Turbo engines and Short Distance Driving

My wife is looking to purchase a new vehicle. I understand that there is some discussion about the Honda CR-V and issues about it’s turbo engine (alexonautos etc). Particularly potential problems if you live in a cold climate State and your trips are usually short distances … gas making its way into the oil or something (I’m no expert!). We live in Pennsylvania and all of her trips are short distance ones. So, I’m recommending to her NOT to consider the CR-V … why take the risk. BUT, given her driving circumstances … should she be avoiding any new vehicle that has a Turbo engine? Just short distance trips aren’t great for any car, but is it worse for Turbo engines? Thanks.

base trim CR-V was no-turbo engine from what I recall

also, the problem was more or less resolved in 2018 or so, they installed the coolant loop in the exhaust and added diverter to scavenge heat when needed from there

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My wife owned a turbo engine car for 17 years accumulating only 108k miles. That is 5-6k miles a year. No issues at all with short trips. Her previous turbo car, a 1985, was short tripped for the last 3 years we owned it since we lived 2 miles from her work.

Don’t indict all turbo cars because of a problem with one model from a manufacturer that hasn’t done many.

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While they have made changes to the CRV to address the problem, I might consider a non-turbo Rav4 or Mazda CX5 in the OP’s situation.


Did you not buy a new vehicle as your previous thread indicated you were going to do about the salesman problems ?

My other thread, as you mentioned, was getting a replacement for “my” Volvo S60.

This thread is about a replacement for “my wife’s” vehicle.

Both of us happen to be in the market at the same time. She desires a smaller vehicle and I desire one that is more reliable. Besides, she has had her car for 9 years.

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Main thing with turbocharged cars is to use the correct motor oil, change it more often, and check the oil level regularly. The turbocharger should last as long as the car.

The Aspen, CO police department used turbo SAABs for about 30 years with few issues and they are definitely in the cold climate category.


Have you considered an electric or plug-in hybrid?

I agree with what you are saying but am wondering about the police part it seems to me they do a lot of idling I had a truck with a Cat diesel that was used for quite a few deliveries a day with idling time while making the delivery the turbo went shortly before 100,000 miles I can’t remember the numbers for sure but I tthink the mechanic said 100 hr’s of idle time was the same as 100 miles road time,

^ This +1. While I didn’t totally agree, dad always bought stick shift cars without power steering/power brakes/AC/etc. because that stuff was “something else to break.” Unless you need the added pep there’s something to be said for a conventionally aspirated engine.

There is also something to be said about a smaller engine for better mpgs with a turbo for when you need the extra power, too.

The most powerful of the 3 turbo cars we owned was only 230 hp. Less than most 3.0 V6s these days.

I’m fascinated. Not at the fact that the Aspen PD used turbo cars, but at the fact they used Saab’s. I wonder why they chose…Saab’s. Kind of a niche car for a government contract.

OTOH, with a vehicle that doesn’t get driven much, fuel economy is a lesser priority. Reliability is a greater concern.

Maybe Aspen chose Saabs because the Swedes understand snow and build cars for it…

And maybe Aspen is just a bit too chi-chi elite for Jeep Grand Cherokees or Ford Broncos?

True point… but reliability hasn’t been proven to be inferior to NA cars.

Sure turbos are more complicated giving more opportunity for things to go wrong but I don’t think the data bears that out.

Take automatic trans for example. Pretty reliable whem done well. In my personal experience, I have never broken one. Broke a bunch of manuals, tho…


Mebbe sooo. I dunno. Doesn’t really take a Swedish engineer to understand snow. It’s slick and awd is a nice feature to have. So Subaru, any 4wd domestic… Saab just seems like an odd choice for a fleet vehicle (unless you’re in Sweden, I suppose). Chi chi factor may be a valid factor!

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My thought would be that Aspin is the home of many McMansion’s and as you know they think are above the rest of us. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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My dad’s 2019 CR-V Does a lot of short trips and hasn’t had any issues for the 2yrs he’s owned it. My brother’s had a 2009 VW GTI with a turbo engine since it was brand new and has a short commute but maintains the car religiously with a local specialist. More important is how you maintain the car.

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The city of Falls Church VA use to have Volvo police cars. The dealership there donated them and the owner of the dealer was some gov’t player.

Don Beyer Volvo?

That explains to me one my prior experience with them.

I came to test-drive used “one owner, locally maintained” Volvo with ~90K miles on it in mid-2000s and it looked so run into the ground as if it was indeed used in some fleet operations.