A turbo comes with numerous parts that allow it to assist the engine in producing more energy. Each turbo piece must work accordingly, especially the actuator that controls the pressure relief system. There may be times when your actuator needs replacement, requiring you to know the signs that the actuator shows when it’s not working properly.
The Function of the Actuator
A turbocharger actuator is a limiter for the exhaust gas that builds up inside the turbocharger. The actuator is set at a certain limit to prevent the exhaust from going past a specific amount of pressure, and once it reaches that point, a valve will open and allow the excess gas to release. This equipment is essential to ensure that the turbo doesn’t damage itself and to supply control for the amount of boost the engine receives from the turbo.
Multiple Error Codes
When running diagnostics on the engine, the actuator may show error codes if it has problems. Each error code represents a specific issue with the actuator. If multiple error codes appear at frequent intervals, you should know that this may signal it’s time to replace your actuator. It’s common to see error codes, especially in an electric actuator that can’t handle as much pressure as a traditional type. If you notice a large amount of them, a fault within the workings of the actuator exists, or the turbo isn’t pairing well with it.
A Noticeably Lower Boost
The turbo is responsible for giving your vehicle a boost, and the actuator controls how much of a boost it should provide. But if you notice that your boost decreases over time, there may be a problem with the actuators wastegate. The wastegate should only open when the amount of pressure reaches a specific point. If the pressure releases through the wastegate too soon, the result is a lower boost for your vehicle.
A Constant Check Engine Light
When the actuator begins to fail at giving the correct amount of pressure for your turbo to boost, the check engine light turns on. As the vehicle continues to drive and the boost malfunctions, this light remains active because of the failing actuator. As previously mentioned, if you notice a lowering of your boost, this can be a sign that it’s time to consider replacing your actuator, which is most likely why your check engine light is on. Still, a mechanic will give you a better diagnosis if you’re unsure.
The function of an actuator is crucial for a turbocharger to remain operational. If you notice any signs that the actuator is failing, take some time to replace it so that you don’t have to worry about a decrease in your vehicle's performance.