Turbochargers fail and it isn’t always easy to figure out why. Is your diesel engine losing oil on the dipstick, showing a loss of power, smoking or is noisier than usual? These all can be symptoms of a turbo problem. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems we’ve found with turbochargers.
Low Oil Levels
Oil is critical for lubrication of the turbocharger. Low oil levels can reduce the oil pressure, making it hard for the oil to get around all of the moving parts. This causes friction and potential damage in the turbocharger. This could mean that your oil seals are failing.
Failing oil seals can be quite common, especially with higher-mileage vehicles. Worn seals mean that oil can get into the exhaust and the intake. This will cause some serious clogging and can force your RPMs to run high.
If you see a blueish tint to the smoke coming out of the exhaust, this could be the reason. Your best defense against this issue, though, is a thorough service at least once a year. Sometimes the only way to fix this problem is by taking apart the induction system and post-turbo charge pipes.
Air Pressure Issues
On a diesel engine, the turbocharger increases the air pressure in the engine. If there are leaks in the air systems, the turbocharger has to work harder to produce more air pressure. This causes an increase in workload on the turbocharger and it will cause problems with the turbocharger. It is essential to keep the air intake system in top shape to prevent this type of issue.
How Do You Know Your Turbocharger is Having Problems?
Many times, your check engine light will come on signaling that you are having problems. A diesel repair shop can hook it up to a machine that will do a diagnostic scan tell you what the error codes mean. If you notice your vehicle whining, having excessive exhaust smoke, or losing large amounts of oil, you should get your vehicle checked out immediately.