Vaux­hall In­signia

Part two: Swap­ping over the 2.0 CDTI tur­bocharger.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

We’ve had an anx­ious few weeks since buy­ing and col­lect­ing our In­signia be­fore Christ­mas. The low oil pres­sure warn­ing is the ma­jor cause for con­cern. Ac­cord­ing to Vaux­hall, if the en­gine oil is shown to be over­full on the dip­stick, this is of­ten a sign of an in­com­plete DPF re­gen­er­a­tion. Al­legedly, there’s no way of telling when a re­gen is hap­pen­ing, so if the en­gine is switched off, the process isn’t com­pleted. The con­se­quence of this is that diesel fuel is dumped into the en­gine oil, re­sult­ing in the over­full read­ing.

Dur­ing a DPF re­gen, the en­gine runs rich to heat up the ex­haust sys­tem and DPF. If the en­gine is switched off dur­ing a re­gen, there may be ex­cess diesel fuel in­side the cylin­ders which hasn’t been com­busted. This can seep past the pis­ton rings and into the oil, in­creas­ing the vol­ume of oil with fuel. We sus­pect this is the case with our In­signia’s en­gine.

We had our In­signia trans­ported to our lo­cal garage, MJ Mo­tors in Bat­ley, for a se­cond opin­ion and to de­vise a plan of ac­tion for the low oil pres­sure prob­lem. If you take a look at Your Let­ters this month, you’ll find that sev­eral read­ers have al­ready writ­ten in with ad­vice – in­clud­ing a cou­ple of use­ful meth­ods of recog­nis­ing when a re­gen is oc­cur­ring. Our spon­sors, Au­to­vaux, have also been very help­ful.

Dan Smith at MJ Mo­tors sug­gested run­ning the en­gine so that he could see the prob­lem for him­self. Straight away, he could tell that the turbo was noisy. He de­tached the oil feed pipe to the top of the turbo and no oil spurted out. It had clearly been starved of oil.

So the turbo def­i­nitely needed re­new­ing. The en­gine oil pick-up pipe that we dis­cussed last month should also be re­placed as it’s a com­mon cause of low oil pres­sure if it has per­ished. How­ever, the Vaux­hall tech­ni­cian we spoke to ex­plained that, if you’re lucky, chang­ing the en­gine oil can fix the low oil pres­sure prob­lem. We weren’t so op­ti­mistic, but tried this ap­proach any­way. Sadly, it didn’t help.

A re­place­ment turbo was needed. We con­tacted Au­to­vaux, who were able to sup­ply a re­man­u­fac­tured GM turbo for £438 (rec­om­mended re­tail price through Vaux­hall is £715.20). So a turbo was de­liv­ered to MJ Mo­tors along with a se­lec­tion of gas­kets and sev­eral other parts that we will be fit­ting over the forth­com­ing months. We’ve man­aged to re­new the turbo this month, but not fix the low oil pres­sure prob­lem, yet. We have how­ever, man­aged to suc­cess­fully re­new the near­side rear wheel bear­ing, al­though re­mov­ing the old wheel bear­ing wasn’t as easy as we had ex­pected. Thank­fully the re­place­ment from Au­to­vaux comes with a two-year war­ranty.

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