How you are damaging the turbo
Posted Thursday, February 28 2013 at 02:00
Qn:I drive a VW Passat, model 1997, automatic transmission, with a turbo engine. However, the mechanic tells me its malfunctioning though he does not explain what the implications are when you continue to drive the car in that state. While he tells me it can be repaired, another says that doesn’t work. That I just need to purchase another one. Please weigh in on this. Quite often, you ignite the engine and in about five minutes, the water tank is hot.Is this normal because it at times over heats. Kind regards,
Ans: You have not told us whether your turbo charged VW Passat has a petrol or diesel engine. Nonetheless we will address your concerns. A turbo charger (turbo) is a compressor attached to a petrol or diesel engine. It is used to recycle and inject exhaust air at high pressure into the air intake system to improve combustion power. The turbo charger relies on a shaft with two propeller blades or impellors running on a set of bearings to compress and inject air at high pressure.
A turbo charger complements air drawn from the atmosphere through normal or natural aspiration.The turbo system has to be lubricated and a failure to provide clean and unrestricted flow of oil will cause a wear and degradation of: journal bearings, shaft journals, bearing bores in the housing as well as the impellors of the turbo charger.
Therefore failure to carry out engine lubrication service on time, use of wrong engine
oil, degraded engine oil and counterfeit poor quality oil filters will contribute to damaging the turbo. Incorrect engine start up and stopping procedures can damage the turbo. When you drive off a cold engine and accelerate the turbo starts operating before adequate oil pressure rises or when you stop the car suddenly before the turbo slows down.
It should be noted that damage or incorrect fitting of air intake hoses can cause temporary failure of the turbo.
Before your mechanic condemned the Passat turbo charger I hope he or she looked out for the following symptoms of turbo failure during the diagnostic procedure:
1) A blue tinge in the white exhaust produced when the engine burns excessive lubrication oil. When the turbo components are damaged they let engine oil into the cylinder combustion chamber through the air intake. Oil burns with the fuel air mixture to change the exhaust colour and smell.
2) Poor performance and slow acceleration. Broken down turbo shaft and compressor drive blades restrict air flow through the turbo into the engine, this reduces turbo boost. The reduction of accumulated air stream delays the actuation of the turbo impellors which increases the turbo lag or kick in time and delays acceleration.
3) Violent and increased turbo shaft motion due to the damaged bearings. The shaft orbits instead of rotating in a perfect circular motion which further damages it and the turbo impellor blades.
If you continue to drive the car in this state, the same damage experienced by your turbo due to lubrication oil quality or restriction is likely to cause expensive damage to your engine internal components like the crank shaft, bearings and piston rings.
Foreign material resulting from the damage of your turbo such as small destructive particles and residue from the worn out bearings and shaft or chemical compounds from the damaged parts will be introduced to the engine with destructive consequences.
While it is true that a turbo charger can be repaired, there are a handful of technicians who can do this correctly. You need to find them. Besides, they ought to have the correct replacement parts to restore its performance. That is why you should be prepared to consider replacing the damaged turbo with a quality used or new one.
With regards to overheating, it is normal for the radiator coolant expansion tank to warm up gradually within five minutes. Should you observe from the temperature gauge that it is exceeding 80 degrees centigrade towards 100 a short time then you need to observe whether the engine electric fans operate in two speed stages. Ensure that the coolant level is adequate before you start and the car has no leaking coolant from its radiator or cooling system.
I own a 2008 Land Cruiser V8 diesel. This car arrived from Dubai with an SRS airbag fault. I have visited a car diagnostic place in Wandegeya where I was told to buy an airbag switch fitted in the driver’s steering. Can you advise whether this can be repaired?
The airbag switch described is called a D squib and its circuit consists of the air bag sensor assembly centre, the spiral cable sub-assembly and the horn button assembly. The circuit instructs the SRS airbag to deploy when deployment conditions are met. It is often damaged when the spiral cable is snapped by a wrong procedure used to dismantle and re-assemble the steering.
The spiral cable is of specific length and attempts to repair it by cutting off the damaged part and soldering, can yield temporary success as it may snap again because it is shorter than the required length. A replacement of this part is highly recommended, D squibs can be acquired from Toyota dealerships. Special precautions and Toyota recommended fitting guidelines should be followed when replacing this part to avoid accidental deployment of the driver air bag. This should be done by a qualified car electrician.
I have a Suzuki Escudo model 1994, five door, manual. I have been experiencing problems for the last six months with the clutch, magneto, shock absorbers, exhaust pipe and air conditioning system. Please advise where to source the parts and maintenance. All the best,
Your Suzuki Escudo must have passed the 100,000km mileage mark. This is when long life engine and suspension parts are due for replacement. That is why the list of long life parts you have mentioned all seem to have failed at the same time. This does not mean that the car brand is a bad product, rather it reflects on the maintenance history of this car.
In future, you need to consider the mileage of the car you buy as this will have an implication on parts you need to replace. The main Suzuki dealer is cooper motor corporation and they ought to have the parts for your car. However, you can also get alternative sources from independent Suzuki parts dealers at Nakivubo green, near Cooper complex. Maintenance can be done by any credible mechanic as long as you provide the genuine parts.
I own an old 1998 Range Rover vogue with a 4.4 litre petrol engine. I am having trouble with the defective air suspension shock absorbers which are
spoiling the fun I have had with this Land Rover. Right now the car is squatting like an angry camel. How can I solve this problem? Brian. K