What Causes Low Turbo Boost Pressure

What Causes Low Turbo Boost Pressure in Diesel Engines?

Turbocharging has changed how engines work, giving them more power and efficiency. However, the turbocharger can be a real pain when something goes awry. 

One frequent issue with turbocharged engines is low turbo boost pressure. This can make the engine not work as well, use more fuel, and even cause damage. But the question remains, “What causes low turbo boost pressure?”

Let’s find out the answer.

What is Low Turbo Boost Pressure?

Turbo boost pressure is the air the turbocharger pushes into the engine. This air mixes with fuel to make the engine go. Boost pressure varies according to engine size, turbocharger design, and other factors. It is measured in bars or pounds per square inch (psi).

Low turbo boost pressure happens when the turbocharger doesn’t give enough air to the engine. This can be caused by different things, like a broken turbocharger, air leaks, or a wastegate that’s not working right. When the engine doesn’t get enough air, it might struggle to make the power it needs, decreasing performance and efficiency.

Symptoms of Low Turbo Boost Pressure

Symptoms of Low Turbo Boost Pressure

The signs of low turbo boost pressure can vary based on the seriousness of the issue.

Here are some common indicators:

  • Less Power and Sluggish Acceleration: If the engine isn’t getting enough air, it might struggle to generate the necessary power, causing slow acceleration and reduced performance.
  • Higher Fuel Consumption: To compensate for the lack of air, the engine might use more fuel, leading to increased gas consumption and lower fuel efficiency.
  • Engine Misfires: Insufficient air can result in incomplete combustion, causing the engine to misfire and hesitate during operation.
  • Black Smoke from the Exhaust: Excess fuel may not burn completely, resulting in the emission of black smoke from the exhaust.
  • Check Engine Light On: Low turbo boost pressure can activate the check engine light, signaling that there’s a problem that needs attention.

What Causes Low Turbo Boost Pressure?

What Causes Low Turbo Boost Pressure

You picked your car for its powerful engine, so when it starts losing performance, it’s crucial to figure out what causes low turbo boost pressure and find the best fix. There are several reasons your turbocharger might be showing signs of trouble.

Here are some common ones that indicate low turbo boost performance:

Restricted Turbine

Low turbo boost pressure can happen when the turbo turbine is blocked, restricting exhaust flow. This forces the engine to push back against the exhaust more, reducing the energy transferred from the cylinders for driving power.

Oil Starvation

Oil is vital for your vehicle’s optimal operation. If your turbocharger doesn’t get enough oil due to a leak or a blockage between the turbo and the engine, it leads to poor on-road performance and can cause long-term and irreversible damage.

Air Leak

Your car engine relies on consistent and strong air pressure for performance. If you notice a change in how your engine delivers power, inspect the turbo hoses for leaks or loose connections. Maintaining a tight air system is crucial for your vehicle’s engine to function properly.

Addressing Low Turbo Pressure: What to Do Next

Just like a sick human, a sick turbo engine needs attention from a professional. Once you’ve noticed the signs and symptoms indicating that your vehicle needs some attention, you can take your car to highly trained professionals specializing in diesel engines.

Bring Your Sick Turbo Back to Health with Diesel Components Inc.!

Keep your car running smoothly on the road with specialized services by our experts. 

Get on a call with Diesel Components Inc. today! Call us at (800) 252-6625 or (952) 890-2885.


Can you drive with a low turbo boost?

Although the car may still operate without a well-performing turbocharger, performance will be reduced, and your choice could have unanticipated consequences. If the fault is with the oil supply or an internal component, a full failure is about to happen.

How do I know if my turbo wastegate is bad?

If you’re wondering whether your turbo wastegate is malfunctioning, watch out for these signs:

  • Boost Issues: Inconsistent or lower-than-normal boost levels could indicate a wastegate problem.
  • Strange Noises: During acceleration, unusual hissing or rattling sounds may suggest wastegate issues.
  • Poor Performance: A decrease in overall engine performance, particularly acceleration, could be linked to a faulty wastegate.
  • Boost Spike: If your boost pressure suddenly spikes without throttle input, it might signal a stuck wastegate.
  • Check Engine Light: An illuminated check engine light, especially with codes related to the wastegate, points to potential trouble.

What are the three symptoms of a failed turbo?

The three symptoms of a failed turbocharger are:

  • Speed Struggles: Turbocharged vehicles struggling to hit high speeds may signal impending failure.
  • Whining Noise: A distinct whining noise from the engine could indicate early turbocharger issues. Get it checked promptly.

Exhaust Smoke: Notice bluish-green smoke? It could be a sign of a failing turbo causing oil leaks.