Although the turbocharger is designed to run smoothly throughout the life of the engine, problems often occur. The fault is mostly the fault of the drivers themselves, who use them incorrectly.
A turbocharger is a precision device whose rotor is driven by exhaust gases from the engine. Its speed can reach 250.000 rpm. To understand how big this value is, just note that the average diesel engine is not able to reach 8.000 rpm, the gasoline engine 10000 rpm. With such values and during pressure generation, a lot of heat is generated. Heat dissipation, as well as proper lubrication, are the basic conditions that ensure long-term operation of the turbocharger.
The car user with the turbine must remember that after starting the engine, it should give the oil pump about 30 seconds to send oil through the entire system. If the engine speed increases before the oil reaches the turbocharger, the turbine will be damaged. If the engine was spinning at high speeds before stopping, the turbine should be cooled down. It's about leaving the car idle for about 2-3 minutes. Of course, you can cool the turbine, driving at speeds below 1,5 thousand. But do not park and switch off the engine after a dynamic ride.
Many modern cars are equipped with a start / stop system that activates automatically when the engine is started. If we use high engine speeds for a long time, such as high-speed highway driving, shut down the system. Otherwise, there is a risk that the engine will shut down with the turbine very hot during a brief stop, such as at a ramp when paying tolls. Not all cars have a safety feature that won't allow it.
There have also been many operational myths surrounding the use of turbochargers. Contrary to what some people think, one should not be afraid of braking the engine. Although high speeds are achieved in this way during long descents, no fuel is added to the combustion chambers. This means that the compressor is not heated by the exhaust gases, and the oil pump helps to cool the turbine.
Some believe that using a car only in the city provides the turbocharger with optimal working conditions. It can be wrong. First of all, even in the city, we sometimes use high engine speeds. Second, excess heat is not the only enemy of this mechanism. The turbine is bothered by soot, which can settle in it and in the exhaust manifold. Longer dynamic driving with the use of high speeds - with pre-warming of the engine and complete cooling of the turbine - helps to burn soot, which jeopardizes the proper operation of this precise element.
For a turbocharger, dirt can be deadly. There are two ways for dirt to get to this element - along with air i oil. That is why it is important to keep in mind that filters are replaced regularly. The connection between the air filter and the turbocharger is also worth checking from time to time. It is also extremely important to keep in mind the proper level of engine oil. In the name of savings, it is not allowed to replace landing cheaper, with worse properties. This can quickly damage the sub-assembly and, as a result, incur considerable costs.
Most drivers, unfortunately, do not have the patience to provide optimal operating conditions for a turbocharger. So, there are cases of premature failure. As practice shows, improperly treated turbines can start to cause problems after 50.000. km. Most often, however, a fault occurs in a car with 150-250000 km.
If weird sounds suddenly appear under the hood and we experience unnatural vibrations, this can mean a sudden problem with the turbine due to lack of lubrication. In this case, stop the engine immediately. Every second of operation of the drive unit means deepening of the damage. A turbocharger can also signal damage as follows: a decrease in engine power, increased loss of engine oil, an increase in smoke from the exhaust, or a simple leakage of oil from the turbocharger, a specialist should consult.
Experienced mechanics know very well that not all symptoms that appear as a result of turbocharger wear are actually caused by it. Power drop and black exhaust may be associated with air filter contamination. The blue color of the exhaust gases, the increased oil consumption and the loud operation of the turbine can have their problem in the intake pipe of the turbocharger. Oil leaks along with reduced power and black or blue flue gases can also indicate wear on pistons, piston rings, cylinders or valves. A drop in power, black exhaust and loud turbine operation can be a symptom of damage to the exhaust manifold. Black flue gas color and power drop may also occur due to improper operation of the injectors or injection pump.
The owner of a car with a turbocharger is worth following the rule that it's easier to prevent than cure. Taking care of this subassembly requires a bit of discipline, and from time to time it can cost a little, but in this way we shift the spectrum of the need for regeneration or replacement of an element, and it can cost us.
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Hi there, I am Mladen and I am an auto enthusiast. I started this blog years ago to help like minded people share information about latest cars, car servicing ideas, used car info, exotic cars, and auto technology. You will find helpful articles and videos on a wide variety of cars - Audi, Mercedes, Toyota, Porsche, Volvo, BMW and much more. Ping us if you have anything cool to share on latest cars or on how to make older cars more efficient, or just want to say hi!