How a turbocharger works:
A turbocharger is a component that enhances the power output of your car’s internal combustion engine by increasing the amount of air entering the engine. It operates on the principle of utilizing the engine’s exhaust gases to drive a turbine, which is connected to a compressor. Here’s how a turbocharger works:
- Exhaust Gas Flow: When the engine is running, exhaust gases are expelled from the combustion chamber through the exhaust manifold. These high-temperature and high-pressure gases flow into the turbine housing of the turbocharger.
- Turbine Operation: The exhaust gas flow drives the turbine wheel, causing it to spin rapidly. The turbine is connected to a shaft that extends to the other side of the turbocharger.
- Compressor Function: As the turbine spins, it rotates the compressor wheel on the opposite side of the turbocharger. The compressor wheel draws in ambient air and compresses it before delivering it to the engine’s intake manifold.
- Increased Air Supply: The compressed air from the compressor wheel is directed into the engine’s intake manifold. The increased air density allows a larger volume of air to enter the combustion chambers during the intake stroke.
- More Fuel Combustion: With more air available, the engine can inject and burn a greater amount of fuel, resulting in improved power and torque output. This process is known as forced induction.
- Efficient Power Boost: By utilizing the energy from the exhaust gases that would otherwise be wasted, a turbocharger enables the engine to generate more power without a significant increase in engine displacement.
Turbocharging provides several benefits, including improved engine performance, increased fuel efficiency, and reduced emissions. However, it also introduces additional complexity and considerations, such as managing higher operating temperatures and potential turbo lag (a delay in power delivery due to the time required for the turbocharger to spool up).
Benefits of using a turbocharger:
Turbochargers can work with smaller engines, meaning that the driver can enjoy the benefits of low fuel consumption when the turbo is not in use. This makes them a much more cost-efficient option that investing in a large, fuel-hungry engine.
Turbochargers also offer cleaner emissions compared to naturally aspirated engines. With the rise increase of environmental requirements that automakers are facing, turbochargers are becoming more common in smaller and larger car engines.
Automakers try to keep their cars as light as possible to reduce the load on the engine and increase speed. An advantage of a turbocharger is that it increases your engine’s power without adding a significant amount of weight to the vehicle.
Causes of a faulty turbocharger (turbo):
There are several things that can cause problems in your car’s turbocharger. These include:
- Oil-related Problems: Insufficient lubrication or contaminated oil can lead to turbocharger failure. If the turbocharger doesn’t receive proper lubrication, the rotating components can suffer from excessive friction and wear. Contaminated oil, such as oil containing debris or sludge, can block the oil passages, affecting lubrication and cooling.
- Clogged intake system from debris: If foreign objects, such as debris or dust, enter the turbocharger’s intake or exhaust system, they can cause damage to the compressor wheel or turbine blades. This can disrupt airflow and lead to reduced performance or complete failure of the turbocharger.
- Overboost or Overspeed: Operating the engine at excessively high boost pressures or speeds beyond the turbocharger’s designed limits can cause stress and damage to the turbocharger components. Overboosting or overspeeding can result from modifications to the engine, improper tuning, or malfunctions in the boost control system.
- Wastegate Malfunction: The wastegate is responsible for controlling the boost pressure produced by the turbocharger. A malfunctioning wastegate can lead to overboosting, where the turbocharger generates higher boost pressures than intended. This can cause strain on the turbocharger and eventually result in failure.
- Heat-related Issues: Turbochargers operate at high temperatures, and excessive heat can lead to various problems. Heat soak, caused by inadequate cooling systems or prolonged high-load operation, can result in oil coking, where oil residue solidifies and obstructs oil passages. High exhaust gas temperatures can also cause turbine housing cracking or warping.
- Seal or Gasket Failure: The turbocharger relies on various seals and gaskets to maintain proper sealing and prevent oil or exhaust gas leaks. If these seals or gaskets degrade, become damaged, or fail, it can lead to oil leaks, loss of boost pressure, and reduced turbocharger performance.
Replacing an old turbocharger with a new one:
Over time, the seals, bearings, and sensor in a turbocharger can fail. This can cause it to not function correctly. Symptoms of a worn/damaged turbocharger include:
- Check engine light on
- Increased fuel consumption
- Whining noise when boost applied
- Loss of engine power
Our skilled, talented mechanics can remove an old, worn or broken turbocharger from your vehicle, replacing it with a brand new one. This will improve your car’s driveability and engine power.
If you have not purchased a new turbocharger for your vehicle, we can oversee this process, recommending and finding the right turbo for your vehicle.
For reliable, high-quality installation of a new turbocharger in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!