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5 Common Causes of Turbocharger Breakdown

5 Common Causes of Turbocharger Breakdown

If you’re into your vehicle performance, then a turbocharger is a terrific way to give your car some extra grunt. Designed to boost engine power by forcing compressed air into the combustion chamber, they not only help your vehicle produce more power but greater efficiency too. However, like every part on your vehicle issues can often arise that affect your vehicle’s overall performance.

Engine lacks power

If your turbocharged engine is lacking its usual power output, it may have something to do with your turbo. A collapsed or restricted air pipe before the turbocharger may need to be replaced or repaired due to damage or obstruction, or there may be damage to the crossover pipe (turbo to inlet manifold). This may also need to be replaced. A foreign object may be caught and need to be removed from your air intake piping between the cleaner and the turbocharger or you could have an air leak somewhere. It may also be the result of oil degrading or breaking down. Regular changes of a full synthetic oil are most suitable for the majority of turbocharged vehicles.

Black smoke

Notice any black smoke pluming from your exhaust? Amongst other things, it may mean the flanges, clamp or bolts attached to your turbocharger are loose. Make sure all connecting hardware has been inspected for damage, ensuring everything fits snugly according to the manufacturer's’ specifications.


If you’re finding your vehicle’s engine is running a little noisier than usual, it could be due to a number of factors. These include the turbine housing being damaged or restricted in some way, collapsed or damaged pipes leading in or out of the turbocharger or issues with the air cleaner element. Inspect for cracks or wear and replace any components if necessary.

Blue smoke

Blue smoke can be the result of a number of issues, from worn valve seals to head gasket failure. When it comes to your turbocharger, it can mean there is a seal that is worn causing air leaks. Ensure the oil feed is working adequately and that the drain line has been installed correctly.

Excessive oil consumption

If you find your vehicle is using oil and you are constantly having to top up the oil level, it could be due to a leak. Make sure the turbocharger flanges, clamps and bolts aren’t loose, and that there is no seal leakage.

For more information or advice about any turbocharger issues you may have, contact a member of the team in Perth today on 9259 3000.

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