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View Poll Results: Have you experienced exhaust smoking in any of these circumstances

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  • No, I've never experienced smoking

    56 37.09%
  • Yes, and I have a completely stock exhaust.

    50 33.11%
  • Yes, and I have a cat-back or race-pipe.

    7 4.64%
  • Yes, and I have a turbo-back or downpipe.

    38 25.17%
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Thread: Smoking and Turbo Seals

  1. #1
    AD07's Avatar
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    Default Smoking and Turbo Seals

    These seals are really turning into an epic Mazda failure.......

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    Umm, yeah, and they still refuse to issue a recall.

  3. #3
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    mazda artarmon have never heard of this ever happening. asked me to bring the car in next week. Will put the bov and cai back to stock I think.

    if noone wants to help. well ill just buy a gt3071 or something. still would rather the WTY go through.

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    Maybe when you go in there refer them to the TSB number

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    Quote Originally Posted by tone View Post
    mazda artarmon have never heard of this ever happening.
    That's the standard Mazda reply to everything. It's item 1 on the Mazda employee induction.

    I saw the same thing happen to Mel's car on the weekend after a period of idling. Very likely to be turbo seals.

    Gone to Volvo


  6. #6
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    Another good reason to go CES. Still enough backpressure to seat the seals properly. I've done over 12,000km with the CES, and still no smoke.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AD07 View Post
    These seals are really turning into an epic Mazda failure.......
    I've yet to hear of a stocker having this problem.
    I've heard of a LOT of aftermarket TBE's having this issue.

    I've seen CES quoted re: TBE as saying "great care is needed during fitment to avoid damaging the turbo seals"

    Quote Originally Posted by Wardski View Post
    Another good reason to go CES. Still enough backpressure to seat the seals properly. I've done over 12,000km with the CES, and still no smoke.
    Good choice of service providor, is my thought.
    Last edited by Nexus; 03-04-2009 at 04:50 PM.

  8. #8
    blackbetty is offline Adios
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    My car is completely stock, only changed the wheels, thats it and it just happened to mine on the weekend ... its an oct 05 build

    It was a huge thick white cloud of smoke, I could hardly see the other mazda guys behind me in the carpark and smelt so bad like burning plastic, I initially raced around to my boot and opened it thinking something plastic in there had caught on fire ... it was so thick it was hard to see at first where all the smoke was coming from

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbetty View Post
    My car is completely stock, only changed the wheels, thats it and it just happened to mine on the weekend ... its an oct 05 build

    It was a huge thick white cloud of smoke, I could hardly see the other mazda guys behind me in the carpark and smelt so bad like burning plastic, I initially raced around to my boot and opened it thinking something plastic in there had caught on fire ... it was so thick it was hard to see at first where all the smoke was coming from
    So it does happen to stockers. How many K's?

  10. #10
    blackbetty is offline Adios
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    31,000 K's I got it new in May '07

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbetty View Post
    31,000 K's I got it new in May '07
    Oct 05 build, purchased May 07. That's about 18 months of usage as a demo?
    It's either sat stagnant or been taken for short aggressive runs (possibly) with no warm down period in that time - something that could be expected to cause accelerated wear and tear in some circumstances.

    I'm presuming yours is covered by warranty being within the 4 year period? Do you remember how many K's were on it at purchase?

    I'm at 45,000K, Feb07 build. No drivetrain concerns at all, touch wood. Mine at 17K on it at purchase.

    This is the first stocker report I can recall. That's a stark contrast with frequent reports of this after TBE installs. Anyone else with a stocker and turbo seal issue?

    I'm very far from convinced it's an "epic fail" on mazda's behalf. I am fairly convinced it's a fail on behalf of many after market exhaust fitters. CES are the only provider I've read of that I would trust to fit one, as many others seem to develop this issue.

    That's not to say there's no issue at all at the mazda side of things, only that it isn't a common problem with stock vehicles, from what I've seen of people's commentary. If it's going to appear, it almost always seems to have developed after a TBE install, and in a few cases, big 3" CBE.

    Ultimately if the issue doesn't generally become apparent on stock vehicles, you can't expect mazda to do a recall, or to be quick to honor modded exhaust warranty claims...

    Quote Originally Posted by tone View Post
    id like for this to be true, but one of the members said that unburnt fuel would be black. Im not too sure though to be honest. i drove all the way home, and i drove around for about 30 minutes on my lunch break, no smoke, no smell. Which is a good sign i guess.
    Really thick white smoke that smells like plastic isn't something I'd usually expect from fuel burn. It'd be enough to have me stressed out and taking it straight to a service agent.

    Hope you have a win tracking it down. Interested to hear what you find.
    Last edited by Nexus; 04-04-2009 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Consecutive posts

  12. #12
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    Nexus, the TBE's haven't been the cause of turbo seal failures, they've simply been the means by which the symptoms become visible.

    The original theory was that the oil/coolant/whateveritwas burned off in the cats and nothing visible remained to be seen coming out the pipe. When one or both of the cats were removed during an exhaust mod, combustion of the contaminants reduced/ceased and the smoke became visible.

    In my view this theory was proven to be correct when several guys with smoking cars reinstalled their stock DP and the smoking stopped.

    It's possible, even probable, that a large proportion of stock MPS's have defective seals but their owners don't know about it because the cats are masking the effects. That would make it an epic fail for BorgWarner.

    In Mel's case I believe her car smoked, despite having cats, because the car experienced a severe case of the conditions that cause smoking to be at its worst; ie high ambient temp with prolonged idling. That's also why without these conditions it can be difficult to reproduce.

    Gone to Volvo


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexus View Post
    Oct 05 build, purchased May 07. That's about 18 months of usage as a demo?
    It's either sat stagnant or been taken for short aggressive runs (possibly) with no warm down period in that time - something that could be expected to cause accelerated wear and tear in some circumstances.

    I'm presuming yours is covered by warranty being within the 4 year period? Do you remember how many K's were on it at purchase?
    My car wasnt a demo, it was brand new, actually only 20kms on the clock the day I drove it out the door (I know that for sure cause my lease started at 20kms on the clock for FBT purposes), those kms would have been to go take it to get my tinting done and my tow bar fitted driven by mazda sales guy. It had been on the lot for some time sitting out in the back corner unnoticed and I got it brand new in a run out sale in may '07, maybe cause its a pov pack contributed to the reason why it was still there brand new after that amount of time. I actually never noticed it the many times I looked at cars in there, until they had it and a demo red posh pack one (6000kms) out the front sitting side by side for this runout sale, both were going for $40K driveaway and I wanted a brand new one and a black one. So I have about 13 months left of new car warranty.

    My dealer did tell me that they have only had one other car in there blowing white smoke a 3MPS.

    I have no idea really why this happened to my car just luck of the draw, Ive had a perfect run with it until now and have never had any of the other 'documented ' mps problems. Even now if it hadnt blown smoke u wouldnt think anything is wrong with it, it most certainly feels normal to drive and coped more than well with the long drive it had that weekend when it was quite hot.

    ---------- Post added at 12:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:52 AM ----------

    Tone just cause this is whats happened to my car, doesnt necessarily mean yours is the same, could be something really simple and they will find out when they look at it next week
    Last edited by blackbetty; 04-04-2009 at 10:56 AM.
    Taken my boring, bland, lame Subaru and my fat ass and driven off into the sunset with a smile on my face

  14. #14
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    Bought mine brand new october 07.
    September 08 new turbo fitted Car was still stock. Waited 3 weeks for new turbo to get to the dealers.

    this turbo issue nearly amounts to a cover up, mazda are playing like ostriches

    When I took the car to the dealers with the problem one of their mechanics walks past and asks whats the problem ? I tell him. His reply "huh another one". The service rep comes out. I tell him the problem, his reply "hmm it;s the first time wev;e seen that". I later find that there are 2 others inside with no turbo's
    When they tell me they will have to wait a few weeks for the part I go to their other service center (same dealer). The service rep there uses the same "first time - never before lines) but at least admits to changing out turbos and says its why I have to wait for one.

    After waiting 2 weeks for the turbo I rang mazda customer service in melbourne I told him the problem and guess what I was told - you guessed it "it;s the first time it has been heard of" and this is there national customer service center .

    Interestingly when they fitted the new turbo they replaced to 02 sensor and second cat
    Everything has been fine ever since

  15. #15
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    That's good feedback - I'm not an expert, just commenting based on what I've read reported.

    I am leaning on the conservative side and trying to tone down the "mazda suck" response because I don't think there's anywhere near enough statistics or evidence to say this is a common problem.

    It's certainly the sort of symptom that would have me at the dealer pronto, and I do understand owners responses if they've had less that satisfactory noise from mazda re: warranty etc.

    What we know :
    (a) TBE installs are more likely to show the issue.
    (b) There are a few stockers that have developed the issue, and it doesn't relate to run-in period abuse such as some demos might be subjected to.
    (c) The catted downpipe might be masking the issue for some stockers.

    Quote Originally Posted by kmh001 View Post
    Nexus, the TBE's haven't been the cause of turbo seal failures, they've simply been the means by which the symptoms become visible.

    The original theory was that the oil/coolant/whateveritwas burned off in the cats and nothing visible remained to be seen coming out the pipe. When one or both of the cats were removed during an exhaust mod, combustion of the contaminants reduced/ceased and the smoke became visible.

    In my view this theory was proven to be correct when several guys with smoking cars reinstalled their stock DP and the smoking stopped.

    It's possible, even probable, that a large proportion of stock MPS's have defective seals but their owners don't know about it because the cats are masking the effects. That would make it an epic fail for BorgWarner.

    In Mel's case I believe her car smoked, despite having cats, because the car experienced a severe case of the conditions that cause smoking to be at its worst; ie high ambient temp with prolonged idling. That's also why without these conditions it can be difficult to reproduce.
    I have followed that line of discussion - the only things against it are that a highly respected QLD exhaust manufacturer is on record "care to avoid damaging seals" (which does suggest they are fragile), and that if this is the case (CAT masking smoke), surely it would be glaringly obvious during an emissions check, regardless of whether there is any visible smoke?

    Are emissions checks performed during scheduled services?

    Has anyone tried to identify the issue with an emissions check? Something like this would poison the CAT and foul the O2 sensor, wouldn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by teedee View Post
    ... Interestingly when they fitted the new turbo they replaced to 02 sensor and second cat
    Everything has been fine ever since
    Would tend to suggest that that is the case, in which case an emissions test should be an authoritive diagnosis test.

  16. #16
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    My seals first showed symptoms of being faulty with only a race pipe & CAI on the car, then when the pipe was remove and the second cat was replaced the issue continued, although less frequent.

    The turbo was (eventually) replaced under warranty and has been fine ever since, I even had a 3" downpipe fitted last week, and so far not the slightest sign of smoking.

    For the comments about brand X exhausts not causing turbo smoke, thats just crap, more to the point will they guarantee such a statement in writing.

    Its not the exhaust that causes the seals to fail, its a manufacturing fault in the turbo, why else would Mazda be replacing these with newer, revised parts if the originals are fine?
    Just look around the US & even to lesser extent to local forums, all brands of exhausts, in a wide range of configurations have had smoking issues, its the luck of the draw, some are fine and run catless systems without issue, others are entirely stock.
    The bad batch seems to affect anywhere up to early 08 models, so before you run a full TBE, maybe try a race pipe first, the few hundred it costs up front, could save a lot in the long run.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMPS3 View Post
    My seals first showed symptoms of being faulty with only a race pipe & CAI on the car, then when the pipe was remove and the second cat was replaced the issue continued, although less frequent....For the comments about brand X exhausts not causing turbo smoke, thats just crap, more to the point will they guarantee such a statement in writing.

    Its not the exhaust that causes the seals to fail, its a manufacturing fault in the turbo .... The bad batch seems to affect anywhere up to early 08 models, so before you run a full TBE, maybe try a race pipe first, the few hundred it costs up front, could save a lot in the long run.
    This kind of thing is the luck of the draw with any vehicle from any manufacturer. There are always issues to be addressed. No-one is ever happy to have a problem that needs fixing, specially not when it's as obviously serious as smoke pouring out the exhaust pipe. I just want to see discussion focused on facts rather than speculation, conjecture, and venting anger.

    re: brand X not causing smoke; I think the more pertinent note is that this highly respected installer considers the seals fragile and easy to damage while modding exhaust components. It is their reputation that leads people to consider them safe from developing the issue. It is not a case of them guaranteeing it. It is the case that their installs haven't for those providing feedback.

    I don't believe that the aftermarket exhausts themselves cause the smoke. I feel it more likely that there is something happening while people work on the exhaust that damages the seals. This would be most likely during TBE installs, which is the scenario that most frequently shows the issue.

    I don't for a second believe that there are lots of cars with the problem but it's masked by the cats so it goes unnoticed. If you have the problem and it's masked it's going to become evident in the short to medium term as a fault because the cats will be poisoned and O2 sensor will become fouled. At some point it will become visible. How many K's that might be I couldn't tell you, but I'd certainly expect less than 10,000K. Once the problem has started it's going to get worse over time. That's the nature of these kinds of problems. Once a seal is compromised and crap starts oxidising where it shouldn't etc etc, the situation WILL degrade.

    I'd be surprised if there are many of the older ones left with the seal issue that haven't yet shown symptoms and been repaired...We need to consider that there is some potential for the damage to occur during modding. Without a doubt that's when the most issues have occured. There is a small number of stockers that have shown issues, and this small number of turbo faults may be completely unrelated to the damage that is occurring during modding. That is not to say IS, that is to say MAYBE.

    Quote Originally Posted by kmh001 View Post
    ...In my view this theory was proven to be correct when several guys with smoking cars reinstalled their stock DP and the smoking stopped.
    Unfortunately this only demonstrates that the cats can mask the issue. It does not prove anything with regard to what caused the problem in the first place, as there is still the possibility that the original TBE installation (the service as opposed to the exhaust itself) caused the problem. Did anyone try to gauge how long their cats and O2 lasted while they were dealing with all the excess crap in the exhaust?

    This is a very informative discussion and I'd like to see it continue. Towards that end I'm considering splitting off some of this discussion that doesn't relate directly to the thread owners query and making it a sticky with a poll.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattMPS3 View Post
    ... before you run a full TBE, maybe try a race pipe first, the few hundred it costs up front, could save a lot in the long run.
    This is an excellent idea; if you run a race pipe and find you have smoking with it, that indicates you probably have failing seals and therefore cats that are being poisoned and O2 sensor being fouled, regardless of whether you keep the race pipe, stock, or go towards a full exhaust? It's just made you aware of a pre-existing problem, that can be expected to degrade and need attention anyway. You have a better chance of claiming warranty rather than going the whole mod and then discovering you have a problem, and finding your warranty is now under closer scrutiny.

    Could an emissions check prior to touching the exhaust at all achieve the same end?

    PS : I may not get a chance to split this off until tomorrow. Sorry tone, you query has been a little hijacked here, as you may or may not be seeing something related to turbo seals. Hope you get a speedy resolution.
    Last edited by Nexus; 05-04-2009 at 01:03 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexus View Post
    I feel it more likely that there is something happening while people work on the exhaust that damages the seals. This would be most likely during TBE installs, which is the scenario that most frequently shows the issue.
    I installed the CPE TBE on my MPS at home with a mate, cant see how it would even be possible to damage the seals during the install??? The seals are INSIDE the turbo housing, no way they could be damaged when fitting the downpipe....

  19. #19
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    It's not about damaging anything doing the install. It is about a more free flowing exhaust revealing a preexisting problem. The lack of back pressure makes the issue with the seal more obvious

  20. #20
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    has anyone had this problem on their 08 models or does the 08 model ahve the revised parts already?

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