Taking Care of Turbo Gas Engines
Updated on September 23 2023
Turbocharged engines are becoming more common these days. While they're the norm for diesel-powered cars, pick-ups, and SUVs, the turbo-gas engine is becoming more widespread. These days, you can even see them in subcompact sedans, and even small crossovers. However, there isn't a lot of talk as to how to keep these engines in tip-top shape.
Turbocharged engines are much more complicated than the “naturally-aspirated” engines. Regular maintenance will help you get the most from your turbo engine and avoid costly repairs. Here are some tips on how to keep your engine running for as long as possible.
1. Keep It Idle for 30 Seconds While Starting
If you are starting the engine for the first time in a day, keep it idle for about 30 seconds without accelerating. Turbochargers require a very high RPM and lubrication so idling will ensure that the lubrication will reach the unit. Also, it will keep friction from damaging areas such as the turbine shaft.
Contrary to what many people believe, it is not a good practice to step on the gas to start yoru car. It will only create more stress on engine parts that are not lubricated. In the case of turbodiesel engines, they have heavier parts and higher compression ratios. The best practice when starting your car is to keep the clutch depressed to save the starter motor. This will allow the engine to reach the ideal operating temperature.
2. After A Long Drive, Do Not Switch Off The Engine Right Away
After driving at high speed and for a long distance, it is recommended not to switch off your engine immediately. After parking your car in the garage or anywhere, keep it idle for a few seconds before switching off. After switching off the engine, the oil flow stops but the turbo is still running. Without the proper lubrication, it will reduce the durability of the unit.
Your turbo engine has bearings that allow it to turn at high speeds that lubricate with the engine oil itself. Turning off the engine when it’s too hot will cause it to keep on turning due to its own inertia but without lubricant. This will result in friction which could lead to premature wear. Aside from that, the oil inside the engine will be carbonized by the high temperature of turbine when the lubrication stops.
3. Don’t Overstep The Limits of the Turbo When Cruising
Having a turbocharged engine might sound exciting. But more often than not, their purpose is to compensate for the lost power from having a low-capacity engine, especially the modern eco-friendly hatchbacks. For this reason, you need to make sure that you are aware of the limitations of your car’s turbo engine. Do not overdo it by being too aggressive with the accelerator.
When cruising around town or on the motorway, don’t step too much on the accelerator. Slowly ease on the power to give the turbo a chance to start spinning freely. As much as possible, use the accelerator sparingly and maintain your speed. Although turbo engines undergo stress test and will last the lifetime of your engine, being an aggressive driver can be costly in the future.
4. Use Your Gears to Overtake
Although turbo engines allow even the smallest engines to have plenty of power and torque, make sure to shift to lower gears when overtaking and not depend on the turbo engine to deliver the acceleration.
Whether you are driving uphill, overtaking on an A-road, or accelerating into the fastlane, downshifting is the safer long-term option instead of using the turbo engine. Gears were designed to deliver performance up and down the rev range. By combining gear shifts and turbo boost, you are limiting the wear and tear of tour turbochargers.
5. Regular Servicing
Maintenance of a turbo engine is already costly. If something goes bad, repairs to any damage will contribute to the expenses. To free yourself from the costs, ensure regular cleaning of your injectors and constant flow of engine oil. Turbo engine are made up of moving parts running at incredibly high speeds and work under extreme heat and pressure.
To ensure optimum performance from your turbo engine, change the lubricating oil at least every 5,000 miles. Replace with a fully-synthetic oil that is compatible with your car engine. Check your owner’s manual to check the recommended oil for your car.
Now that you're armed with the knowledge, perhaps its time to consider a turbocharged car for your next purchase.
As more cars get turbo power standard, more of these are popping up in the used car market. In fact, we get several of them in the Automart.PH inventory. Check out the second-hand car list on-site to see what we have to offer. If there is any model you like, you're one step closer to your turbocharged dream ride.