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What is a Turbocharger??

A turbocharger consists of a compressor wheel and exhaust gas turbine wheel coupled together by a solid shaft and that is used to boost the intake air pressure of an internal combustion engine. The exhaust gas turbine extracts energy from the exhaust gas and uses it to drive the compressor and overcome friction.

Huh!! What?

Basically, you have 2 chambers, a hot and a cold side. The 2 sides are separated but the air flow wheels are connected to each other by a shaft, so you turn one side the other turns as well. Clean intake air flows through the cold side (input) and exhaust gas flows through the hot side (output), since an engine emits exhaust gases the turbo uses the flow of these gases to turn the “turbine” wheel which then turns the “compressor” wheel forcing clean intake air into the engine creating more power.

Of course, there are more components to the turbocharger depending on the vehicle such as turbo actuators, vane position sensors, solenoids, wastegates, etc. which simple relay information back and forth from the turbo to the electrical modules and to control the amount of air flow.

What are the common failures?

Less than 1% of turbocharger failures are due to manufacturing defects. Most failures are caused by one of these three “turbo killers”:

  • Oil Starvation
  • Oil Contamination
  • Foreign object damage

90% of turbocharger failures are caused by oil related problems.

  • Blocked, clogged or leaking pipes
  • ‘Dirty” oil particles causing the turbo shaft bearings to fail
  • Bad driving / operating habits:
    • revving engine on start up before oil has time to properly flow through the turbo
    • Shutting engine down too soon after running at high RPMs not giving turbo time to properly cool down causing the high temperature to dry the lubricating oil on bearings resulting in a “dry” start up.

Keep in mind, don’t replace without knowing the cause of your turbocharger failure, turbochargers can be very expensive. Make sure to correct the problem and not just replace the unit, a problem within your oil supply to the turbo charger will not be covered by the manufacturers’ warranty if the new turbo fails as the original did.

Solution

Bostech carries Turbochargers from top USA manufacturers including PurePower Technologies, Flight Diesel, and OE-TurboPower covering most light, medium and heavy-duty vehicle applications. Have questions? Our Customer Service department is here to help!

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