Turbochargers are becoming more and more popular in modern cars. So how to take care of turbocharger cars?
In today’s auto industry, car manufacturers are trying to save fuel and cut emissions by boosting capacity with assistive technologies. Turbocharger systems have become one of the key solutions to ensuring that the power of the car is enough to meet the needs of users. The presence of turbochargers, once considered a luxury for high-performance vehicles, has been increasing in mass-market products. However, for the majority of users, the maintenance and repair of vehicles using turbocharger are quite strange. Here are some tips to help you maintain your turbocharger cars.
Turbocharged engines need constant care
1. Start the engine for a while before moving
You should warm your car up before driving to let the turbocharger system is fully filled up with lubricated oil. Warm-up time can last from 3 to 5 minutes to bring the oil up to temperature. The optimum temperature for oil to flow and lubricate the machine components is usually 80-95 degrees Celsius, however, in colder weather, the standby time may be slightly longer. Some vehicles equipped with active oil pump systems for turbocharging may not need too much timeout. Therefore, you should refer to the manufacturer's handbook to know whether your car has this feature.
2. Wait for the engine to idle before shutting down
On some high-end models, the manufacturer typically designs the pump system to keep running for a short period of time, even after the driver has shut the car down, to ensure that the system is cooled down to safety level. However, not all cars with superchargers are equipped with this feature. That’s why you should make sure your car returns to idle mode before turning off the ignition key. If you have just gone through a long journey or driven at a high speed, you should do this to avoid the gearbox and other components in the car from being shocked by the sudden stop.
What happens if the turbocharger turbine suddenly shuts off the cooling and lubrication system?
On the other hand, because the turbocharger is operating at extremely high speeds, it is necessary to let it slow down and cool down gradually while still providing enough lubricants as well as coolants instead of unexpectedly interrupting it. If the oil isn’t pumped up, the bearings and moving parts may suffer friction and wear-out faster. You can seek help from Turbo Timer products to set the idle time for the engine without the key.
3. Change the petrol filter every 15,000 km
While car users have the habit of changing the oil filter and air filter after a certain amount of time, many of them do not pay attention to the gasoline filter. With high-performance vehicles using turbocharged engines, it's important to replace the fuel filter at the right time (usually every 15,000km). Turbocharged engines are very sensitive to the fuel/gas ratio in the fuel mixture, so any changes in the component of this mixture may result in anomalies in operation, causing the system to break up easily. In addition, because the turbocharger operated by engine exhaust, all objects or contaminants through the filter lines will have a negative impact on the life of the turbocharger. So, having a clean petrol filter is very important. It is important to note that although the choice of a gas filter or oil filter can be quite comfortable, you should use the correct gasoline filter supplied by the manufacturer.
4. Do not use petrol with a lower octane than recommended by the manufacturer
The use of gasoline with octane levels lower than the manufacturer recommended may cause error ignition time, which makes some motors malfunction during operation (especially the turbocharger that was produced 5-7 years ago). Although the octane deviation does not directly affect the life of the turbocharger, it still has negative effects on the engine. The most noticeable signal is noise when operating.
Turbocharged engines are very sensitive to the quality of gasoline
5. Use a synthetic oil if possible
You should consider using high-quality synthetic oils (especially 100% synthetic) if your car is old. Many turbocharged cars use its engine oil to cool the turbocharger. If the quality of the oil is not guaranteed, it will lead to malfunctioning because the turbocharger is spinning at a high speed and requiring excellent lubrication. On some high-performance models, the manufacturer has installed for the car an auxiliary cooling unit (using coolant), but the role of the oil cannot be overlooked.
6. Maintain a turbocharged cooling system every 160,000 km
In addition to rinsing the engine cooling systems as usual, owners of supercharged vehicles should also remember to maintain the intercooler. Since this is quite difficult, you will probably need the help of a skilled technician to unload the entire Intercooler system, clean the grease and check for any abnormalities. If you have enough equipment, you should also measure the pressure of the cooling system to ensure that it is working properly.
7. Periodically inspect the high-pressure gas pipeline system
One of the most neglected components when maintaining a turbocharged engine is the high-pressure turbocharged air linking the turbocharger to the engine and cooling system. Most modern turbocharger systems operate at a pressure of more than 12 psi. Only a small problem in the pipeline can cause a drop in its pressure. In such situations, the turbocharged turbine will be forced to operate at a higher rotational speed to compensate for the loss.
Because the wastegate actuator, which is responsible for regulating the amount of gas for turbocharger propellers to reach the rotational speed required for pressure generation, cannot recognize the pressure leakage, it will force the turbine to spin faster until it reaches the required pressure level for the engine to operate normally. This causes the turbocharged turbine to operate continuously, resulting in significant deterioration in lifespan.
8. Do not move too slowly at a high gear
This is one of the most important things to consider, especially if you own a car with a turbocharged engine that is equipped with a steering wheel shift (or other manual shift). Moving too slowly at a high gear will cause all components of the transmission to be under great pressure, putting the car at risk.
You should not travel your turbocharged cars too slowly at high gear
9. Do not hit the accelerator pedal, especially when exiting the corner
One of the biggest mistakes people make when driving a turbocharged car is to try to pedal when they feel the car does not have enough traction due to Turbo Lag. This is especially dangerous if the car goes out of control when you are out of the corner, or in situations where you are in a crowded place.