Turbochargers are complex devices used to increase an engine’s efficiency. Given the turbocharger’s importance, each of its components must perform to its fullest capacity. From the turbine and compressor to the bearings, each part plays a role. One part, however, is critical to know: wastegate actuators. Any vehicle owner must know how a turbocharger actuator works, just in case issues arise.
What Is a Wastegate Actuator?
A wastegate actuator comes in either an external or internal option that diverts gases away from the turbine wheel. This regulates turbine speed, compressor rotation speed, and maximum boost pressure. Ultimately, this helps protect the turbocharger from wear through controlling the maximum boost pressure at a safe level.
How It Works
External wastegates are separate mechanisms that require a turbo manifold with a dedicated wastegate runner. They regulate boost levels in high-power applications through a valve on the cylinder head. Because of their external component, they are typically larger devices.
Alternatively, internal wastegates use a built-in bypass valve to allow excess exhaust pressure to bypass the turbine. Pressure signals control the wastegate valve from the intake manifold. This allows for simpler, compact installation, requires no external piping, and all waste exhaust gases route back to the exhaust system. Still, the small bypass valve in internal wastegate actuators limits the ability to release exhaust pressure. This can also mean less efficient performance boosts.
Possible Issues to Know
After knowing how a turbocharger actuator works, some possible issues can arise. Commonly, the pressure and heat can cause massive wear over time. Constant wear and tear can weaken the spring and lead to the valve prematurely opening and reducing the boost pressure from your turbo. Similarly, the diaphragm can fail, which can forcibly shut the valve. Boost pressure will then rise and cause serious engine failure.
Keep in mind, our selection of turbocharger actuators are perfect replacements for you. Avoid any serious turbocharger performance issues with an actuator replacement. We carry turbo parts and the best products on the market to assure optimal performance at a reasonable cost.