Breakdown and damage

Extreme conditions in which the part operates, given enough time, might cause deterioration of some elements. There are also other causes of its damage, among the most popular are contaminants in oil, exhaust or intake along with inefficient greasing. With quality OEM turbocharger repair kits, approved by manufacturers, it is possible to conduct a complete turbo rebuild / reconditioning. Basics needed are professional tools, extensive practical and theoretical knowledge along with experience.

At times, when the damage is too extensive or the turbo reconditioning might be too expensive, we recommend purchasing and installing a brand new part for your vehicle. However, in majority of cases, the element can be restored to its original state at a fraction of the cost of the new part.

Note! The element should always be inspected by a professional in order to establish whether reconditioning is possible and recommended solution in a given case.

Warning signs

Even an inexperienced driver might notice some changes in the car’s behavior which might result from turbo failing. One of the most common one is poor acceleration – especially in case of diesel engines. When you notice that your car is not as dynamic as it used to be, it might be time to check that turbine.

The simplest change to notice is the engine light coming on your dashboard. It can also suggest other problems with the engine. However, in combination with lack of power or loud engine noises it might mean the part is damaged.

When it comes to noises, they are much more difficult to notice and properly diagnose. However, high-pitched shriek coming directly from your engine, especially when you accelerate rapidly (this is when turbocharger starts working), usually means the part is in a bad shape and should be looked at by a professional.

There are also additional signs of a turbo failure, such as grey exhaust fumes or oil leaks, which can be spotted by a trained eye. Whenever you are in doubt, make sure you check at your garage whether turbo repairs are needed.

Causes of breakdown or damage

Although they are extremely durable, as all mechanical parts they can also be damaged and might require repair or complete rebuild. There are several most common breakdown causes, which might result in the necessity to install a brand new or reconditioned turbo.

  • Contaminants in oil
    It usually happens when low quality oils and oil filters are used or whenever the oil is not changed at the required intervals. In extreme cases it might even lead to bearing seizure and permanent damage to movable parts of compressor. If the oil is highly contaminated, it can also result in grooves, decalibration of bearings, which in turn leads to damage of housing and shaft. In which case the turbo rebuild or repair is required or a new part must be installed.
  • Insufficient lubrication
    Choked greasing system (e.g. because of incorrectly installed seals, which limit or completely block the flow in oil pipes) or oil, which lost its greasing characteristics (e.g. due to fuel contamination) can lead to shaft and bearing damage, as the parts operate in raised, extreme temperatures.
  • Extreme conditions of operation
    Extreme pressure and temperature are detrimental to the lifespan of a new or recon turbo. Operation in such conditions not only causes the oil to lose its greasing features. It also coagulates and then carbonates on the shaft, damaging it completely. Moreover, the rotor blades might become separated and deformed (i.e. when its mechanical strength is exceeded), which results in serious damage to the whole part.
  • Inflow and exhaust system contamination
    Quite common situation, as the intake system is in danger of being contaminated by dirt, sand and salt, which might damage the compressor’s blades. Even rust, commonly found in the collectors, can cause damage to the compressor, as its particles might cripple the blades which rotate at high speed.