Today, almost every car is fitted with at least one turbocharger and many drivers are not aware of its existence, until failure begins to take place leaving you a nasty bill.
Below is a list of way to protect your turbocharger against premature failure, follow these simple driving tips and it’ll help you:
1. When starting your car from cold, do not race the engine immediately from idle. Allow between 5-10 seconds for the engine oil to reach the turbocharger.
2. Never operate the engine under full power until the engine oil has warmed thoroughly. When the lubricant is cold, it remains thick and gloopy and cannot lubricate the turbocharger effectively, until warmed and thinned.
3. Old and tired oil cannot protect the turbocharger adequately. Therefore, do not extend the oil change interval beyond that recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
4. Low-grade oil cannot protect the turbocharger adequately. Therefore, always use oil of not only the correct viscosity but also to the correct quality API specification (the details are noted within the vehicle handbook and also on the sides of canisters).
5. A turbocharger works its hardest during sustained high speeds. After a long motorway drive, it is possible that a turbocharger might be glowing orangey-red hot. Shutting the engine off immediately after a long run, such as when stopping at a motorway service station, might cause severe damage, because the internal turbine will not have slowed down sufficiently, plus the extreme heat generated may not been given sufficient opportunity to dissipate. Always allow the engine to idle for at least 30 seconds, prior to switching off the ignition. If your car is equipped with ‘stop-start’ technology, disable it in this instance, should it be switchable.
6. Never ‘blip’ the throttle, prior to switching off the ignition. This makes the turbocharger’s turbines accelerate but, when the ignition is cut, you starve the still-rotating turbine of lubricant. This can damage the bearings and increases the risk of premature failure substantially.