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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

This is a quick story about my experience at a local Kia dealership while going in for a quarterly automated appointment. Sorry for the length but I'd like some opinions.
Note that I was not billed for anything and will not be billed for any replacement parts that incur.

I did not make this appointment, I got an email saying I had one so I figured what the hell, there might be something on the service schedule.
I have a 2015 Kia Forte Koup with 20.6k miles, bought it with around 15K last winter, so I have hardly been driving this car.

So I bring in my car, the guy and I laughed at how few miles I had put on it since the last visit and I was about to leave when I remembered my air filter was pretty dirty due to driving through the desert with it. West Texas roads are really fun with these cars btw.
I also told him I visually inspected my turbo and found a super small oil leak on the oil return line of the turbo.
We go look at the air filter and this is where things start getting kind of weird from my perspective.

We lift the filter out and see some gunk at the bottom of the filter box. I am not alarmed in the slightest because I am extremely confident this is CRC Intake Valve and Turbo Cleaner that just got in the filter box due to where I spray it in.
The service manager brought up the oily substance, and I told him what I am still confident it is, CRC Intake Valve and Turbo Cleaner.

He tells me he is going to go wash my car and get the pollen off, vacuum it for me and install the new air filter I bought. By the way, this dealership is honestly really great. My family has bought 2 cars there and everyone is very nice.
The service manager comes back and tells me that the oily substance on my air filter is in fact engine oil. I disagree with him that it is engine oil but he insists he has a tech look at it. What the hell, I had some phone calls to make anyway.

Pictures of the same filter discussed here are below.

I walk up to the desk 10 or so minutes later and there is a mechanic talking to the service manager.
I hear him say the words "tear apart" and in a very joking and kind manner say "I hope your not taking about my car".
I'm glad I did this because I got to talk with the mechanic, not just a manager.

They said it was engine oil. I disagreed with them that it was a cleaning agent. I understand the position there in, but it felt like my words meant nothing and they would still say its engine oil.
He says there could be something wrong with either the oil return line from the turbo or the PCV.
The PCV thing is the strangest to me because it goes into the manifold. Sure, the breather can act like a PCV under boost, but still, it seemed odd.
They said they wanted to inspect the turbo.

Not wanting to ruin relationships or mess with my warranty I let them inspect the turbo.
I leave and get a call about 4 hours later.
They said the needed to replace my valve cover. The car was OK to be driven so I picked it up, but in a couple days when the get the part, they want to replace it.
The explanation? a leaky hose, could not get further information. What hose? I don't know, just a hose.

This is very strange to me for several reasons.

1) The oily substance is clearly not engine oil. Just look at those photos. It would have to be fresh oil.
2) Seems like their making stuff up to change a bad part instead of just telling me its bad from the factory. If this is the case I would have so much respect for them if they just said its bad from the factory.
3) The explanation I got was weak and doesn't justify such a large job. Most people might not care but I know this engine and it seems like their being haphazard and just doing shit.


What do you guys think about this?

1,697 Posts
First question I have - what is the purpose of CRC turbo cleaner?

As for the oil - at 20k miles it is a bit too early for oil leaks; however, not knowing the history it is hard to say what happened to the car before you.

Let's look on it from a different perspective.
If you (previous owner) used wrong oil, say cheap 5W-20 (very common one, and used in NA Forte) due to lack of knowledge of the service dept, I could easily see it being vaporized and being pushed back to breather, and drip into the filter filling the box.
Especially in desert in Texas.
I use 5W-30 in Michigan and I DO see that. Oil is quite clean, though. It is expected, maybe not normal per se.
Another thing that may be happening, is oil in turbo. It is sucked into the intake through breather or the shaft has small internal leak and travels to hot pipe and through intercooler. Most of the time ends up on the engine, but sometimes it will be pushed through BOV to the intake, and drip, drip, drip...

If you want to check it - clean the box. Drive for a few days and observe.

Also, disconnect all pipes (hot, cold, at the turbo - top, intercooler return) and check for oil residue.
That will give you an idea where the oil is coming from.

I personally would let them work on my car. I would really suspect being wrong from the factory, as it is a very stretched accusation now for the 2nd owner. 15k miles is a lot of time to mess up any car.
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The CRC spray is mostly for my intake valves. I was willing to shill out some cash when I first bought it to have the valves cleaned, but the dealership didn't offer that service instead recommending I use the CRC cleaner.

I know the car was leased out before I bought it by the dealership I bought it from.
Sadly I cannot take anything off the car without the risk of them noticing and fighting me on warranty stuff in the future.

I'll talk to them further and I will need a better explanation other than a leaky hose from them.
I am 95% sure its not engine oil so I am slightly alarmed by their decision making process.

1,697 Posts
OK, I see. Makes sense not to touch anything.

But how the CRC would end up in the air box?
How exactly did you spray it in? Where?
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