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#4557663 - 10/28/17 07:48 PM How reliable turbos and CVT's really are?
wolf_06 Offline


Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 491
Loc: Atlantic, Canada
Hey guys,

I will get a new car sooner or later, and a lot of models now have CVT's and turbo engines.

To a durability perspective, are these two items durable for 8-10 years with good maintenance?
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#4557666 - 10/28/17 07:54 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4048
Loc: North Carolina
Turbos, yes.

CVTs suck but they'd probably make it 8-10 years pretty easy.
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#4557697 - 10/28/17 08:19 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
dbias Offline


Registered: 12/24/14
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
with both turbos and cvt transmissions proper lubrication with a top quality oil is essential for longevity. There is a great online resource for information like that but i cant think of its name right now.
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#4557706 - 10/28/17 08:22 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
danez_yoda Offline


Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 464
Loc: texas
If you get a cvt, drive it like grandmaw and youll be ok. Aggressive driving will kill them fast.

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#4557745 - 10/28/17 08:53 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: dbias]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
Originally Posted By: dbias
with both turbos and cvt transmissions proper lubrication with a top quality oil is essential for longevity. There is a great online resource for information like that but i cant think of its name right now.


It's something like Ron is the oil man or boy or something
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#4557780 - 10/28/17 09:17 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
Emanuel Offline


Registered: 07/01/17
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela, South America
But I don't think a turbo would last 15 years and 300k miles

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#4557813 - 10/28/17 09:45 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 481
Loc: Vienna, VA
My old boss has a 90s turbo Volvo with close to 400k on it on the stock turbo. We talked cars often and he always talked about how good it was.
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#4557814 - 10/28/17 09:46 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: Emanuel]
wavinwayne Offline


Registered: 01/06/05
Posts: 7546
Loc: North Alabama
Originally Posted By: Emanuel
But I don't think a turbo would last 15 years and 300k miles


My 2000 VW GTI 1.8L turbo has 327k miles on the original turbo, with less than recommended maintenance.
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#4557831 - 10/28/17 09:58 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
JFAllen Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 154
Loc: Albury, NSW
First: Make sure the turbo charger is water cooled!!!
-Oil (only) cooed turbo's have a significantly higher risk of 'coking' the oil on shutdown, as their is no water to hold temperatures in the bearings below 100C.
-This is responsible for many VW BKD 2.0L turbo failures

Always use the correct specification synthetic oil.

Change it at no more than 10,000kms. In Aus, anyone running turbo performance cars is 5,000kms. If you cruise the freeway to work regularly, 10,000kms is fine. 15,000mile OCI's on turbo petrol vehicles are a recipe for turbo failures. The sump's (too small) and filters simply can't deal with it. Big Diesel truck engines can get away with +20,000mile OCI's as the sump's are massive and have multi stage filtration. they also tend to run long kms cross country. most punters don't.
-As everyone here will attest, regular maintenance and inspection of your car is the simplest and cheapest way to ensure many years of happy motoring.

As for a CVT. the real question is do you have a soul (any sort of passion, not a religious thing?) and if the answer is yes, then why would you buy a car with an utterly soulless transmission.

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#4557841 - 10/28/17 10:03 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: JFAllen]
bigj_16 Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 1268
Loc: Douglas County, Colorado
Originally Posted By: JFAllen
First: Make sure the turbo charger is water cooled!!!
-Oil (only) cooed turbo's have a significantly higher risk of 'coking' the oil on shutdown, as their is no water to hold temperatures in the bearings below 100C.
-This is responsible for many VW BKD 2.0L turbo failures

Always use the correct specification synthetic oil.

Change it at no more than 10,000kms. In Aus, anyone running turbo performance cars is 5,000kms. If you cruise the freeway to work regularly, 10,000kms is fine. 15,000mile OCI's on turbo petrol vehicles are a recipe for turbo failures. The sump's (too small) and filters simply can't deal with it. Big Diesel truck engines can get away with +20,000mile OCI's as the sump's are massive and have multi stage filtration. they also tend to run long kms cross country. most punters don't.
-As everyone here will attest, regular maintenance and inspection of your car is the simplest and cheapest way to ensure many years of happy motoring.

As for a CVT. the real question is do you have a soul (any sort of passion, not a religious thing?) and if the answer is yes, then why would you buy a car with an utterly soulless transmission.


I agree. Anyone trying to extend an OCI on a passenger car gas turbo is asking for it.

By the way. JFAllen, if you're looking to sponsor any one from the U.S.A. to Albury, I'm first in line! smile



Edited by bigj_16 (10/28/17 10:05 PM)

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#4557842 - 10/28/17 10:03 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wavinwayne]
Emanuel Offline


Registered: 07/01/17
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela, South America
Originally Posted By: wavinwayne
Originally Posted By: Emanuel
But I don't think a turbo would last 15 years and 300k miles


My 2000 VW GTI 1.8L turbo has 327k miles on the original turbo, with less than recommended maintenance.
Well you are right, but nowadays the turbos of downsized engines have to work a lot harder than the ones in your GTI. They gotta make boost even when you are accelerating slowly in traffic. On the other side the turbos of your GTI are used mostly in hard acceleration.

That is why I think that the turbos of new cars won't last as much as the ones from 10 years old plus engines


Edited by Emanuel (10/28/17 10:04 PM)

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#4557911 - 10/28/17 11:14 PM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: danez_yoda]
bbhero Offline


Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 4627
Loc: Virginia
Not really true at all... I've pushed my CVT in my car many, many times. Well above the regular rpm range 2-3k rpm. A whole bunch of times 4400-6000 rpm. It has been just fine. And continues to be very good.


Edited by bbhero (10/28/17 11:14 PM)
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#4557970 - 10/29/17 01:00 AM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
The turbos of today also have better metallurgy and engineering than turbos of old. Not saying they're all good, but I would definitely use an oil that is a beast at high temperature.

HDEO seems to be great at this, whether dino or syn. Probably because resistance to coking is a major part of an HDEO getting manufacturer certs.

Not just for the turbo, but because the pistons tend to run on the hot side of the spectrum as well. A lot of engine builders I have known who were into small displacement turbo engines have told me that turbo engine pistons love to cook almost as much as turbos in shutdown. Mainly in the ring pack.

We see some nasty stuff in the marine realm as well. Piston and oil temps can get real stupid when those things are wide open. People who like to put the hammer down with a dirty bottom sometimes melt them entirely.
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#4558002 - 10/29/17 03:35 AM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: Emanuel]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8536
Loc: Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: Emanuel
But I don't think a turbo would last 15 years and 300k miles


Well...only 225,000 miles on the original turbo in my Wife's Volvo XC, so time will tell if it gets to 300,000.

192,000 on the original turbo on the T5. Original turbos on the s600 are at 96,000 now.

So, will a turbo last?

I'm betting they will. Two of my cars have already made it past your 15 year point. Most cars don't make it to 300,000, but my wife's is well on its way with its original turbo.


Edited by Astro14 (10/29/17 03:38 AM)
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#4558041 - 10/29/17 06:08 AM Re: How reliable turbos and CVT's really are? [Re: wolf_06]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7162
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
A turbocharged engine, operated on a quality synthetic oil, with regular oil changes, will last a very long time. The turbocharger itself will also last if the above conditions are met, along with the requirement for good air filtration and no chance of debris or water getting in. Over long periods of time, say 300K miles, the aluminum compressor will show signs of significant erosion with less than perfect air filtration due to various reasons (mostly poor maintenance) . Good maintenance is key.
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