A turbocharger is an add-on part that uses recycled exhaust gases to increase power. Turbocharged engines are very popular today since the turbocharger generates extra power and it allows smaller turbocharged engines to equal larger non-turbocharged ones in acceleration.
The belief is that a turbocharger is only useful if you want to go faster. While a turbo charge will do exactly that and make you go faster, there are also several other advantages for having one on your car;
- Increased fuel consumption
- Noise pollution
- High-altitude performance
- Size and weight – fewer cylinders to produce the same amount of power
- Reduced emissions
Turbocharger knowledge and common causes of turbocharger damage:
- To work effectively, a turbo needs a constant flow of clean oil, and to keep your turbo in top condition, you need to ensure that you change the oil and oil filter regularly
- This helps to prevent the build-up of carbon deposits and contaminants that can cause abrasive damage to the inside of your turbocharger, reducing its efficiency and causing irreparable damage over time
- Fully synthetic oil produces the least amount of carbon
- Sometimes, foreign objects like broken engine components, dust particles, small stones, dirt and leaves can enter your turbocharger, either via the compressor inlet or the turbine inlet
- These can then cause impact damage and abrasion to the compressor wheels and turbine blades, which will start to reduce the efficiency of the turbo
- To prevent this happening, you need to ensure that your air filter is serviced regularly, and that you check your turbo for loose connections or debris
- A turbocharger works by increasing the air pressure in an engine
- If there are any leaks, cracks or poor seals between the compressor and the engine, the turbo will have to work much harder than it should have to increase this pressure.
- This will reduce the efficiency and boost delivered by the turbo
- In addition to the causes listed above, excessive exhaust gas temps (EGT’s), moisture ingress, wear and tear, fuel intake systems, the wastegate and the exhaust system can also cause damage to your turbocharger
The warning signs
There are several ways that your vehicle will let you know that it's turbo is in need of maintenance or repairs:
Check engine warning lights
- On most modern cars, the computer diagnostics will pick up turbo faults and the check engine light will come on
- Of course, the check engine light doesn’t just cover turbo failure, and you will need to do some further checks to see what kind of engine problem you have
- If you notice that your turbocharged vehicle is accelerating more slowly than usual, or isn’t capable of reaching the speeds it once could, this may be a sign that your turbo is failing
A smoking exhaust
- If the turbo housing has cracked, or the internal seals have blown, oil will start to leak into your exhaust system. As this burns off, it produces a distinctive blue/grey smoke, which will probably become more apparent as the engine revs increase just following an idle situation
A loud whining noise
- Often, a failing turbocharger will make a loud, distinctive noise when under boost - a bit like a dentist’s drill or police siren if compressor wheel damaged. If you start to hear this noise from your engine, it’s definitely time to have it checked out!
The next steps - checking your turbo
If you notice any of the warning signs, then get your turbo checked as soon as possible. Your turbocharger isn’t going to repair itself, and the longer you leave it, the worse (and more expensive) the problem will get!
At Nass-Tech Autos Ltd, we’re always happy to help with the cost-effective diagnosis and repairs on a full range of turbochargers.
Our services include;
- Turbo diagnostic
- Assess, strip, repair and rebuild
- Service & repair with a 2 year warranty
- Supply & fit reconditioned turbochargers – includes a 2 year warranty
- Fit new turbochargers – includes a 2 year warranty
Please call us today on 0116 274 1824. We look forward to hearing from you.