I have a 2009 1.5dci Nissan Quashqai diesel with 59k miles on the clock. I am experiencing the following symptoms and would appreciate any guidance the community can offer:

1) Car is ticking over strongly, idling ok, and when static I get revs to 3000+ RPM no problem.

2) There are no warning lights on the dash at all, and a garage assures me the EMU has no error codes.

3) When driving, as I accelerate, the car won't go above 2000 RPM. Acceleration is extremely poor, (it takes about 30 seconds to gradually get up to 40 MPH). The max speed I'm getting is 60 MPH, and that takes about a year(!)

4) Initially, when I first noticed the acceleration starting to nosedive, the Oil level warning light came on, and I topped it up. The following day I did notice a fair plume of white/grey smoke in my wake, and within another 24 hours, the acceleration reverted to its current state, although the smoke has stopped now.

The car has had new air, oil and fuel filter fitted in diagnosing the issue, and the garage has been very open ended about what the issue could be.

Examples include:

1) A 'sensor' being broken 2) The DPF being clogged 3) The turbo having failed.

Has anyone out there any experience of such symptoms with a similar car and can you share what the resolution was please?

Additional: Today a diagnostician had a look at it. He charged me £100 for two hours work, told me he had checked the egr valve and the air flow meter and said both looked ok. The problem seems to be an air flow issue, with there being very little exhaust flow. He suggested it might be worth changing the catalytic convertor (£500). I asked him how sure he was that would solve it and what was the likelihood of it being something else after I'd spent more money. He openly laughed at me. The whole thing is a joke. After £400, they have no idea what the problem is, and are just fishing for more money.


1 Answer 1


The symptoms you describe would be consistent with the engine not receiving any boost from the turbocharger. At idle, the turbocharger isn't providing any boost so the car will behave normally, however as you accelerate the turbo should spool up and provide a big boost of additional air which is forced into the engine.

It may be something as simple as a boost leak or a failed sensor BUT your description of a nosedive, a drop in oil level and a plume of smoke makes me suspect an oil seal in the turbocharger may have failed.

I'm afraid that the only way to find out is to start poking about and taking things apart.

  • So it revs to 3,000 okay when in neutral because there is no significant load on the motor?
    – Criggie
    Sep 29, 2016 at 8:43
  • 2
    @Criggie Correct, the engine doesn't need much/any boost to rev when there is no load. Sep 29, 2016 at 22:19
  • I would expect a code if the ECU can't get the boost it wants, no? Before tearing big things apart, I'd try to get a measurement of boost pressure. At the very least check the sensors (MAP, MAF if it has them) and listen for the sound of the turbo spooling up. On my VW TDI the power/smoke problems turned out to the MAF sensor.
    – dlu
    Sep 30, 2016 at 4:34
  • Apparantly there are no error codes coming out. The diagnostician said they air flow sensor seemed ok and the turbo didnt have any issues.
    – Dixonworld
    Sep 30, 2016 at 7:59

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