What Can Kill a Turbo?

(Last Updated On: July 16, 2023)

What Can Kill a Turbo?

Turbo engines have many advantages but also some drawbacks. The main one is that the more moving parts there are more possibilities of failure, and that is why the turbo is one of the systems that has been getting the most repairs in recent years. So today, we will try to explain how to detect a possible kill in the turbo and minimize gravity. What Can Kill a Turbo?

Since anti-pollution regulations began to tighten and downsizing was introduced, supercharging systems using turbochargers have become the daily bread in practically all brands. However, there are only some brave ones like Mazda defending the atmospheric blocks tooth and nail.

The supercharging systems are designed to lower consumption in conventional mechanics or increase performance at the most aspirational end in sports cars. However, you must bear in mind that mechanics that are more complex also entail certain risks.

A turbocharger is a system that has been around for decades, and its operation is (apparently) simple. The exhaust gases are used to drive a turbine that, through a shaft, drives a second turbine that forces the intake air towards the engine. Therefore, naturally, the more air you get the more power you get.

These turbines rotate at hundreds of thousands of revolutions per minute at very high temperatures and therefore need very good quality oils to lubricate and cool down or very precise low friction bearings in very good condition. These circumstances in vehicles that roll for hundreds of thousands of kilometers cannot happen and lead to breakdowns.

These turbo killings do not usually appear overnight, but they reveal some symptoms to detect and avoid an expensive workshop invoice.

The most common turbo killing is loss of power and the appearance of hissing when accelerating. These failures do not compromise the mechanics by themselves, but the intake system has broken down in the end, so it is easy to find that consumption rises apart from not pushing with the verve of when it was in top form.

Another element that is susceptible to killing in the turbocharging system is the wastegate. This element is responsible for releasing the pressure generated by the turbine on the intake gases that when it is no longer necessary, for example, when removing the accelerator after a period of acceleration. A failure in these valves can be due to the accumulation of debris and results in erratic engine behavior if the valve has become unusable.

Suppose the car begins to expel bluish smoke through the exhaust pipe, especially when cold. However, if we detect that the engine oil consumption rate is higher than expected, be careful because we may be facing one of the most common breakdowns system basses.


In short, the turbo is one of the components that need more affection. That is why it does not hurt to use some very basic but effective guidelines to prolong its life. Such as a good quality oil with the appropriate modifications, not turning off the car as soon as you arrive at your destination so that the turbo cools, or not demanding too much with your foot right when the engine oil is still cold.


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