It goes without saying that maintenance is one of the key factors for vehicle longevity. Every car part needs proper attention and care to avoid serious driving issues. Specifically, it is important to keep your turbocharger in working condition to avoid engine issues. Therefore, any vehicle owner must know the most common turbo problems to look out for to avoid serious performance problems.
Starved or Contaminated Oil
Easily, the most common turbo issue is contaminated or starved oil. Most car owners know to keep their engine properly lubricated to ensure its efficiency. When the vehicle is in motion, high-pressure oil lubricates （bearing systems and Rotor）the shaft system, turbine wheels, compressor, and its bearings. However, when people neglect their engine maintenance or replace their oil infrequently, it can have devastating consequences. With every rotation, the friction carries heat away from sensitive components, which can cause total turbocharger failure. You can also expose your engine to carbon buildup, which is when contaminants cause abrasive damage to the engine and turbocharger and reduce its efficiency. With that, be cautious when changing your oil. Use synthetic options with the right grade specified for your vehicle. Check your oil pipe for breakage or malfunctions too. Not to mention, read your owner’s manual for the recommended miles to change your oil and filter.
Another common turbo problem is hot stopping. While mainly an issue for performance cars due to their short, intense accelerations, hot stopping (or hot stops), refers to the motion in which the turbo cannot dissipate excessive heat from constantly shutting off the engine. Normally, turbochargers force air into the engine to keep it cool throughout the drive. If the turbo is at its peak performance and you shut off the engine, it works harder than it’s designed for. The main shaft can bend and misalign over time. Extra strain can cause wear on its internal components. Naturally, this can cause the turbo to fail and require repairs. Avoid this with slower, gentler driving (or idle for a couple of minutes) so that the engine (Turbo) remains cool.
Finally, foreign objects occasionally enter the turbocharger, which can have a detrimental impact. Since turbochargers consist of two parts—the front compressor and back turbine—there are openings for debris to enter. Such objects, like broken engine parts, dust, stones, leaves, or other debris, can stick in the compressor or turbine inlet. Items in the compressor typically come from the air filter or damaged air hoses. Make sure to inspect these areas often to avoid a costly fix. Issues with the turbine can suggest overall engine damage. The guide, valve seat, or part of the valve can break off into the turbine and damage the bearings. Perform regular maintenance checks to help avoid this.
Still, if you need a turbocharger replacement, be sure to check us out at Turbo Turbos. We specialize in OEM, remanufactured, and aftermarket turbochargers and turbocharger parts. Our team of experts knows which turbo is best for your vehicle.