Turbo Oil Contamination
Why does oil contamination damage turbos?
As turbochargers can operate at over 240,000 rpm and endure temperatures of 950°C, turbo bearings are under great stress. The turbine shaft and bearings rotate in a thin film of oil.
Consequently any fault with the oil supply to the turbo means its bearings are likely to fail before the engine’s main bearings.
Running a turbo without oil for five seconds is as harmful as running an engine without oil for five minutes.
While it is important to check the engine oil pressure meets the manufacturer’s specifications, it is even more critical that the oil feed pipes to the turbo are clean and clear, so you are certain they can supply uncontaminated oil, at the correct pressure. Contaminated or dirty oil will scratch or score the bearings, leading to rapid wear and ultimately, turbocharger failure.
What causes contaminated oil?
Severe scoring to the journal bearings.
Extreme wear on the turbine shaft.
Preventing turbo failure caused by contaminated oil