5 Causes of Turbo Failure and How to Prevent Them

Categories: Sun Eng Hup Articles, Turbo Talks

If you’re a speed enthusiast, you would know that turbochargers can transform an ordinary vehicle into a ferocious beast, delivering unprecedented performance and adrenaline-fueled experiences with exhilarating speed.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and turbochargers are no exception. Despite their extraordinary capabilities, they are also susceptible to various factors that can lead to their untimely demise.

Understanding the causes of turbo failure is crucial to harness your engine’s full potential while ensuring its longevity. In this article, we explore the five causes of turbo failure while equipping you with valuable insights on turbo repair to prevent them.

Causes of Turbo Failure to Look Out for

Before we explore the causes of turbo failure, you need to understand that the turbocharger is an air pump. Its sole function is to enhance the internal combustion efficiency of your car’s engine for more power and improved engine torque. That said, let’s dive into the causes.

Oil Contamination or Lack of Lubrication

Most turbochargers rely on a constant supply of clean, high-quality oil for lubrication and cooling. At the same time, contaminated oil containing debris, sludge, or metal particles can lead to accelerated wear and damage to the turbocharger.

Insufficient or irregular oil changes can also result in inadequate lubrication, causing excessive friction and turbo failure. You can prevent oil-related turbo failures with regular oil analysis, manufacturer-recommended oil, and proper maintenance.

Foreign Object Damage

Did you know that even the smallest foreign objects can wreak havoc on your turbocharger’s delicate components? Dust, dirt, or debris entering the air intake system can cause damage to the compressor wheel, leading to lower efficiency or complete failure of your turbo.

With proper air filtration, periodic inspection of the air intake systems, and a clean environment during installation or repairs, you can significantly reduce the risk of foreign object damage.

Excessive Heat and Over-boosting

Turbochargers can operate under extreme conditions, which means you can subject them to intense heat and pressure. However, excessive heat can cause oil coking, solidifying oil deposits and obstruct proper lubrication.

Meanwhile, over-boosting occurs when the turbocharger is pushed beyond its limits. This can lead to excessive heat and strain on the turbo components. You can prevent turbo failure by monitoring boost levels and ensuring that proper cooling systems are in place.

Improper Shutdown Procedures

Abruptly shutting down your turbocharged engine, especially after high-performance driving, can be detrimental to the turbocharger. The turbocharger’s rotating assembly spins at high speeds, and sudden shutdowns will prevent the necessary cool-down period.

What you can do to prevent oil coking and heat soak is to adhere to the recommended cool-down procedures, such as allowing the engine to idle for a few minutes before switching it off. This can help prevent premature turbo failure.

Poor Maintenance and Neglect

Neglecting your vehicle’s routine maintenance is a recipe for turbocharger failure. This includes ignoring scheduled inspections, failing to address warning signs such as abnormal noises or excessive smoke, and overlooking recommended service intervals.

By regularly checking your vehicle for leaks, ensuring proper bolt torques, and addressing maintenance requirements outlined in the owner’s manual, you can extend the life of your turbocharger.

How to Prevent Turbo Failure with Proper Turbo Service and Maintenance

Proper turbo service and maintenance are essential for preventing turbo failure and ensuring the longevity of your turbocharger. With these steps, you can minimise the risk of costly repairs and keep your turbocharged engine running smoothly.

  1. Schedule regular oil changes and use the correct grade of oil
  2. Practice good warm-up and cool-down procedures
  3. Avoid extended idle times during traffic congestion
  4. Conduct regular inspections to identify early signs of trouble
  5. Maintain a clean environment and follow the manufacturer’s service recommendation

Incorporating these preventive measures into your turbocharger maintenance routine can reduce the risk of turbo failure. However, if you ever need to replace or repair your turbo, consider a remanufactured turbo as an alternative.

Looking for a remanufactured turbo for your vehicle in Malaysia?

You need not look far as Sun Eng Hup supplies one of Malaysia’s largest used and new automotive replacement parts. We provide multiple options with a warranty period, such as rebuilt, remanufactured, or used parts.

As a specialist in used and new auto parts, we have modern and quality Automobile Diagnostic equipment to ensure the problems you have with your vehicle can be solved effectively and efficiently. Learn more about our services here.