A turbocharger is a device that is turbine driven by an induction force that increases internal combustion of the engine's power output and efficiency. This is achieved by trapping extra air and forcing it into the combustion chamber. A turbocharger's turbine works by rotating thousands of times more than the actual engine of the vehicle. Therefore, the level of mechanical activity that takes place around the whole system is extremely high.
This means that it is susceptible to damages and other mechanical breakdowns. Some of the causes of turbo failure include the following:
- Foreign objects such as dirt, dust, and debris on the outside getting into the turbo system
- Oil problems where there is either contaminated oil or lack of proper lubrication
- Over speeding the vehicle, which leads to overworking the turbo harder than it should.
It may not be practical to avoid all the turbo breakdowns. However, these simple tips will help you manage it well to extend its serving life.
Servicing your car regularly will not only increase the lifespan of your turbocharger, but also it will maintain the engine well and increase the overall performance of your vehicle. Keep on top of it and have a reputable mechanic who understands the turbo system well. For cases where you are not sure of your car's service intervals, access this information online or in your vehicle's handbook. The turbocharger is made up of a lot of moving parts that must be well lubricated to minimise friction and tear. The service should involve changing the engine oil, changing automatic transmission fluids and replacing the oil filters. Make sure the oil used is suitable and high-grade.
Having the right driving tips will protect your turbocharger against premature breakdown:
- When you ignite your engine from cold, do not race the vehicle immediately from its idle state. Give it 5-10 seconds for the engine oil to move and reach the turbocharger
- Allow the engine oil to warm thoroughly for you to operate the engine under full power. Cold lubricants remain gloopy and thick, making it difficult to lubricate the turbocharger effectively
- Turbocharger systems work hardest during sustained high speed.
It may be glowing red hot after you just had a long motorway. It is not advisable to shut down the engine immediately as the internal turbine may not have slowed down sufficiently. Therefore, let the vehicle idle for at least 1 minute before switching off the ignition to give the turbocharger enough space to slow down without causing severe damage.
For more information on turbochargers and turbo accessories, contact a mechanic.