C5 2.0HDi 110 Intercooler leaking oil

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C5 2.0HDi 110 Intercooler leaking oil

Postby Citroenmad » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:18 pm

Our 52 reg C5 SX 2.0HDi 110 with 128K has an oil leak from the intercooler. It started off small buts its now very noticeable and is using some oil.

I alternate between my C5 138 and this C5 SX for my 70 mile commute, and lately this one has really become much slower, everything seems an effort for it and its fuel economy is right down, around 35MPG.

Ive just scared myself by googleing this problem and (at least with others cars) the most common problem of a reasonably large oil leak from the intercooler is an oil seal in the turbo has failed. Most sites also advise not to drive the car like this.

Its not a massive leak, but its almost covered the front of the undertray now and ive had to top up the oil.

About a month ago I put in some Forte Oil Seal Conditioner, i really need to give the intercooler a clean out and the under tray and see if this has help reduce the oil. However its still using a bit of oil so its not stopped the leak, though i think its slowed it.

What are the chances of it being the Turbo?
Is there any other possible causes for having this much oil in an intercooler?
I guess the reduced MPG and performance will be linked to this?

Thanks.
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Postby Sid_the_Squid » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:31 pm

I too am interested in this.
I also seem to have a minor oil leak from my intercooler, however so far the car has not used any oil!

I would have thought the loss in power, and resulting fuel economy loss, would be down to the hole in the intercooler loosing boost.

Is it not fairly normal to have a little bit of oil in the air tract on a HDi, my old Xantia HDi also had a small amount of oil in the intercooler pipework.

Assuming your turbo oil seal is cooked, whats the danger driving in the current condition, I'm starting to be concerned now about my own minor leak.
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Postby HDI » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:52 pm

Two issues here, 1/ the intercooler should not be leaking anything, if oil is evident it must have a hole in it !! 2/ if there is that much oil leaking that you have to top up the turbo has a serious seal problems !

If there is a hole in the intercooler something must have caused it, where is the leak ? Holes mean boost leaks.
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Postby Dommo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:08 pm

I guess the biggest issue is that dieselling phenomenon where the oil coming from the turbo goes into the intake piping and gets ignited so the revs increase (throttle doesnt do anything) and nor does turning the key off as it just keeps going and going. If this does happen, try to stall the engine by putting it in a 4th-5th and bringing the clutch up, this should stall the engine - the clutch wont be happy but it's better than waiting for the oil to run dry.

Not to worry you or anything.. :lol: :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zx3qKX_Pno

But at least if it does happen you know how to stop it.
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Postby Citroenmad » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:43 pm

Well, i didnt think the intercooler should be leaking anything, but also didnt think there should be this much oil in there either.

Obviously there is a leak at the intercooler for this to happen but how much oil is reasonable to be inside an intercooler?

Its more of a on going, longer term problem, as it started a while ago and has got increasingly worse, now with a noticeable drop in performance and economy - though that could be due to the leak?

So it could be possible that this amount of oil is expected and its just the fact there is a leak in the intercooler?

Ive heard about the engine runaway thing which will quickly kill the engine. Though at the moment oil is not pouring out and oil top ups are few and far between, never taking much anyway. It doesn't appear to be a serious problem, yet anyway! I dont want it to develop any further.

I guess at the very least it needs a new intercooler.

My 04 110 plate is bone dry in the same area.

I have just taken a few pictures, ill post them up soon.
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Postby Peter.N. » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:41 pm

There will always be some oil in the air intake system as the crankcase is vented into the air intake and the intercooler condenses the oil mist As suggested the primary problem is that you have a leak at all. The likelyhood of the engine 'running away' is very remote, all you have to do to stop it is brake hard and on no account put it out of gear. Fix the leak, which may entail fitting another intercooler, and you will probably find it will be OK.

Peter
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Postby Citroenmad » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:17 pm

Im hoping it is just the intercooler leaking and requires replacing.

Here are a few pictures of the leak:

Image
Image
Image
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Postby CitroJim » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:30 pm

Sid,

That's exactly and precisely where yours is leaking isn't it?

It'll be intriguing to find the cause of it...

It's got to be a small leak. It needn't be a biggie at all as there's always an oily mist in the intercooler and that'll find it's way out of the tiniest hole...
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Postby Citroenmad » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:38 pm

I think it is a minor leak, probably as a result of a whole in the intercooler or pipework. I just wasn't sure if this quantity of oil should be lingering in the intercooler?

Ill have a closer inspection and clean it up so i can see where its coming from.

Just priced a new intercooler on APE parts at £140 something, so thats not bad.
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Postby Sid_the_Squid » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Indeed Jim, that looks almost exactly like mine, although mines fairly oily there doesn't seem to be much actively coming out. I briefly asked B&L today about it, they seemed to indicate its fairly common occurrence not a lot to worry about, although the intercooler will probably need replacing at some point. I guess if yours has started to cause issues Chris its time for a replacement.

Certainly doesn't seem to have a detrimental effect on my C5's performance, very sprightly for such a large car.
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Postby Citroenmad » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:10 pm

Well if truth be known this car has been used for a good six months with this defect, as it has not caused any problems (possibly until now) and uses very minimal oil.

This C5 went through a slow and juicy period at the start of the year too, i hooked it up to a Lexia which pointed me in the direction of the MAF. I replaced that with a new genuine one and it restored performance and economy.

Its due a service actually, all the filters are due and i usually clean the MAF too. Ill give the EGR a looking at and no doubt that needs cleaning ...

So this kind of oil through an intercooler is normal then? I didn't think it was a huge problem as this is the result of a long period and many miles.

Ill take a look this weekend and see where its leaking, intercooler or pipe and get an intercooler ordered if thats what it is.

It could be my 138 has spoiled me so i think the 110 is now slow, but my sis says its slower than it was and uses more fuel too. So im sure something is amiss. Could well be the leak causing a lack of vacuum.
Last edited by Citroenmad on Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby fynnbar » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:12 pm

There is a gasket between the plastic end tanks and the aluminium core on these factory intercoolers. This looks like a classic case of either the gasket failing or the end tank starting to come adrift; it's only crimped onto the core, and the crimping loosens over time.
The amount of oil evident in the photos is not excessive imho, but yes, you should renew as it'll only get worse and then you will lose boost.
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Postby Sid_the_Squid » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:34 pm

Slightly OT, where is the EGR valve on the C5 110 HDi, fancy disconnecting mine, to avoid the whole soot in the intake manifold issue, but have no idea what I'm looking for.
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Postby Citroenmad » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:03 am

Ooo, thats a point actually, this particular C5 has its EGR disconnected. So thats that problem solved :lol:

Its over the back of an engine cover, you'll see it with the engine cover off better. There is a vacuum pipe which activates it. Some people pull this off to disconnect the EGR. Though the proper method should be to blank it off.
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Postby fynnbar » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:50 am

Sid_the_Squid wrote:Slightly OT, where is the EGR valve on the C5 110 HDi, fancy disconnecting mine, to avoid the whole soot in the intake manifold issue, but have no idea what I'm looking for.

Easiest way on yours is to find the EGR solenoid. It's a black cylindrical device about 2" long, two vac pipes and a bright blue electrical connector. Normally rubber-mounted at the rear of the engine bay (tho not sure on a C5). Disconnect the blue plug.
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