5 Common Signs of a Failing Turbocharger

March 28, 2022

Diesel engines, like petrol engines, are quite simple in their premise: in order to create more power in the engine, it needs to burn fuel quickly, and to achieve this, in needs the right combination of fuel and air. But the air that reaches the engine’s cylinders is often inadequate due to size or placement issues, which is why turbochargers are so vital for diesel engines. As most turbodiesel owners will know, their engines are dead in their treads without this crucial component.

A failing turbocharger, however, will be unable to perform this important task, leaving your diesel’s performance lackluster at best, dismal at worst. Here are five signs of a failing turbocharger to look out for!

5 Common Signs of a Failing Turbocharger - Land Cruiser on beach

Why Do Diesel Engines Need Turbochargers?

As diesel engines have increased in popularity, so too has the demand for turbochargers. But what exactly is a turbocharger, and why do diesel engines need them?

A turbocharger is a device that helps force more air into the engine’s cylinders, which in turn allows the engine to burn more fuel and create more power. Turbochargers are powered by exhaust gases, which means they don’t add any extra weight or drag to the engine.

Diesel engines need turbochargers because they operate at lower speeds than petrol engines, which means they don’t get as much air into their cylinders naturally. This can lead to a number of problems, including decreased power and efficiency. A turbocharger helps solve these problems by forcing more air into the cylinders, which allows the engine to run better.

While turbochargers are a great addition to any diesel engine, they can also cause problems if they fail. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the signs of a failing turbocharger, so you can take your diesel to a mechanic and have it fixed before it causes serious damage.

5 Common Signs of a Failing Turbocharger

A failing turbocharger is a serious issue for any diesel owner, and it’s important to address it as soon as possible. If you notice any of the below signs, don’t hesitate to take your diesel to Just Autos’ workshop in Nambour.

With proper care and maintenance, your turbocharger should last for many years to come – but if it needs replacing, our team can help!

Read More: Turbochargers: Performance Turbos vs Standard Turbos

Excessive Exhaust Smoke

If you notice excessive exhaust smoke coming from your diesel, it’s definitely time to take it to a mechanic. This is usually a sign that the turbocharger is failing and not functioning properly.

5 Common Signs of a Failing Turbocharger - close up of smokey exhaust

Poor Acceleration or Throttle Response

One of the most common and noticeable signs that your diesel’s turbocharger is failing is poor acceleration or throttle response. If you notice that it’s taking your diesel longer to reach high speeds, or if the engine feels unresponsive when you press down on the accelerator, there’s a good chance that your turbocharger is starting to fail.

Loud Noises Upon Startup

Another dead giveaway that something is wrong with your diesel’s turbocharger is strange noises coming from under the hood, particularly upon startup. If you hear any rattling, whistling, or hissing sounds coming from your engine bay when you first turn on your diesel, it’s likely that there’s an issue with the turbocharger.

Read More: How to Boost Your Turbo Diesel’s Power

Reduced Fuel Economy

A failing turbocharger will also cause your diesel’s fuel economy to suffer. If you’ve noticed that you’re having to fill up your tank more often than usual, or if your diesel is guzzling fuel at an alarming rate, there’s a good chance that the turbocharger is to blame.

Check Engine Light

Last but not least, if your diesel’s check engine light has come on, it could be an indication that the turbocharger is failing. This is usually accompanied by one or more of the other signs on this list, so if you’ve noticed any of them, it’s definitely time to take your diesel to a mechanic.

5 Common Signs of a Failing Turbocharger - close up of check engine light

Turbo-Charge Your Performance

If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms with your own diesel, don’t hesitate to take it in for servicing. A failing turbocharger is a serious issue that should be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage!

If your turbocharger needs replacing, bring your diesel in to Just Autos. As performance enhancement experts, we can advise on the best replacement to get the most bang for your buck. Having partnered with some of the best aftermarket performance turbo specialists like G-Turbo, our team can source, supply, and install a brand-new turbo into your diesel. We can also provide extensive advice on proper car care and maintenance, as well as on additional performance and upgrade opportunities you may not be aware of.

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