembly turbo’s will spin up to an astonishing rate of 150’000 rpm which creates a huge amount of friction and inevitably heat in the bearing assembly. The very least we can do to help and maintain the longevity of the turbo charger is to replace the oil every 10’000 to give the poor thing a fighting chance.
We all know the majority of people jump in the car coffee and or make-up in hand with no time to spare start up and drive to work at mach 3 without giving the engine time to even warm up and turn off jump out lock up and repeat daily.
Coupled with long life servicing (18’000 miles) oil changes and super market fuel we have created a ticking time bomb !!
Don’t misunderstand me here it’s great for us repairing these systems and long may it continue but from an engineering point of view it’s ludicrous.
Where’s all this going/ Sadly we now live in a throw away society and I’m witnessing an increasing number of people willing to discard there once loved motor machines if staring a ta potential repair bill to replace the turbo, Oil feed pipe, oil, filters, sump off etc etc. instead they seem quiet comfortable to just simply trade it in and buy a new one.
Truth is if a consumer can go out and buy a new car backed up by a manufactures warranty for several years with out having to worry I cant really blame them but sadly when these vehicles are presented into the aftermarket for us to repair it’s too late, they’re knackered and financially uneconomical for repair.
Great for the manufactures, rubbish news for us !
The pictures and videos I have submitted with this article are taken from a BMW 320d 2007 which has covered 70’000 miles and has been subjected to BMW long life service plan and I counted 4 oil changes in it’s life.
The oil was like black treacle and the engine oil separator had never been touched which according to BMW own schedule should be replaced at 30’000 miles !!!
We always put in huge effort after repairs such as this to properly flush the engine with BG 109 and in most cases remove the Sump to clean the oil pump pick up gauze which is gummed up with dirty old oil and contaminants. What’s the point of carrying out a repair or replacing the turbo only to fill a dirty engine with clean oil. Even if it takes me two attempts I always make sure the engine is immaculate inside before replacing the oil and to date the BG 109 product comes up trumps !
As for the Air filter, HA 🙂
Just take a look at the pictures I’ve taken only yesterday in the workshop.
The Turbo inlet clearly shows signs of the blades catching the outer casing caused by core bearing failure.
Of course I cant prove my theory behind the motivation for long life servicing but I think I’m onto something. Please feel free to discuss and help me educate the motorists about the truth and value behind regular servicing. I spend a huge amount of time and effort in order to educate and attempt to help my customers save money in the long run sadly it’s often I’ve after a major repair and replaced the turbo.
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By David Massey