Turbo Failure

Turbo failure is quite often due to four main reasons:

  1. Not allowing an engine to warm up fully
  2. Switching off before a turbo has begun to slow down in speed
  3. Lack of oil changes or incorrect oil used.
  4. Low oil level

The most overlooked factor with a Turbo is that when the engine has stopped, so has the oil pressure.

A Turbo spins at around 40,000 Revolutions Per Minute and when the engine has stopped the Turbo continues spinning for a few minutes afterwards. This means that the Turbo is spinning with no oil pressure and is only lubricated by the oil within the housing and inlet hose for this period of time. When the engine is restarted it takes a few seconds for the oil pressure to build up and reach the bearings, this means that a turbo is quite often running with very little lubrication.

Dirty oil can also speed up bearing wear due to contaminates within the oil. These same contaminates can also make the oil run hotter making the lubricants less efficient.




FORTE who are a company who produce treatments and additives of all sorts for the motor industry, have analysed the reasons why a turbo has failed. They found that 20% is due to a lack of lubricant, 30% is due to there being a delay of lubrication to the turbo bearings, 13% through lubricant contamination and a further 12% is from the fact that the lubricant is overheating.

A lack of oil in the engine is also a very common reason and can be a contributing factor towards the lack or delay of lubricant to the bearings and the contaminated or overheating of lubricants being used.

This means that a massive 75% of Turbo failures will be down to driver error in some way.

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