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My 2008 Suzuki Swift Diesel 1.3 DDiS has run about 150,000 kms. In the last few weeks, the car seems to be losing its powerful acceleration. While there is no sudden drop in power while accelerating, there has been a gradual decline in terms of performance. The 0-60 acceleration is taking longer than before. haven't seen any white smoke from the exhaust.

On talking to various mechanics, I have got conflicting views, some say the engine needs to be overhauled, others say the turbo charger is end of life and needs to be replaced.

The vehicle has been regularly serviced according to the owner's manual with the correct engine oil. The injectors were cleaned at ~130k Kms mileage.

Question:

  1. Has anyone faced similar issue with Suzuki Swift Diesel? If yes, at what mileage?
  2. What is the typical life of a Swift DDiS diesel engine before overhauling?
  3. What is the typical life of a Swift DDiS turbocharger before failing?
  4. How well do diesel engines perform post overhaul?
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    Answer to question 4 is it depends on the quality of the job done : if you pay monkeys you get peanuts... – Solar Mike Jan 30 '18 at 7:17
  • Have you gotten any OBD codes? If not, they will likely be pretty illuminating. – GdD Jan 30 '18 at 8:26
  • @GdD Don't have the OBD codes. Will need to get to a service station for them. However, the engine check light is not flashing on the dash, so assume there are no errors being thrown as such. – varunsangal Jan 30 '18 at 8:38
  • Assume nothing. Don't rely on the check engine light, you already have a problem and it hasn't come on after all. Your codes will likely tell you where the issue lies, and potentially save you a great deal of money. – GdD Jan 30 '18 at 8:45
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    If you are really lucky only the boost control of the turbocharger is faulty. As @SolarMike wrote: The competence of the mechanic is crucial – Martin Jan 30 '18 at 9:57
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I like to keeps things simple, start with the air intake - a Diesel is an air pump, loves air more than fuel, keep that in mind when looking things over. Diesels hate water in their fuel. I have found if the E.G.R is all coked up, things don't run right, it acts like the Diesel is suffocating, can´t breathe properly. Easy to clean if you can get to it. Be careful with age comes brittle. Also check compression - there are Diesel compression testers. Have your oil annualized, chevron corp will look at your oil and break down what is happening inside the engine.

I should have asked this first, are you running bio fuel or Diesel fuel? or do you switch it up? Just remember that bio fuel will clean everything so fuel filters will get blocked up, fuel pumps go bad, any rubber in the fuel system will go bad O rings and such, have to switch to polyurethane.

Hope this helps, I work on buses every day Diesel and electrical.

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The life of an engine totally depends on how it has been maintained. In your example I have seen some cars with essentially the same engine clocking over 200k Kilometers and some which cough and breakdown even before hitting 100k so its very hard to ascertain details about your first three questions.

What you can do is join a Suzuki Swift owners club or something or something similar to know the typical life of components and I think you will get what you are looking for.

Your final question has been answered by Solar Mike in the comments.

Below are a few reasons why you might be experiencing power drop due to general wear and tear , this however is not specific to your engine but a general checklist.

Note: since you have told you do not see any smoke from your exhaust , I am ruling out gasket issues.

  1. Loss of compression : With old age the piston rings will wear and it will result in derease in engine compression and as we all know if the air + Fuel mixture is not compressed to its optimum pressure you will experience loss in performance and economy.
  2. Cogged up Fuel / Air supply : Sometimes the issue is just minor like a clogged up air filter or a bad fuel pump or leak in the lines or something like that.
  • I’m worried about your answer as the OP says it is diesel and for 3 you talk about spark plugs ...The rest of the answer is relevant and clear . – Solar Mike Jan 30 '18 at 8:32
  • @SolarMike Oops , My bad. Still sleepy :-D – Shobin P Jan 30 '18 at 8:34
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One possibility to consider is that the injectors need to be removed and serviced - a poor spray pattern or faulty injector can easily cause loss of power.

The comment I made still stands - the competence of the mechanic is crucial for a good rebuild...

Edit: Another possibility, that will not show up necessarily on the codes, is that one of the hoses between the turbo and the engine has a split in it so the engine is not getting full boost - symptoms much as you describe. The best way to check - remove all those hoses and check / test them thoroughly...

  • The injectors were cleaned ~130k kms mileage. Would they need cleaning again within 20k kms? – varunsangal Jan 30 '18 at 8:42
  • @varunsangal the fact that the injectors were cleaned is information that you should have put into the original question so that we don’t waste our time - I suggest you edit yhe question and add it - also add any other relevant info while you are there... – Solar Mike Jan 30 '18 at 9:07
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A gradual decline of power could point to a few things, but i'll leave the more dramatic stuff (bad injectors, loss of compression) out of the picture because of the relatively low mileage of the engine and the gradual effect. Things that are most common in these situations:

  • Engine fouling: Could be a factor especially when a car is driven economically and does not see a lot of high speed or highway use. Soot buildup in the exhaust manifold, turbocharger and possibly EGR valve robs the engine of power.
  • Boost leak in air intake. When a hose, hose clamp or intercooler leaks air you will lose some of the turbo boost pressure and therefore power.

Both of the issues can be diagnosed at a service station. An engine overhaul sounds unlikely because of the relatively low mileage and a worn turbocharger leaks oil, causing to a lot of white/blue smoke from the exhaust. If that is not the case than the turbocharger probably is ok, apart from possible fouling ofcourse.

  • Had a defect waste gate in an 150K Audi once - That meant the turbo never saw full exhaust stream and thus would not work properly. Pretty subtle loss in power and no codes in obd ... – Daniel May 24 '18 at 11:48

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