7 Signs your Car has failing Turbo Charger | Working of Turbo

Car engine does not just consist of a single unit, but is a complete engine schematic, composed of different motor vehicle engine parts. Today, modern automobiles which derives power from the internal combustion engines and turbochargers operate on two principle parts.

A turbocharger, known as turbo in layman’s language is a system used by many car manufacturers to boost the power of the engine. Turbos are commonly used to deliver and drive power into small cars and even in large vehicles. All the manufacturer offers a turbocharged model in their manufacturing line up.

It means they can provide small engine parts that produce the same power output as big vehicles while also increasing fuel efficiency. There are possibilities to find signs of a bad turbo functioning, or turbo failure symptoms, meaning it needs repair or replacement.

The working of turbo

Power is the most important driving factor of a car, and it can be achieved using a turbocharger, but how does a turbocharger work? Turbo is the machine that produces power that drives the wheels, and combines fuel and air. Turbos supply more air to the fuel by making use of the exhaust spin an air pump for proper combustion.

The air pump pushes extra air into the engine cylinder, allowing them to burn more fuel and produce more power than in normal circumstances. A sign of a bad turbo can be noted here when fuel exhausts are not good. Turbos work at a high speed of 250,000rpm which means they operate under high pressures and temperatures.

Therefore, particularly turbochargers are paired and combined with cooling systems to cool the oil and hot air.

Signs of turbo failure symptoms

There can be several reasons pointing to signs of bad turbo. In severe cases, engine spare parts can replace it. However here are a few points that can help you understand the signs and work.

1. Loss of power

If you notice any loss of power in terms that your vehicle is not accelerating as powerfully as it should or it is reacting slow, there is an issue. A similar case can be where the turbocharged car is not able to handle high speeds or is not able to reach a certain speed.

2. Whining engine

One of the most bizarre advantages with a turbocharger is where it makes the engine silent because it muffles the sound of the air intake. If you hear a loud, whining noise, it can be a full-proof sign of a bad turbo, and a symptom of turbo failure. The fault can get more serious hence there needs to be a professional treatment supply to the vehicle. If you notice such activities take it to the service center for repair.

Also, it is evident how an engine sound normally. If the engine sounds anything but its usual self, there is a problem. If you hear or see vibrations in your car or hear coughing, slipping sounds, it is an indication of a rough turbo taking course. This can occur possibly due to a damaged spark plug resulting from a clogged air filter.

3. Exhaust smoke

Insufficient air supply can result in some different fuel exhaust exiting out. This results in some of the fuel not burning properly, and exits of black smoke from the exhaust pipe. For this, you need to get a turbocharger replaced or cleaned a service center.

There can also be possibilities of flame at the end of the exhaust, which happens when excess fuel in pipes ignites.

4. Check the engine light

The car engines are a structure of various gallons of air with only one gallon of gasoline to power a car. Deficiency in air can result in deposits accumulating on the engine, which can trigger your engine light.

If the light comes on, you should check your turbocharger to see, if the symptom is rising from there. Most computer diagnostics can pick the signs of a bad turbo and faults.

5. Oil and lubrication parts

The function of the oil pump is to distribute oil in various parts of the engine for better lubrication, cooling, and cleaning. Oil is pumped from the oil sump and both of these are interconnected to each other. This brings pure oil for the engines function. In terms of the turbocharger, it needs a constant source for the flow of clean and good oil. Poor oil provision or build-up of contaminants damages the inside parts of the turbocharger and might need parts like Hyundai engine parts for a permanent replacement.

6. Damaged seal parts

The seal between the compressor and the engine protects the oil from seeping out in the machinery. If this seal is broken by any chance, it can cause great damage to the automotive parts. Due to this leak of oil, turbo will work harder to increase air pressure.

If you find anything weird or wrong about the engine working, it can be a sign of failed turbo. This can also be termed as an over-speeding failure. This will ultimately reduce the overall efficiency of the turbo and trouble the system.

7. Unnecessary deposits

A turbocharger is importantly made of two parts, the compressor at the front and the turbine at the back.

Sometimes foreign materials like dust, particles, pollen, dirt, or even small stones can enter the turbocharger, resulting into a turbo failure. The problem in turbine therefore can be taken as the sign of a bad turbo. The damage caused due to ignorance of this small sign can also result in serious damage to the engine parts most likely. The efficiency of the turbo will get decreased eventually and should be replaced immediately.

Can one drive with a bad turbo?

With the accommodation of so many car engine parts, each having a function and requirement of its own, and majorly being connected to each other, it is obvious that there can be some problems emerging in them.

There are some common engine problems that can be solved by an individual having good and appropriate engine parts knowledge, the rest of them will need replacement and mechanics indulges like for turbochargers. The common question that arises is that, is it possible to drive with a blown turbo symptom? Is it safe? And more. The answer is yes, however here is what needs to be taken into consideration for doing so.

  • As soon as you spot any turbo failure, you should get it checked and serviced from a technician who knows well about the complex machinery of a turbo and engine parts.
  • If you notice symptoms like loss of power, slower acceleration, difficulty in reaching a certain speed, it is a strong sign of a bad turbo.
  • One can notice blue or black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, the engine dashboard light can blink, then immediately call the service center. Avoid driving it yourself.
  • Following the question of how to know if the turbo is bad? You can check for engine oil leaks or lack of lubrication due to the rattling sound of the engine.
  • It is dangerous to drive if such condition persists, hence avoid driving when you experience such conditions, and immediately call the best technician or service center for getting the problem solved.
  • Unless you an experienced technician or a knowledge holder about engine parts yourself, do not attempt repairing replacing the turbocharger yourself, as it causes collateral damage to other parts, and might cause more trouble than solving one.


Motor parts issues can occur to anyone, but the clever thing is to recognize it and contact an expert immediately. Turbochargers are key components to the automobile. The turbocharger is connected to a series of other parts and components. Hence if damage occurs to one, it creates a chain of reaction to the others.

The good part is that turbochargers are replaceable and with Smart Parts Exports, it possible to get reliable quality parts for replacements. Take good care of your automobile so that it gives you good drives every time. Remember to keep a check on all the signs mentioned for turbo failures and enjoy the ride.

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