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Turbochargers - how to maintain them properly

24 August 2018

closer look at a turbocharger

The forces behind the evolution of automotive industry are customers' needs and for some reason, for the past few years the nice has experienced a significant change from engineering prospective. Drivers' demands for better performance, combined with the rising popularity of the engine downsizing, puts pressure on manufacturers to use power units with turbocharging (whether diesel or petrol). Turbocharger is probably one of the most expensive and delicate assembly component. That's why its regular maintenance can save us tons of money and nerves. 

The turbocharger could basically be described as two vanes, connected by an axle. The first vane, mounted on the exhaust system, is called turbine and is powered by the engine's exhaust gases. The second one, compressor, sucks an immense amount of air from the atmosphere and compress it. Then, the compressed air goes straight into the engine's intake manifold. There's difference between the pressure of the air in the combustion chamber and the air in the outside environment. The high amount of compressed air in the combustion chamber enables the turbocharged engine to work more effectively/ to be more effective. 

Speaking of turborchargers, they are: single-turbo, electric turbo, twin-turbo, twin-scroll turbo, variable twin scroll turbo and variable geometry turbo (aka VGT).

There are few  things that could signify a potentially arising problem with the turbocharger:

- a decrease in the engine's oil

- increased oil consumption

- sudden drop in engine's power

- black or white (gray) smoke coming out from the exhaust pipe

- a whisling sound during rapid acceleration

- distinct smell of burned motor oil 

- unreasonable "revving engine" - happens often to diesel vehicles

Fortunately, thanks to the rapid development of technology, moder cars are immuned agaist such troubles. 

There are few main principles when using a vehicle with a turbocharger. Using them as a guide when think about the maintainance could save you reasonable amount of money:

1. Check the oil regularly

2. Inspect the air filter frequently

4. Check the turbine for wear and tear

5. Do not drive on low gear

6. Always inspect system's integrity

The regular maintenance is vital in order to prevent unnecessary expences. Luckily, there is an option for re-cycling the good old turbocharger. So keep a close eye on your car and beneath the bonnet.


Author: Diyana Ilieva