Road and Track
“Get a tune,” they said. “Turn up the boost,” they said. “It will be fine,” they said.
This Redditor had good intentions when he took his 2002 SAAB 9-5 to a tuner in Sweden. AG Performance hooked up Brutal_Deluxe_ with a tune after he turned up the boost being feed to the stock internal, 180,000 mile turbocharged 2.3-litre four banger. This new combo should have been good for 300 horsepower, but instead left its owner stranded and a massive tow bill.
Apparently he couldn’t wait to test out his new found power and embarked on a little road trip through Italy and Germany. On his way back home he went full throttle on ” a steep Italian Hill,” according to Road and Track. That didn’t go as planed and he noticed “loud clanking noises up front, and smoke in the rear view mirror.”
What you see in the picture was the aftermath of the number 1 piston being savagely murdered by every engines mortal enemy, detonation.
What usually ends in a broken piston ring land (the part of the piston that holds the rings), instead resulted in a total explosion of the piston, sending bits and pieces of metal throughout and making sure this engine will never see another routine oil change or tune up again.
Brutal_Deluxe_ reported back to Road and Track that a new engine is getting swapped in with the help of a tuner friend.
Now normally a good tune, and even some added boost, won’t end this way. There has to be more to this story and everything points to either an improper tune, bad tank of gas, or the boost was raised a lot more than expected.
Let’s just hope, along with a new engine, Brutal_Deluxe_ invests in the two items every modified boosted car should have: A boost gauge and wideband 02 sensor with gauge. Being able to monitor boost levels and most importantly your air to fuel ratio is not only a great way to tune but can also warn you of issues.
Hopefully Brutal will be back up and running in no time, after all we all would much rather read a happy story then a SAAB story.