Oil in the intercooler...


Dec 10, 2005
I'm changing my intercooler tonight and everything seems kinda oily, some of it even in the inlet bell of the turbo. How oily should things be? I was thinking some could be after the turbo, but before?

Oil in the IC usually indicates bad seals on the compressor side of the turbo. It may be leaking back into the inlet after you shut the car off. The only other possiblity I can think of is that the turbo drain is clogged.
It should be pretty dry in there, as well as in the intercooler and up pipe. If not, you have turbo shaft seal issues.The return pipe would have to be really gunky to cause seal leakage.... I guess a lot of crankcase pressure could also cause issues, so check the pcv system and for excessive blowby.
Is the...

car pure stock? With the passenger side valve cover vent attached to the turbo inlet bell? If so, the presents of oil is normal, w/the amount determined by the crankcase pressure. The majority of us have removed the hose from the turbo, sealed up the bell, and placed an after market filter either in the valve cover or tuned the original hose up(vertical) and placed a filter on it.

The bell is capped and the car has breathers in each of the valve covers.


I pulled the PVC valve out and it's very oily. The engine was supposedly rebuilt around 3,000 miles ago. I was disappointed to think it was from the turbo, I'm hoping it's not internal.

I have ...

heard from others that have experienced the turbo leaking oil due to the use of a hi-pressure oil pump. Could this be your problem?:confused: