Turbos pack a real punch, but with extra power comes extra responsibility. To keep your turbo engine chugging along in optimal condition, you must maintain it properly. Want to know how to extend the life of your turbocharger so you can relish the boost in horsepower, torque, and fuel economy for a long time to come? Here are some easy maintenance tips to follow.
Change the Oil
Just like naturally aspirated engines, your turbo engine needs oil to operate. But don’t use the same motor oil you’d use on a regular engine. Check your turbo’s manual or look online for a list of recommended oils. When in doubt, your best bet is to use fully synthetic oil, which provides better protection against high temperatures. Ideally, you should change your turbo engine’s oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.
Let the Air Flow
Turbochargers work by drawing in air and cooling it down. This cooled air reaches the combustion chamber for use in the combustion process.
Without an ample amount of clean air, turbos can’t do their job. You must change the engine’s air filter if you want to get the best performance out of your turbo and ensure it has a long life. Replace the filter every 30,000 miles.
Hot and Cold
The next tip on how to extend the life of your turbocharger is to warm your engine before you drive and cool it down before you turn it off. Doing so can prevent premature wear and tear and engine overheating. Let your engine warm up for five to ten minutes before you drive. The lubricating capabilities of oil are at their highest when heated to around 190 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Warming up your engine ensures optimal lubrication for the moving parts.
You should also remember to cool your engine off before you shut it off. Turbos run hot and take a few minutes to cool down after use. If you don’t let your engine cool before turning it off, the uncooled oil can take on a sludge-like consistency and clog the oil channels. The residual hot oil can also damage the turbo and other parts of the engine.
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