Turbocharger Problems & Solutions

For the amount that a turbocharger can increase your vehicle’s horsepower, it’s remarkably simple.

A turbocharger takes your exhaust and forces it through an air compressor. Once compressed, the air is fed back into the cylinder. All of that extra air means more fuel can burn—which creates more power.

While a turbo generates extra horsepower, it can also create more headaches. The extra components present additional opportunities for breakage all over the vehicle. If you believe your car may have been sold to you with a defect, reach out to us at 833.422.7529 for a free consultation and we will investigate the problem on your behalf.

Symptoms of Turbo Problems

If your vehicle has any of the following symptoms, you may need to roll into your dealership for a tune-up:

  1. The vehicle’s check engine light is on. When the turbo fails, it may trip the computer, which will illuminate the check engine light.
  2. Increased oil consumption. If your oil light turns or your dipstick is low, your turbo may have a leak.
  3. Exhaust smoke increases or turns colors. A broken turbo can both increase the amount of exhaust behind your car and change its color, often to a black smoke.
  4. Loud noises. If you hear something like a police siren coming from under the hood, it may be a loose pipe or fan blade inside the turbo.
  5. Decreased acceleration. When your turbo’s activated, you should feel extra pull when moving forward. If you feel a sudden decrease in power, your turbo may be the cause.  
  6. Your boost gauge shows a lower reading. Your turbocharged vehicle may have a gauge on the dashboard to indicate how much extra power it’s generating. If this gauge isn’t reading like it used to, you should have your turbo examined.

Turbo Problems: Causes and Solutions

Resolving your turbo issues may require a few different avenues—all depending on what the actual problem is. Here are a few starting points for you and your dealer:

Cracks and Bad Seals

Your turbo generates compressed air, so it’s crucial that all pipes and tubing connected to it are sealed properly, otherwise the resulting leak will interfere with efficiency.

Solution: Check the pipes and tubes connected to the turbo. Replace any that are defective.

Low Oil Quality

Dirty oil creates carbon deposits that enter the turbocharger and reduce the power it generates. In addition, oil can pick up tiny pieces of the engine as it deteriorates. These particles can enter the turbocharger and cause real damage.

Solution: Change your oil and oil filter on a regular basis.

Shocking the Turbocharger

Just as you need to cool down after a hard workout at the gym, your turbocharger needs to cool down after a long drive. If you turn the car off as soon as you park, the turbocharger will receive less oil, which causes extra stress.

Solution: After parking, allow your engine to idle for an extra minute before turning off the car.

Foreign Debris

As you drive, stones, sticks, and leaves may kick up underneath your vehicle. If any enter the turbo, they can damage the blades inside. Doing so reduces the turbocharger’s efficiency.

Solution: Avoid excessive debris on the road, and choose routes that are generally cleaner.

Quick Legal Assistance for Turbo Issues

If your vehicle has repeated turbo issues, you may have been sold a lemon. Trust the offices of Robison Lemon Law Group for assistance. We can help you navigate both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and state lemon laws to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.

Scroll to Top