Getting a turbo or turbocharger for your car’s engine boosts its power and torque for better functionality and performance. However, problems with fuel, engine oil, or the air and cooling systems can damage the turbo, causing complications over time. This article will discuss five turbo problems you may not know about that can cost you big-time if left unchecked.

Since Diesel Components opened its doors in 1977. We have garnered over 45 years of experience working with some of the most established turbocharger brands. As a result, we are familiar with almost all turbo problems, whether minor or severe.

Moreover, our experts can also spot the early signs of turbo trouble or failure and take corrective measures to resolve them right then and there.

Before we dive deep into turbo problems, let us take a slight detour and learn more about turbochargers, i.e., what they do and how they work.

What is a Turbocharger: How Does It Work?

A turbocharger boosts your engine’s existing horsepower without drastically increasing fuel consumption. It creates a superior fuel system that pushes more air into the engine, mixing it with gas or fuel. As this mixture burns, it helps the engine generate more power.

Besides helping your car go faster, a turbo also reduces exhaust waste, reducing air pollution.

After seeing how turbos work, let’s examine the common causes behind turbo problems. Also Find Out the Main Functions Of TurboCharger.

Key Causes Behind Common Turbo Problems

Turbo problems result from several factors, including poor or lack of lubrication, nonstandard usage, oil contamination, daily wear and tear, etc.

We’ve listed down common turbo issues for your information below:

  • Any worn-out or cracked seals can let the air escape if they stay undetected. As a result, the turbo works harder and wears down much faster.
  • If carbon deposits and contaminants build up and travel through the engine system, they severely damage various engine components, including the turbo.
  • Foreign objects like dust or gravel sometimes enter the turbine or compressor housing. They damage the compressor wheel or nozzle assembly, leading to turbo problems.
  • Any leaks in the air intake system lead to increased stress in the turbo system as it has to work extra hard to compensate for the low air supply.
  • Blockages created by blocked diesel particulate filters stop the exhaust gas from flowing through the engine system. This situation is hazardous as it builds more pressure and generates higher temperatures in the turbo.

You can learn more about common turbo failures here.

5 Turbo Problems You May Not Know About

Now, let’s examine the five turbo problems that can cause turbo failure and malfunction below:

  1. Oil Delay or Absence of Proper Lubrication

Did you know that a turbocharger can revolve up to 100,000 rpm? However, to maintain this incredible speed, a turbo requires constant lubrication. The oil for lubrication is supplied at a specific flow rate and pressure to stabilize and cool down the different parts of the turbo when it is in full force.

Any delay in oil supply can result in turbo failure as different components wear down due to the extreme heat.

A visible sign of oil delay is the blueing of the shaft or the bearings that results from the shaft’s exposure to excessive heat without any lubrication.

  1. Dirt in the Lubricating System

Using dirty or contaminated oil can spell doom for your turbocharger. Many people who use oil with dirt or other particles mistakenly believe that the oil filters will remove these contaminants. However, that is not the case.

Any dirt or foreign objects in your oil can cause severe damage to the bearings or even block internal oil passages in the turbo.

The presence of dirt or contaminants in the lubricating system creates oil starvation, causing the turbo bearings to fail.

  1. Oil Deterioration and Contamination

We’ve established that oil lubrication is vital to keep your turbo in good condition. Despite advanced oil formulations, the exceptionally high temperatures in modern diesel engines can cause the oil to deteriorate or break down. Once the oil breaks down, it generates corrosive acids and other harmful materials. Causing severe damage to the turbo and engine parts.

At the same time, the oil may be contaminated by internal materials like ash, soot, unburnt fuel, water. Or even due to the by-products of burnt fuel.

  1. Materials in the Air Filtration or Exhaust Systems

The presence of dust or even internal car fragments in the air filtration system can be catastrophic for turbos. These materials damage the turbo parts and also wreak havoc on the engine.

Foreign materials in the exhaust or air filtration systems cause black smoke, loss of power, oil leakage, excessive oil consumption, damaged wheels, etc.

Any alien materials or objects in the air filtration and exhaust systems may damage the turbocharger, engine, and other components like the engine piston, liner, valve, and even shaft damage.

  1. Issues Caused by Lack of Knowledge

Most car owners may know what a turbo does, but it doesn’t mean they know how it functions. As a car owner, you must understand the intricacies of the relationship between the turbo and the engine to avoid causing severe damage to your car.

A turbocharger doesn’t run the engine; it just helps the engine generate more power. Instead, it runs on the exhaust fumes produced by the engine.

So, the turbocharger cannot correct issues or malfunction in the engine. Any abnormalities in the primary machine are mirrored and further emphasized in the turbo. If you experience regular signs that something is wrong with your turbocharger, the chances are that something is wrong with the engine.

Below are signs that can alert you to turbo problems early on.

Signs or Symptoms of Turbo Problems

  • Check Engine Light: Remember how Sheldon and others constantly reminded Penny from The Big Bang Theory that her check engine light was on?

Well, they all had a point. As Penny learned at her expense, it’s always better to get your engine checked once. Because the light indicates that something is wrong, i.e., underlying engine or turbo problems.

  • Excessive or Siren Noise: Any loud noise coming from your engine means that you need to get your engine checked by a certified expert.

However, if the noise you hear sounds like a loud whining or siren sound, it can indicate reduced airflow or lubrication to the turbo.

  • Blue or Gray Smoke: If you see blue or blackish-gray smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, you may have an oil leak caused by a cracked turbo housing in the combustion chamber.

smoke from exhaust pipe - Turbo Problems

Black or gray smoke usually is a sign of a burnt engine, clogged air filter, an obstructed air intake duct, or a defect in the engine’s fuel injectors. Irrespective of the reason, the minute you notice the smoke, take your car to a mechanic straightway.

  • Inordinate Oil Consumption: If you find yourself visiting the gas station more frequently or notice that your mileage has dropped drastically, it could be due to raw fuel leakage from the turbo to the exhaust.
  • Low Acceleration: The entire purpose of a turbocharger is to provide you with superior speed. If the speed increase after acceleration does not match your previous turns. However, You need to consult experts who can identify and resolve turbo problems like the mechanics at Diesel Components Inc.

Visit Diesel Components Inc., to Discover the Best Repair Solutions for Your Turbo Problems Today!

Turbo problems develop insidiously and become noticeable only after causing considerable damage to your vehicle’s engine system.

If you feel that your turbocharger is not working correctly. And are looking for the best turbo repair services in Burnsville, MN. Bring your automobile to Diesel Components Inc., today!

We stay up-to-date on all the latest methods of dealing with turbocharger damage to help you maintain pace in this fast-moving world.

Whether you need to get a new turbocharger or repair your current one, contact us at (952) 890-2885 now!