Unit 7, Phoenix Industrial Park Eastleigh SO50 6PQ Hampshire

Common turbo issues

Commonly, turbocharger issues are caused due to oil/lubrication, dirt and foreign objects, temperature irregularities, leaks, cracks and poor seals, wear and tear, moisture ingress and smoking.

Here are some of the more common turbocharger troubleshooting tips:

Abnormal Turbocharger Noise

If your turbocharger is making an abnormal noise, it can be due to an unbalanced rotor assembly, damaged turbine or compressor blades, a bent rotor, defective bearings, incorrect bearing assembly or the rotor rubbing. Abnormal noises are common issues with turbochargers.

Black Smoke

A turbocharger producing black smoke can be caused by the following issues: a dirty air cooler element, a collapsed or restricted air pipe, a restricted or damaged exhaust manifold, a foreign object between the cooler and the turbocharger, a foreign object in the exhaust system, a cracked inlet manifold, loose or missing gaskets, loose connections, restricted or damaged turbine housing, a worn journal bearing, dirt build-up behind the turbine wheel, carbon build-up on the compressor casing, fuel pump malfunction, worn or damaged injectors, burned valves, worn piston rings, incorrect valve timing.

Casing Leaks

Some of the causes of casing leaks are: Cracks produced by thermal stress due to the inlet temperature of cooling water or airlock being too low, having insufficient water flow or excessive scaling of water-spaces. They can also be caused by sulphuric acid corrosion after a moisture ingress or erosion due to fly ash or unburned fuel particles.

High Boost Air Pressure

High boost air pressure is a common cause of turbocharger failure. Some of the reasons for high boost air pressure are an incorrect pressure gauge reading, a dirty, damaged or clogged nozzle ring, faulty engine injectors, higher than expected engine output due to overload.

Dark Bearing Oil

Dark bearing oil is a symptom of turbocharger issues. It can be caused by exhaust gas entering the bearing housing, blocked sealing air passages, worn or damaged rotor labyrinth seals, worn down casing sealing bore or too large labyrinth clearances.

Excessive Oil

Oil leaks can be experienced on the turbine end or on the compressor end of the turbocharger.

Turbine end: plugged crankcase breathers, foreign object in the exhaust system, turbocharger flange,clamps or bolts loose, restricted oil feed line, restricted oil drain line, turbocharger seal leakage, worn journal bearing, excessive carbon buildup on compressor casing, excessive engine pre-oil, plugged oil filter

Compressor end: plugged crankcase breathers, foreign object in the exhaust system, turbocharger flanges, clamps or bolts are loose, restricted oil feed line, turbocharger seal leakage, worn journal bearing, plugged oil-filter, boost control malfunction.

Lack of Engine Power

If you’re experiencing a lack of engine power, it’s a clear indication of a turbocharger issue. A lack of engine power can be due to a dirty air cooler element, a collapsed or restricted air pipe, restricted or damaged exhaust manifold, a foreign object between the cooler and the turbocharger, a foreign object in the exhaust system, a cracked inlet manifold, gaskets loose or missing, connections loose, restricted or damaged turbine housing, worn journal bearing, dirt build-up behind the turbine wheel, carbon build-up on the compressor casing, a fuel pump malfunction, worn or damaged injectors, burned valves, worn piston rings.

High Exhaust Gas Temperatures

High exhaust gas temperatures can be caused by the air temperature after the cooler being too high, the air manifold or exhaust manifold leaking, fuel injection faults or late injection or non-sealing nozzles, choked turbocharger filters, fouled compressor wheels, high exhaust back pressure, blocked economiser, damaged turbine blades, damaged nozzle ring, deposits on the inlet or exhaust valves.

Lubrication Oil Leaks

Lubrication oil leaks can often cause issues with your turbocharger. They can be caused by excessive clearances in labyrinth sealing, a defective thrust ring or locating ring, excessive pressure in oil discharge or crankcase, failing air seal, dirty oil filter, too high oil inlet temperature, defective oil gauge or a loose oil feeding plug on the compressor side.

Surging Boost Pressure

Surging boost pressure is indicative of a problem with your turbocharger. Some common causes of this are low air inlet temperature, clogged inlet and exhaust valves, a too drastic pressure drop across the cooler, a clogged protection grid before the turbine, a clogged nozzle ring, damaged diffuser vanes.

Sluggish Starting

A common symptom of turbocharger issues is a sluggish start up or run-out noise. Some causes of this are: a dirt rotor, damaged bearings or foreign bodies inside the turbocharger, turbine blades touching the shroud ring, bearing clearance issues, incorrect assembling clearances.

If you are experiencing any of these issues and would like more information,
please get in touch today!