A turbocharger is an exhaust-driven compressor used to increase a car’s engine’s power output by compressing air used in the combustion process. It’s not very common for this component to need repairs, but it can break down like any other engine component. If you know what to look out for, you can avoid costly repairs and unexpected breakdowns related to your car’s turbocharger. Here are some common problems with the turbocharger to look out for before they become serious issues that need immediate attention from your mechanic.
What Is a Turbocharger?
A turbocharger is a pump that forces more air into an engine at a higher pressure than is ordinarily possible. A turbocharger uses exhaust gases that spin a turbine connected to another turbine that sucks air into the device. The compressed air is then forced into your engine, which increases power output by allowing more fuel to be burned at once. Many modern vehicles have turbochargers because car manufacturers can improve fuel economy by using smaller turbocharged engines that produce the same amount of power as larger engines.
Signs of Trouble With the Turbocharger
If you drive a turbocharged car, your turbocharger is one of your car’s most essential parts. The most significant sign of a failing turbocharger is a loss of power. The check engine light may also come on if there’s a problem with the turbo because the fuel-air mixture would be affected. Also, strange noises or excessive exhaust are signs that something is wrong with your car’s turbocharger. A failing turbocharger will need to be brought to a professional due to the complex nature of the repairs.
Signs That There’s Something Wrong With the Engine
Aside from occasional issues, turbochargers rarely fail on their own. Typically, issues with turbochargers are caused by other problems with the car’s engine, such as a worn seal or lack of lubrication. The turbocharger has several moving parts that need lubrication, just like the rest of the internal engine components. The turbocharger gets its oil supply from the engine and, as a result, is prone to failure if there’s an issue with lubrication. If your car is low on oil, your turbocharger may be damaged.
Turbochargers are becoming more common on modern vehicles because of the ability to use smaller, more efficient engines without sacrificing power output. Turbochargers rarely fail, but issues can arise due to various reasons. Problems with the turbocharger usually require a professional to fix because of the highly complex nature of the repair. If you notice any signs of turbocharger failure, see your car care professional as soon as you can.