The use of various equipment and techniques, such as the turbocharger, makes our cars better machines. We do not often pay much attention to the turbocharger as it is usually autonomous and only occasionally needs maintenance. However, there are at least five things you should never do in a turbocharged vehicle to ensure it does not break down.
Do Not Drive the Car Immediately After Starting It
The turbocharger gains power from the engine’s exhaust, which allows the turbine and the connected compressor wheel to spin. But if there is not any exhaust flowing through the turbo, the engine will not have the burst it needs when it originally starts. Starting a turbocharged car in winter is also problematic as parts of the turbo and the engine may be stiff due to the cold and could scrape against each other if the oil has not yet reached them.
Let It Warm Up First
The best option is to let the natural functions of the turbo engine work before driving. The oil will have time to reach the temperature needed to become thin enough to slide between these moving parts, such as the turbine and the compressor wheel. It will also become easier for your engine to power the car and produce enough exhaust to start the turbo’s functions and give you an optimal performance that smoothly progresses as you drive.
Do Not Use Adulterated Fuel
Adulterated fuel is a mixture that uses other flammable materials, such as ethanol or kerosene, in addition to gasoline. Driving with mixed fuel in the tank is something you should never do in a turbocharged car.
The additional chemical may cause engine corrosion or a combustion engine burst that may cause an engine knock. Over time, engine knock will harm parts of the engine from the constant rattling of parts, and the exhaust it creates may not be sufficient to power the turbo and lead to poor burst and worse performance.
Always Use Quality Fuel
Quality fuel is always the best option when filling up your tank because it ensures the engine runs smoothly, and the exhaust it creates gives the turbo the power it needs. Make sure you visit gas stations with reliable gas that you know works well with your car, so you will not need to worry about any problems with the turbocharged engine.
Do Not Turn the Vehicle Off Suddenly
A significant amount of exhaust flows through the turbo as you drive at increasingly fast speeds for long periods. This exhaust will remain in the turbo if you shut the car off too quickly and may cause corrosion.
You should never cut the engine off suddenly in a turbocharged car, as the heat is higher than in a regular engine, and the oil may be too hot to coat the turbo and engine properly. The oil will need to cool down to a temperature that allows it to stick to the metal and lubricate it, which will not be possible when the engine has not had a chance to cool, especially after a long and fast drive.
Keep the Engine Idle After Driving
When you come to a stop and intend to shut off the turbocharged engine, let the vehicle sit idly for some time before cutting it. The vehicle will have had time to cool down and let the oil reach a temperature that allows it to coat the metal parts. The excess exhaust will also exit the engine and prevent engine knock.
Do Not Mash the Throttle
There may be times when you notice the boost in your vehicle is not as powerful as you want it to be. A common response is to pump on the gas pedal to exacerbate the throttle and allow more fuel and air into the combustion chamber. Regardless of the engine, you should never do this—especially in a turbocharged car.
You will only waste fuel by mashing the throttle, which may lead to clogging in parts of the engine and combustion chamber. Harder acceleration will also overwork the engine and the turbo and cause a rapid progression in wear on these parts.
Keep a Steady Amount of Pressure at a Constant Pace
It is important to remain consistent when driving a turbocharged vehicle, as steady power will make a manageable workload for the car’s parts. If your vehicle is not creating as much of a boost, it is best to wait as you maintain constant pressure on the gas pedal. The turbo may take a moment to supply the burst depending on certain circumstances, such as your acceleration or if you slow down to make a turn and speed back up.
Do Not Drive When There Are Signs of Damage
While the turbo often does a great job of supplying boosts to our cars without too many issues, it still has the possibility of breaking down. If your turbo shows signs of damage, the last thing you should do is drive it.
Make sure you look for any blue smoke coming from the engine or if you notice a sudden decrease in performance for your vehicle. These may be signs of a crack in the turbo and an oil or exhaust leak. The turbo is an extension of the engine’s power; if damaged, it will only be a matter of time before the engine shows signs of damage as well.
Stay Up To Date On Repairs
Every part of the car requires consistent maintenance, including the turbo. Keep your turbo well-maintained so your vehicle will have a better chance of running for long periods without any sudden damage. If you have a specific type of turbo, such as a Holset, look for Holset turbo parts, so you have the correct parts that will ensure the turbo functions properly.
Turbocharged cars are excellent machines to drive, but they come with risks that you should avoid whenever possible. It also helps to consider these taboos of driving a vehicle with a turbo to remain safe while driving.