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Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
28-06-2019, 08:42 AM
Post: #1
Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
Turbochargers are critical components to an engine’s reliable operation, correct emission production, and under-bonnet thermal management.

The turbocharger, although situated outside the engine, is fed the same oil as the engine from the very engine’s oil pump. The oil is fed through an oil feed line, which is the main “artery” feeding the life blood to the turbocharger.

While modern turbochargers are extremely reliable components in most new cars, normally lasting as long as a vehicle’s engine’s, most OEMs design turbochargers to last around 300 000km in terms of service in a single life cycle.

“But, many turbochargers don’t see this, due to engine maintenance-related issues,” says Chris Kambouris, founder of TurboDirect SA.

He cites lack of maintenance, late maintenance, incomplete maintenance - all of which will shorten the life of your turbocharger. “Correct, timeous maintenance will prolong the life of your turbocharger. There are four main ‘killers’ of turbochargers which can easily be addressed and managed in order to protect and prolong your turbocharger’s life, and these are never mentioned to you by any vehicle manufacturers, or garages,” he says.

The following are the four ‘big killers’ of turbochargers:

1. Lack of lubrication (oil starvation).

2. Oil contamination.

3. Foreign object damage (debris impact).

4. Exceptional operating conditions.

Kambouris advises that you service your vehicle on time, every time: “Also, use only genuine parts, including oil filters, air filters and the correct grade of oil (check the owner’s manual for this, there’s a very specific reason for this).

One big rule

“Allow your engine to idle for a short while to stabilise temperatures before shutting off the engine, or drive the last few kilometres of your journey slowly, ‘off boost’, to allow air flow to start to cool down the engine and turbo before you arrive at your destination. And, finally, replace the oil feed line at specific intervals depending on the vehicle make and application,” Kambouris says.

Handy maintenance tips:

1. Service your vehicle on time every time

2. Use only genuine parts including oil filters, air filters and the correct grade of oil (check the owner’s manual for this, there is a very specific reason for this)

3. Allow the engine to idle for a short while to stabilize temperatures before shutting off the engine, and drive the last few km’s of your journey slowly, and “off boost” to allow air flow to start to cool down the engine and turbo before you arrive at your destination.

4. Replace the oil feed line at specific intervals depending on the vehicle’s make and application - VW diesels, around 90k-100k kilometers, most French cars at around 65k-80k kilometers, German marques (BMW, Merc, Audi etc.) at around 100k-120k kilometers as a preventative measure.

5. When replacing a turbocharger always replace the oil feed line, oil, oil filter and air filter.

6. Regularly check the operation of the PCV valve and DPF as well as the EGR valve in your car, as these have a direct effect on the reliable operation of the turbocharger.

7. If your engine has a worn engine (blow-by past the rings) your turbocharger will also give you problems.

8. Make sure the engines breathers are not blocked, blocked breathers will cause a turbocharger to “leak oil” and smoke.

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28-06-2019, 10:01 AM (This post was last modified: 28-06-2019 10:03 AM by kilotango.)
Post: #2
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
(28-06-2019 08:42 AM)SubLoaded Wrote:  ------------------------
Handy maintenance tips:

---------------

2. Use only genuine parts including oil filters, air filters and the correct grade of oil (check the owner’s manual for this, there is a very specific reason for this)

3. Allow the engine to idle for a short while to stabilize temperatures before shutting off the engine, and drive the last few km’s of your journey slowly, and “off boost” to allow air flow to start to cool down the engine and turbo before you arrive at your destination.

4. Replace the oil feed line at specific intervals depending on the vehicle’s make and application - VW diesels, around 90k-100k kilometers, most French cars at around 65k-80k kilometers, German marques (BMW, Merc, Audi etc.) at around 100k-120k kilometers as a preventative measure.

----------

SOURCE

its all very good advice. as a current VW mk4 TDI (verteiler pump, not PD) owner with a car close to 260k now on the original turbo and turbo oil line, i can confirm that at least on the older VW's, turbo timers and that cool down period arent too serious especially for town driving.

when the car passed 80,000km's, i used only fuchs GT1 synthetic in the car, and serviced every 8k or so. i used the locally available Fram or GUD filters and made sure not to use engine flush at any stage.

engine flush can dislodge oil sludge particles and cause blockage. the recommended way to remove really old oil is to replace with cheap oil gradually (i.e run for 1k) then change oil again to new oil.
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28-06-2019, 10:07 AM
Post: #3
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
(28-06-2019 08:42 AM)SubLoaded Wrote:  Turbochargers are critical components to an engine’s reliable operation, correct emission production, and under-bonnet thermal management.

The turbocharger, although situated outside the engine, is fed the same oil as the engine from the very engine’s oil pump. The oil is fed through an oil feed line, which is the main “artery” feeding the life blood to the turbocharger.

While modern turbochargers are extremely reliable components in most new cars, normally lasting as long as a vehicle’s engine’s, most OEMs design turbochargers to last around 300 000km in terms of service in a single life cycle.

“But, many turbochargers don’t see this, due to engine maintenance-related issues,” says Chris Kambouris, founder of TurboDirect SA.

He cites lack of maintenance, late maintenance, incomplete maintenance - all of which will shorten the life of your turbocharger. “Correct, timeous maintenance will prolong the life of your turbocharger. There are four main ‘killers’ of turbochargers which can easily be addressed and managed in order to protect and prolong your turbocharger’s life, and these are never mentioned to you by any vehicle manufacturers, or garages,” he says.

The following are the four ‘big killers’ of turbochargers:

1. Lack of lubrication (oil starvation).

2. Oil contamination.

3. Foreign object damage (debris impact).

4. Exceptional operating conditions.

Kambouris advises that you service your vehicle on time, every time: “Also, use only genuine parts, including oil filters, air filters and the correct grade of oil (check the owner’s manual for this, there’s a very specific reason for this).

One big rule

“Allow your engine to idle for a short while to stabilise temperatures before shutting off the engine, or drive the last few kilometres of your journey slowly, ‘off boost’, to allow air flow to start to cool down the engine and turbo before you arrive at your destination. And, finally, replace the oil feed line at specific intervals depending on the vehicle make and application,” Kambouris says.

Handy maintenance tips:

1. Service your vehicle on time every time

2. Use only genuine parts including oil filters, air filters and the correct grade of oil (check the owner’s manual for this, there is a very specific reason for this)

3. Allow the engine to idle for a short while to stabilize temperatures before shutting off the engine, and drive the last few km’s of your journey slowly, and “off boost” to allow air flow to start to cool down the engine and turbo before you arrive at your destination.

4. Replace the oil feed line at specific intervals depending on the vehicle’s make and application - VW diesels, around 90k-100k kilometers, most French cars at around 65k-80k kilometers, German marques (BMW, Merc, Audi etc.) at around 100k-120k kilometers as a preventative measure.

5. When replacing a turbocharger always replace the oil feed line, oil, oil filter and air filter.

6. Regularly check the operation of the PCV valve and DPF as well as the EGR valve in your car, as these have a direct effect on the reliable operation of the turbocharger.

7. If your engine has a worn engine (blow-by past the rings) your turbocharger will also give you problems.

8. Make sure the engines breathers are not blocked, blocked breathers will cause a turbocharger to “leak oil” and smoke.

SOURCE

informative postThumbs

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28-06-2019, 10:14 AM
Post: #4
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
What about the impact of stop-start technology on turbos?

I kill the stop-start and let my car idle - especially after a hard run, or in traffic when temperatures are elevated.

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28-06-2019, 10:21 AM (This post was last modified: 28-06-2019 10:23 AM by NtandoN.)
Post: #5
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
(28-06-2019 10:14 AM)MR_Y Wrote:  What about the impact of stop-start technology on turbos?

I kill the stop-start and let my car idle - especially after a hard run, or in traffic when temperatures are elevated.

Interesting point this. What's happens if you don't disengage the stop-start function? Does that mean in the long term there's damage to the turbo?

I suppose manufactures aren't worried about what happens beyond warranty and motorplan periods Iono

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28-06-2019, 02:00 PM
Post: #6
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
I think I will Replace the oil feed line thanksPraise
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07-08-2019, 11:48 PM
Post: #7
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
I have done all these things and always serviced my car with BMW (even post-motorplan), yet here we are ... 77,000km and the turbo sounds/whines like a siren.

BMW wants 30K to replace the turbo - any advice on where to go for an aftermarket unit and what to look out for and/or avoid?

Out of motor plan ...
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08-08-2019, 01:46 AM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2019 01:54 AM by osiris.)
Post: #8
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
since hitting reply doesn't quote anymore ill just put your comment in quotes lol

Quote:I have done all these things and always serviced my car with BMW (even post-motorplan), yet here we are ... 77,000km and the turbo sounds/whines like a siren.

BMW wants 30K to replace the turbo - any advice on where to go for an aftermarket unit and what to look out for and/or avoid?

I can give you a few reasons why this has happened:

A: your using 5w30 engine oil in a South African climate following a European service interval. (5w30 should be banned from south Africa for turbo charged cars, there is allot of info on the net regarding why I have said this, do some research into oils and you will see why. "I can tell you though it won't be banned because its brilliant at wrecking engines and turbos in exceptionally quick time frames especially if you follow 20k - 25k service intervals! which is a flipping good business model.") 5w30 works great if you change your oil very regularly, as in every 2500km - 4000km especially during a hot summer, if you drive your car hard drain the oil after 2500km and look at the state and viscosity, it will be a similar viscosity to water which means its doing nothing to protect your engine. Our hot climate causes our engines to run allot hotter than they would in Europe which breaks down oils exceptionally fast!

B: BMW probably fitted your last set of turbos - please view my turbo replacement DIY and have a look at all the stuff up's BMW caused when fitting my turbos, you can also click the link in my signature to see other things they caused like not replacing engine oil after replacing turbos but only topping it up, no one who has two brain cells fits new turbos and oil lines yet keeps the old oil, you have to be brain dead. you can also see the mechanic I went to before BMW who caused a plethora of stuff ups prior to BMW. I don't know who did more damage though, bmw or Autoworx, I think they both just as bad.

C: Your turbos are from BMW which means they are refurbished turbos with cast internals not billet internals and balancing is done on the back of a monkeys arse. I can confirm this having gone through two sets of BMW replacement turbos in 4 months! I am now on my 3rd set of turbos in 2 years! Fun.

D: Do not take your turbos to BMW for a "replacement" two sets of turbos of mine failed due to bad balancing and both sets I bought straight from BMW and in both cases only one of the turbos failed and both times it was the notorious siren sound!

E: Take your current turbos to Gabby at Fastec or Chris at KB turbos and there is some other place I can't think of right now and have those places rebuild your turbos correctly and then balance them correctly, you will receive a balance sheet for both and I can assure you those turbos will then last.

F: I am unable to recommend anyone to fit your turbos which is why this time I did the job myself. Not even BMW seems to know what a torque wrench is hence why I had to call the thread king to remove head studs as most were hugely over torqued and not to mention some of the studs were just double sided bolts and this was from BMW themselves. By the way, the second time they assessed my car for a failed set of turbos they had my car for a week! then after a week of phoning me to confirm the turbos are howling! The day they told me they were going to go ahead with the repair they phoned me again and said, sorry BMW SA says the sound is normal. So I said cool lets go to the showroom floor and have a listen to all the cars and see if any of them make ambulance sounds, They wouldn't do this obviously and told me sorry wait for them to break properly then bring the car back. That's when I said no thank you I'll do this myself this time.

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08-08-2019, 06:21 AM
Post: #9
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
Hi Osiris..very interesting points you made.
What viscosity oil would you suggest if not 5w30? Lets say we are talking about the bmw n63 v8 engine .
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08-08-2019, 08:43 AM
Post: #10
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
Excellent information... Thumbs

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08-08-2019, 09:46 AM
Post: #11
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
another point which is not mentioned here is :

Boost pipes / Boost leaks.
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08-08-2019, 10:07 AM
Post: #12
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
Quote:Hi Osiris..very interesting points you made.
What viscosity oil would you suggest if not 5w30? Lets say we are talking about the bmw n63 v8 engine .

I haven't looked into that engine but after doing a quick google search I can see its a twin turbo engine however being that it is a V8 it will produce allot of heat which is the destroyer of oil viscosity, also being that it is a M engine clearances are probably tight so honestly I would be hesitant on what oil to suggest to you but my gut feeling says it would be the same as most other turbo charged BMW engines which would mean that a 5w40 would be ideal as that's always what I suggest using in BMW turbo applications in South Africa. non turbo M engines usually suggest 10w60 due to how tight clearances are on the NA M engines like E92 M3 and E46 M3 etc, Tight clearances = better performance but also = more heat so oil viscosity needs to stay within tolerance levels to give the best protection to moving parts.

If you were in Europe I would say use 5w30 and in winter even 0w30 if you were further up north where winters are iced up. but in SA it breaks down too quickly.

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08-08-2019, 03:28 PM
Post: #13
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
Thank you very much...have to say I absolutely agree with you.
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08-08-2019, 11:42 PM
Post: #14
RE: Four things that will kill your car's turbocharger
Great post on turbos -thanks a lot. Have never had a turbo charged engine but I've read this kind of advice a few times in different places so I trust your judgement. Thumbs

OSIRIS -couldn't agree more with you on 5W 30 oils not suitable for high performance engines. My E46 engines burnt a lot of oil when i used this and needed about 3l top ups between services (10k intervals) and oil was very black and like treacle at 5k. When i switched to 10W 60 i had peace after that- no top ups and viscosity seems to hold up better in our very humiid conditions 30 degree plus temps. So I've stuck with this for years and one car is on 180k mileage and another on 240k and both run like new.
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