During the last days the turbo started to make a whine/whistle noise depending on RPMs. I checked on a mechanic for that noise to be sure it's not any pulley or belts and he insisted that was the turbo but suggested to wait for that to blow over and it may last a year on that condition. The car works OK and it's responsive on high speeds too, checked at 160 km/h. Checked for codes and no problem reported. Oil level not changed.

I've opened it at home to take a look and do my checking and found some play on the axis as seen on this video: youtube-link.

So the question is, when its convenient to intervene on this case?

car: Mazda 3 diesel 1.6; turbo: Garret GT1544V

  • This usually indicates a failing turbo bearing and it could seize at any time possibly leaving you stranded. You should replace it now since you know it's a problem.
    – jwh20
    Dec 30, 2019 at 14:59
  • in theory in case of failure it will cut the power but still can drive for some km at 80-90 km/h. I'm worried about the damage in engine or oil vapors being stuck on the inter-cooler and hoses, if I'll be carefully to check the engine level frequently.
    – emirjonb
    Dec 30, 2019 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


There is a lot of play in that bearing. I would replace it immediately.

Reasons, depending on the design of the car -

It looks like the compressor blades can rub against the body. If the blades break up pieces could be sucked through the inter cooler and into the engine causing damage to the engine.

If the turbo bearing starts leaking a substantial amount of oil, this could get sucked into the engine and act as fuel. The engine could rev uncontrollably until all the oil has been burnt and the engine is wrecked. This could happen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4rMfrERpG8

  • This, a thousand times this. Looking at the amount of play there, that turbo is going to let go and in an unpleasant manner. Jan 2, 2020 at 10:20
  • I'll try to find a mechanic hoping for a cheap repair. That video was scary but it can be controlled putting the car on 2-3 gear and try to slowly brake
    – emirjonb
    Jan 3, 2020 at 7:42

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