Turbo Articles

Your source for informative turbocharger industry news and publications

Turbo Failure 101

What causes failure and how do I maintain my turbo?

The number one cause of most turbocharger failure can be traced back to the engine lubrication system.  The turbochargers bearings depend on a constant flow of clean oil to function properly.  Several factors can lead to the break down of the oiling system - including lack of maintenance, improper oil or filter, severe driving conditions, or in most cases simply the age of the vehicle can all contribute to degradation of the turbochargers oil supply.

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Turbocharger Fundamentals


An exhaust gas turbocharger is essentially an air pump that utilizes the engine’s exhaust gas energy to drive a turbine wheel. The turbine wheel comes attached to a shaft, the shaft is coupled to a compressor wheel and the two wheels function in unison. Functionality is simple, the exiting exhaust gas energy induces the turbine wheel, as the turbine rotates so does the compressor wheel. Both the turbine wheel and compressor wheel have an inducer and exducer. The compressor wheel inducer and exducer function in the same manor as the turbine but in reverse order. The compressor wheel inducer takes in ambient air and the exducer pressurizes that air and forces it into the engine.

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Turbocharger Identification

Locating the turbocharger identification number is the first step in the replacement process. The identification number is typically found on a small metal badge riveted to the compressor housing or center cartridge of the turbocharger. Its also common on late model turbochargers to find the identification number etched in the compressor housing cover.

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Turbo Installation

 Correctly installed turbos make significant contributions to performance, fuel efficiency and emissions control, but incorrect fitting can have serious, potentially harmful consequences, including ECU conflict and major engine damage. Turbochargers now entering the Aftermarket are extremely complex and require specialist skills for trouble-free installation.

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Troubleshooting Turbo Problems

If you think your vehicle might have a turbo-related problem, stop and diagnose before you replace. Turbo damage can often be a symptom of an underlying problem rather than the cause of the problem itself. You don't want to let that underlying issue go untreated so that it can destroy your new or rebuilt turbocharger next!

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Causes Of Turbocharger Failure

The causes for turbo damages usually fall into the following four categories: Foreign Object Damage, Lack of Lubrication, Oil Contamination, or Overspeed & Excessive Temperatures. We will examine each of these failure modes individually, below.

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Honeywell VNT™ Helps Audi Make History at Le Mans

Audi created motorsports history again at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, with its Honeywell turbocharged R18 e-tron quattro becoming the first-ever hybrid race car to take the checkered flag in the world-famous endurance event.

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One Million New Turbocharged Vehicles Projected To Hit U.S. Roads In 2012

PLYMOUTH, Mich.– As gas prices remain high this summer driving season, Honeywell Turbo Technologies is working with auto manufacturers to meet a dramatic increase in demand for affordable and fuel-efficient downsized turbocharged engines that save money at the pump without compromising performance.

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