In order to keep your Audi running smoothly, you must always take it in for regular maintenance. If you don’t, you may end up with many problems, one of them being a faulty turbocharger. In order to fix the problem, you need to know what caused it so you can avoid issues in the future.
What is a Turbocharger?
You have to know what you are dealing with before you get started diagnosing the problem. A turbocharger is essentially an air compressor. The pressure allows a lot of air to enter a vehicle’s combustion chamber, making the car faster and more powerful. If the turbocharger is faulty or broken, you will notice a significant loss of power or speed as well as other signs, which we will cover below.
Causes of a Faulty Turbocharger
Dirty or Low Oil
If you do not change your oil often enough, you wear down your vehicle. Oil provides lubrication for all moving parts; when the oil is dirty or low, those parts grind against each other. The turbocharger starts to fray, and it unbalances the rotor. How can you tell if this is the cause? White or blue smoke will be expelled from the exhaust pipe, and your engine may die. These are all telling signs of turbocharger failure.
Foreign Objects in the Compressor or Turbine
When having your air filter changed or maintained, it is crucial that no foreign objects end up in the wrong places. The compression wheel of the turbocharger will be damaged, its blades broken by whatever has gotten stuck inside. As a result of the broken wheel, the seals and bearings will come loose over time. The signs of this being the root cause are black/white smoke expelled from the exhaust pipe or a whistling noise. How else does a foreign object enter the turbocharger’s air filter? This could be due to irregular cleaning or maintenance, or your air hoses have been damaged.
Clogged Exhaust Pipe
The expulsion of exhaust from the engine pipe is one of the main jobs of a turbocharger. This relieves the high pressure that it puts out. When that pipe is clogged up, where does the pressure go? It redirects to the turbine, causing the turbocharger to be pushed forward against other parts of the car, grinding it down and causing an oil leak or engine failure. This also presents itself by expelling blue smoke.
Avoiding Turbocharger Failure
The only way to avoid these problems is to get your vehicle checked regularly by a professional and keep maintenance appointments. Your oil should be changed every 6 months or every 10,000 miles at a minimum. If you want to err on the side of caution, have your oil changed every 3 months or every 3,000 miles.
As for turbocharger replacement, it is ideal that you have yours replaced every 100,000-150,000 miles.
Overall vehicle inspections and maintenance should be done every year or every 12,000 miles. This includes checking the belts, oil level, antifreeze, tire pressure, and air filter as well as inspecting for any leaks.
If you do all of these things in a timely manner, you should not have problems with your turbocharger again barring special circumstances. You may not know where to go for that, given that an Audi is a special kind of vehicle. Lucky for you, there are auto shops that service cars like yours.
How A&M Auto Service Can Help
A&M Auto Service specializes in caring for European and imported cars. Not every auto shop has the know-how to deal with luxury cars, which can be frustrating to someone who needs maintenance and a place they can trust. We are located in North Carolina, convenient to the Pineville, Charlotte, and Greensboro areas. If you are near, stop by and check out the facilities to put your mind at ease. If that isn’t enough, check out our credentials! We have won the Angie’s List Super Service Award for 11 years in a row.
If you suspect a faulty turbocharger in your Audi, call or stop by today to let our skilled service technicians take a look at your vehicle. We’re ready and waiting to help get your car back out on the road as soon as possible.