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What happens when the turbo stops working on a car?

What happens when the turbo stops working on a car?

A malfunctioning turbocharger can significantly impact your car’s performance and overall driving experience.

1. Loss of Power:

When a turbo stops working, one of the most noticeable signs is a sudden loss of power. The turbocharger plays a crucial role in boosting engine performance by compressing air  and increasing its density before it enters the combustion chamber. Without this boost, your car’s acceleration and overall power output will be severely compromised.

2. Unusual Noises:

A failing turbo often emits distinct noises. Initially, you might hear a whining sound that becomes louder during acceleration. If left unaddressed, this noise can escalate to a more pronounced howling. These sounds indicate issues with the turbo’s bearings or seals.

3. Blue Smoke from Exhaust:

A malfunctioning turbo can lead to blue smoke billowing from your car’s exhaust. This occurs due to oil leaking into the combustion chamber. The broken seals within the turbo allow engine oil to mix with the exhaust gases, resulting in the telltale blue smoke.

4. Slow Acceleration:

While some smaller turbos, like those found in certain models (such as the 91-94 Mercury Capri XR2), allow limited driving even after failure, the acceleration will be sluggish. You might be able to cover short distances, but it won’t be efficient. Keep in mind that driving with a faulty turbo can consume excessive oil due to seal damage.

5. Engine Damage Risk:

Thankfully, severe engine damage due to turbo failure is rare. If the turbo impeller chips off, these fragments typically end up in the intercooler or catalytic converter. However, immediate action is crucial to prevent further issues. Shut down the engine promptly to avoid smaller pieces entering the engine and causing additional damage.

What to Do When Your Turbo Fails:

1. Shut Down Quickly: If you suspect turbo failure, turn off the engine promptly. This prevents debris from entering the engine.

2. Inspect Intake System: Remove the intercooler and all intake system tubes, including the airbox and filter housing. Clean them thoroughly, as these components often cause secondary failures.

3. Check Inlet and Outlet Hoses: Inspect the inlet and outlet hoses for damage. A damaged turbine or seized bearings could be the culprit. Also, ensure the wastegate isn’t stuck open.

4. Consider Replacement :Depending on the severity of the issue, consider replacing the turbo.

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