Turbo Oil Leaks
Why does oil leakage damage turbos?
Turbochargers can spin at over 240,000 rpm and endure temperatures of 950°C. The turbo relies on the thin film of oil that lubricates the bearings on the turbine shaft. This oil is kept in place by seals for the turbine and compressor ends of the bearing housing.
These seals are unlike conventional oil seals, and similar to piston rings. They need positive air pressure inside the compressor and turbine to keep oil lubricating the bearings and prevent it seeping into the end housings. A restriction on the inlet side will create a vacuum that will pull oil past the seals at the compressor end housing. If the engine idles for long periods, the turbo will rotate at very low speed with correspondingly low air pressure. The resulting vacuum will cause oil to seep into the turbine housing. Either situation results in insufficient oil for the turbine bearings.
What causes oil leaks at the compressor end?
Compressor end oil leakage due to low air pressure.
Compressor end oil leakage
What causes oil leaks at the turbine end?
Turbine end oil leakage due to restriction in oil drain.
What causes oil leaks at both the compressor and turbine end?
Preventing turbo failure caused by oil leakage