Just because the turbocharger is powerful doesn't mean that it can go on for years without a need for maintenance. Much like regular powertrains, one the best ways to prolong the service life and the remarkable performance of such device is through preventive maintenance. Turbocharger maintenance is an easy feat as most of the processes involved are part of the vehicle's regular regimen; you just need to adjust the interval of some procedures, making them more frequent than what's required for an ordinary engine.
If you're one of those drivers who wish to get way more than their money's worth from their ride's turbocharger, check out these helpful tips to add more years to the life of your upgraded powertrain:
Properly warm up your car.meaning the engine oil.before driving off.
The very first thing that could put so much stress on the turbocharger is the bad habit of driving off right after the engine started. Remember that no matter how high-tech your engine is, its turbo needs oil for lubrication as soon as it kicks in and spins a lot of time faster than the engine itself. If oil isn't delivered efficiently and you immediately drive off, you are risking the life of the bearings in your turbo. To keep this from happening, let your car idle first for 3-4 minutes before you drive off, if that's the first time you drive the vehicle that day. Warming up gives the engine the ideal temperature for it to flow well and provide proper lubrication to the vital components of the turbocharger.
Allow the engine to idle for a few minutes before turning off the key.
Before shutting off the engine, a turbocharged vehicle needs to idle first for a few minutes. You see, once you turn the key off, the turbocharger doesn't automatically stop spinning. In fact, it continues to spin for a minute or more. If the engine is already shut off by the time the turbo is still spinning, engine oil won't be properly delivered, therefore causing wear. If you allow your engine to idle first for not more than two minutes, the turbo will have enough time to slow down before you shut the engine off.
Perform more frequent oil changes and replace the oil filter at every oil change.
The only way to eliminate accumulated sludge, moisture, and acids inside the crankcase is to change the engine oil. But, the new oil won't be immaculately clean when it gets into the engine if you are using the same old filter with trapped dirt, carbon, and metal particles. So, it is a good idea that you replace your oil filter during every oil change. This way, you can be sure that only clean oil gets into the engine and the turbo.
Change your air filter regularly.
The air filter is also something you should look into as it affects the quality of air that gets into the engine. Don't forget that the turbocharger's compressor wheel rotates at a very high rate and can get damaged when it gets in direct contact with another object, even small particulates, while spinning. To prevent this from happening, have your air filter replaced or cleaned regularly. It is also important to make sure that the air filter housing and other components near the filter are clean before installing the new one.
Do regular spark plug checks.
The spark plugs should also be checked regularly for dirt and debris. If you notice any, clean the spark plugs and the area around them to be sure that they won't drive these foreign objects into the engine. When replacing the spark plugs, see to it that the ones you'll install are recommended by your vehicle manufacturer to avoid pre-ignition issues and other types of mechanical damage.