Preliminary Turbo Diagnose – Foreign Objects

Preliminary Turbo Diagnose – Foreign Objects

Turbocharger is a compressor that compresses air, forcing more air into the engine’s combustion chamber to create more power. It operates under high temperature and high rpm, therefore if any foreign object enters the turbocharger, the turbocharger would be damaged.

Signs of damaged turbo include noises from the turbo (when operating) and loss of performance. Examine the turbine, compressor, or bearing housing for foreign objects, this will cause the rotating wheels and/or shaft to be impacted. Make sure to check carefully as in severe cases fragmentation of internal components under very high rpm will cause irreversible damage to the engine, exhaust system, and/or intercooler.

Foreign objects may enter the turbocharger either through the compressor end, turbine end, or oil inlet. Here are some common scenarios for reference.

Damage to Compressor Wheel

  • Worn or dirty air cleaner allowing particles through, check also loose connections to turbo
  • Damaged piping and connecting causing foreign objects to enter intake
  • Worn gaskets with particles entering the intake
  • Previous turbo parts/fragments not fully removed
  • Screws, nuts and bolts entering new compressor due to negligence

Damage to Turbine Wheel

  • Debris from exhaust manifold, turbine housing, or engine parts
  • Burned fuel, oil particles, oil sludge, burned additives particles, or coke debris from the combustion, contaminating the exhaust