Have you ever stopped to think why your car’s turbo breaks? What is the reason for these breaks? In Turbo3 we explain what its main breakdowns are, how to recognize them and how to extend the life of this little revolutionary.

In the 80s the turbo was introduced little by little in the automobile industry, mainly in sports cars, in order to increase the performance and especially the power of the engines.

Times have changed and most modern cars already equip turbocharging technologies to achieve both diesel and gasoline, more power with less displacement, and therefore lower fuel consumption, except for hybrid vehicles or those that are powered by electricity.

In the past, having a car with a turbo was an additional feature, today diesel cars are fitted as standard with an air turbocharger to gain greater strength, power and less pollution.

At Turbo3 as turbos experts, we want to help you and we want you to know that this technology requires certain care on the part of the driver, that if not done, it can result in very high bills, so we want to help you or at least prevent the turbo from deteriorating early.

1. Stop the vehicle to rest

You may not have a clue, but the stops we make to rest on the highway are one of the unknown enemies of your turbo. This does not mean that we cannot stop, far from it.

Let’s take an example: You have been driving for a few hours at 130 km / h with the children, the dog, the grandmother as well as all the luggage and the time has come to stop, you need a break, not only you but the whole family!

So you decide to turn off the engine just like that, all of a sudden and go to the service area for coffee.

Meanwhile, what happens to your turbo? Well, it is cooking in its own oil, shortening its useful life. Why is this situation? What can you do to avoid it?

Oil is the blood of the turbocharger, it is what lubricates the turbo components that is trapped inside. This oil carbonizes and forms solid deposits inside, which little by little shorten the life of the turbo.

The solution to avoid damaging your turbo is very simple. Do not turn off the engine as soon as you stop, let the engine idle for one or two minutes to ensure that its lubrication is correct, this will allow the turbocharger shaft to normalize its temperature, in addition to preventing the oil that bathes it from carbonizing when it is turned off unexpectedly, damaging it in turn.

2. The temperature of the stationary vehicle

When an engine has been stopped for several hours, its oil goes down to the crankcase in its entirety, you have to remember that the oil with the cold, its lubrication capacity is lower, so as soon as we start the car we must wait 3 or 4 minutes of what Otherwise, we will be causing enormous wear to the engine for a short time. The same goes for the turbo, lubricated by the same engine oil. An engine endures a lot of suffering, but accumulates wear and tear over time.

3. Long gears and turbo

Driving in high gears shortens the life of your engine as well as your turbo. I explain why:

Driving in very long gears generates a lot of dirt and this causes the intake ducts and the EGR valve itself to become clogged, the same happens with the turbo.

Generalizing that driving in the highest gear are all benefits has caused drivers to abuse this measure, leading their mechanics to operate below optimal working regimes. This maintained operation causes the theoretical fuel economy to become overstressing for the powertrain. Short-term savings in consumption turns into a fault in the medium or long term.

4. 95-octane and 98-octane gasoline

There are two different octane levels to adapt to the mechanical needs of each engine, so it is important to always refuel the appropriate one, if you want your engine and your turbo to work as promised.

What is octane? This scale refers to the antiknock capacity that fuels have when the mixture is compressed inside the cylinder of an engine.

How do you know if a car is 95 or 98? To know what type of gasoline your car uses, we usually find a sticker on the filler cap that tells us, but to be 100% sure we can always refer to the user manual of our vehicle.

95 gasoline is not bad to sit in an engine designed to burn 98 octane gasoline, but it does have the opposite effects. Using 95 octane gasoline implies that we are pouring gasoline into the cylinders that is less resistant to compression and, if the compression is too high inside the engine, the gasoline may explode before the ideal moment. This is not bad just because the detonation is leading up to ignition and reduces engine performance, it is bad because the explosion can force the piston down while it is still in the up phase.

5. The danger in the curves with your turbo

The turbocharger is a device that uses the kinetic energy of the exhaust gases to drive a turbine. This turbine, being connected through a shaft, in turn moves another turbine placed in the intake, causing the air-fuel mixture to enter the cylinder at a pressure slightly higher than atmospheric, or, far from it To understand it, we must forget about the technology of 21st century cars, on-board computer, electronic injection, driving aids, any parameter controlled by control units, …, and look at how cars were in 1982, the year it appeared The Renault 5 turbo 1st series, there were still many cars that did not exceed 65 hp (Seat 124, 850, …) and the 5 turbo arrives with its 870 kg and 112 hp, which right now may seem little but at that time it was excessive.

By not having any electronic regulation device, the turbos of that time were much more abrupt, they were not as progressive as the current ones, so someone who was not used to this type of driving when reaching the curve would brake, within the curve he would accelerate to control better the car but at that moment the turbo would deliver all the power at once, hitting the typical push that all of us who have driven these cars know, making a straight, uncontrolled the car and going off the road, but the turbo entered when stepping on the accelerator, not jump “alone.”