Advance Turbo: Turbocharger Maintenance Tips
Maintaining a turbocharger is not as hard as it sounds. It needs good handling and regular check-ups of oils and filters. For more details read further:
In the 80’s, having a turbocharger was considered the car enthusiasts’ ultimate status symbol. Revving down the street with loud and guttural noises with unparalleled power. Today, most diesel engines have a factory-installed turbocharger. People often remain oblivious until they’re handed a hefty bill for its repair.
Here’s how you can look after your turbocharger and avoid the nightmare:
Engine Oil is Your Best Friend
Always opt for synthetic oils rather than natural ones. Synthetic oils have traces of graphite in them that can handle extreme levels of heat produced by a turbocharged engine. Always use an engine oil with viscosity approved by your manufacture. While it isn’t necessary to change the engine oil every month, check the odometer and make a point to change it every 8000 kilometers.
Warm Up and Cool Down Your Engine
Your engine and its turbocharger give your car athletic power response. Just like an athlete, warming up and cooling down your engine properly can make a big difference in its performance. Engine oil gets very thick when cold, so warming the engine thins it ups and the capillary effect allows it to lubricate the turbo adequately for usage.
On that same note, cooling down is very important too. If you simply switch off the engine without taking a minute to cool down, the oil in the turbo congeals and turns into engine sludge. This will clog up the turbo and reduce its efficiency. Remember, a turbo impeller cannot spin as fast when coated with a thick gooey sludge.
Check Cooling Systems Regularly
A turbo creates a lot of heat and a conventional radiator does not have the ability to cool the engine effectively. Always ensure your radiator runs at peak performance and use a proper coolant instead of just water. Water tends to corrode the radiator and coolants absorb heat faster.
Use The Gears, Not Just The Turbo
The feeling of getting instant power when applying maximum boost pressure can be addictive as it is thrilling. Just don’t let it get to your head and use it all the time. Try switching to a lower gear to place your engine in a better power band so the gears work to assist the turbo in providing power when you need it. This puts less strain on the turbo and doesn’t wear it out as much.
Drive Carefully and Intelligently
This should be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who sit behind the wheel and defy this advice. From jackrabbit starts to skipping gears when downshifting and mashing the throttle for a quick fix of speed, people make the worst driving decisions in a split second that end up costing them thousands in repairs much sooner than they anticipate.
Try not to strangle the engine by driving too slow at a low gear. This simply strains components and causes needless damages. Anticipating turbo lag is a smart idea. Be careful not to press on the throttle too much especially when at a corner. Turbo lag can give you power when you least need it and that can be very dangerous.
Here are some helpful videos on turbocharger maintenance:
Here are some actions you definitely need to avoid if you have a turbocharger:
In case you’re in a dilemma about getting a supercharger, we can show you how superchargers work.