Auto Parts: Buying Guides, Explanations and Money-Saving Tips

What Might Be Wrong With Your Vehicle's Turbocharger

by Aapo Perala

A good way to increase the speed and performance of your car or truck is to add a turbocharger from a place like Denco Diesel & Turbo. This piece forces compressed air into the engine compartment, which then increases the combustion in the engine. In turn, you may see better pickup from a full stop and may be able to reach higher speeds with less drag when you have a turbocharger installed.

While a turbocharger can greatly enhance the performance of your car or truck, it can suffer damage just like any other piece of equipment you might have installed. If your vehicle's turbo should act up, note what might be wrong with it and what you might be facing by way of repairs.

Stop surging or power boost

If your turbocharger seems to suddenly stop surging or providing that boost of power after a quick pickup, it may be that the air filter in the engine needs replacing. Because the turbocharger is providing more oxygen to the engine, this may result in the air filter becoming clogged sooner than normal. In turn, dirty oxygen may get backed up or trapped in the engine, causing it to lag after acceleration.

Note that you may want to change the air filter more often than usual when you have a turbocharger installed, rather than doing so at every oil change. Have the filter checked and changed as needed, and this may restore power to your vehicle's turbocharger.

Vibrations or noise

Note that a turbocharger works with a turbine that compresses air before it is introduced into the engine. If that turbine begins to break down, it may cause vibrations when the turbocharger is engaged, or may create a grinding sound. In this case, you may need to have the turbocharger replaced altogether. If you hear high-pitched squealing sounds, this often indicates that bearings in the turbocharger have broken down and need replacing.

Turbocharger doesn't engage

If a turbocharger outright fails to engage, it may simply be broken beyond repair and need replacing. However, in some cases, combustion residue may fall back onto the turbine blades and cause blockage or drag, so that the blades can't rotate as needed or the turbocharger cannot bring enough air into the engine compartment. In that case, you may not have any results from the turbocharger itself. You can have the blades cleaned and this can often address the issue, and the air filter may also then need to be changed, as mentioned above.