Diesel engines have evolved over the years, from using ultra-low sulfur diesel to biodiesel, and from enhancing DPF filters to lessen emissions and more efficient common rail injections systems to increase maximum miles per gallon. Finally, turbochargers have an induction system set to give you a boost in power and make your engine run more efficiently.
All these changes are awesome only if you’re taking excellent care of your engine to help it run at peak performance. But then, how do you ensure that you’re protecting your car’s turbo engine, especially from wear and tear? Turbochargers are more intricate than naturally aspiring engines, and they require special treatment to keep them performing at their optimum level. Regular maintenance and a few changes to your driving style are needed to take care of your engine to avoid your car breaking down and costly repair bills.
Here are some tips to help maintain your turbo engine and protect it from harmful wear and tear.
Changing your oil regularly
Turbo applications are made up of moving parts that spin at incredibly high speeds and work under high heat and pressure. This means that they require a constant flow of quality engine oil to lubricate intake and outlet fans and compression valves to help reduce wear and tear and perform at peak levels. Engine oil is essential, and some high-end turbo systems come with a separate oil reservoir to tap into, which circulates oil through the turbocharger.
Oil additives are also good for turbochargers and oil systems in diesel cars due to the amount of heat these engines create. The oil additive will ensure the parts are lubricated, and the intricate parts stay running for a long time.
To get the best out of your turbocharger, ensure that you change the oil every 5000 miles. The filters are also another important area you should change regularly.
Use the best fuel you can afford.
Fuel has continuously been changing from ultra-low sulfur diesel to biodiesel. These are the main types of fuel you’ll see at a fuel station or truck stop. No matter which one is readily available, use the best one to avoid engine knock.
It’s also important to use fuel additives to help keep your injectors flowing at full capacity with an excellent spray pattern. Ensure that the fuel additive you use can demulsify water. Most additives try to burn the water through the injection system, but it makes it even harder for your diesel engine, which already has a fuel water separator. The separator helps take water out of your diesel fuel and a fuel additive that demulsifies works best. Fuel additives are also great for avoiding fuel gelling. This helps especially during winter and will help reduce instances of your engine failing to start.
Proper engine warm-up
Many are aware of this, but it’s more vital for a turbocharged engine. You should never run your vehicle hard until it has fully warmed up. It would be great if you got your engine running to operating temperature before going at it. The most common misconception is that if the cooling gauge is in the middle, you’re good to go. This doesn’t seem right. Your coolant warms up a bit faster than your engine oil, and if your engine oil isn’t warm enough, it can harm your engine. This is more vital in a turbocharged car because oil is sent to the turbo. If it’s not at operating temperature, the parts won’t be adequately lubricated, which will eventually cause problems with the turbo system.
During the first few minutes of driving a cold car, go easy on the accelerator pedal to limit the strain put on the oil pump, and prevent the turbo system’s unnecessary failure. Please wait at least 15 minutes before going full throttle, or keep an eye on the oil gauge when it’s at operating temperatures.
Let your engine cool down after driving.
Turbochargers produce a lot of heat when running, and if you shut down your engine immediately, the residual heat will boil the oil in the turbo system. This will lead to a buildup of carbon particles that will cause premature engine wear and corrosion. After cruising, get in the habit of letting your engine idle for a couple of minutes enough to cool down the turbo, so that you can switch off the engine without cooking the engine oil.
It’s also vital not to blip the throttle before turning off the ignition when parking or when you want to hear the whizz of the turbo. Pressing down on the accelerator causes the turbo turbines to spin when the engine is switched off, and the flow of oil lubricating these moving parts will stop, but the turbines won’t stop spinning. This, in turn, will strain the bearings, causing friction and heat buildup, causing the turbo system to fail. Ensure that your engine cools down before turning it off.
Use your gears to overtake, and don’t go beyond the limits of the turbocharger when cruising.
Even though a turbocharger gives even the smallest engines more power and torque, you should still downshift when overtaking and don’t rely on the turbo for all the vehicle’s accelerating needs. Whether you’re on a hill or accelerating into the fast lane, downshifting into lower gear is better than relying on the turbocharger. Using a combination of gears and the turbo boost will limit wear and tear of the turbo system.
When cruising around town, try not to ram at the accelerator. Instead, it’s best to slowly ease the power on giving the turbocharger a chance to spin freely and use the accelerator sparingly to maintain your speed. While turbochargers are rigorously tested and should last long, regular bouts of aggressive driving could overwhelm the system and cause costly issues. Not only will gentle cruising increase your turbocharger’s lifetime, but it will also give you an excellent fuel economy.
Ensure that you follow the tips to ensure your turbo engine is running at optimum levels, and if you need professional help, go to Goldfarb INC.