What Are The Main Signs of a Turbo Failing?

(Last Updated On: August 16, 2022)

What Are The Main Signs of a Turbo Failing?

There could be many signs. Almost all cars currently on sale are equipped with turbo engines, either diesel or gasoline. All diesel vehicles have been using turbos for years. Most likely, your vehicle has a turbocharger. This article will tell you how to detect that the turbo is about to fail or already to fail. What Are The Main Signs of a Turbo Failing?

Turbos can rotate at 200,000 rpm, and in high-performance cars, their temperature can reach 1,000 degrees Celsius. The correct performance and efficiency of your vehicle depend on its proper functioning.

Turbos and their moving parts are tough, but no turbine can withstand continued abuse for years without consequence. If you do not treat it right, it will break. As simple as that. In addition, if it breaks, the bill will not be small. A bad turbo break can end the life of your engine.

The good thing is that before breaking, the turbo shows clear symptoms. It is like a serious illness: catching it in time can save the car’s life. Stay with us.

White / bluish smoke and high oil consumption:

All engines consume oil, even if it is barely perceptible. However, if your car’s oil consumption skyrockets, serious trouble looms. It is because the health of the turbo is closely linked to the oil in the car.

For the turbo turbine to rotate at 200,000 rpm, its shaft rotates bathed in oil. This shaft – also known as the turbo spool – is surrounded by special bushings, spinning inside soaked in oil. These bushings can develop backlash.

Performance below normal, or jerks:

If your car has a variable geometry turbo – there is hardly any gasoline turbo with variable geometry, almost all are diesel – the mechanism that varies its geometry can break down.

The variable geometry seeks a higher performance of the car in all regimes, modifying the angle of the turbine blades. This angle is adjusted in most vehicles through an electron mechanism. However, due to the high temperatures generated, the electro mechanism can break down.

Whistles in the engine compartment:

Listen to your car. Almost all mechanical failures can be detected by paying attention to the engine and its sound. For example, if you hear the engine sputtering or its sound becomes “fatter” than usual when accelerating, there may be a pressure loss in the system.

Most likely, one of the turbocharger hoses – or a clamp – has come loose or developed a crack. These fissures can manifest only with a high load and can be invisible to the naked eye, hence the importance of hearing.

Strange noises, mechanical howls:

Suppose your engine starts to sound like a vacuum cleaner or makes strange noises under acceleration, and a noticeable loss of performance accompanies both symptoms.

The turbo shaft has developed backlash, and the turbine blades have come into direct contact with its casing at tens of thousands of rpm. Therefore, due to its high rate of rotation, its disintegration is guaranteed. Those pieces of metal will end up in the engine cylinders, destroying the mechanics.


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