Very few turbocharger failures would occur if the turbocharger were always supplied with an adequate amount of clean oil at full pressure, if no foreign material were permitted into the turbine or the compressor, if precautions were taken to prevent excessive heat and over boosting, and if the turbocharger were properly handled and installed. Based on our analysis, below is a list of common failure mode.

Insufficient lubrication - Contributing to 40% of failures

  • Deformed, bent or clogged oil lines
  • Undersized oil filter
  • Dirty oil filter
  • Contaminated oil

Foreign objects into turbine - Contributing to 25% of failures

  • Pieces of burned valves
  • Pieces from broken combustion cups
  • Casting fins from manifolds
  • Chips from exhaust ports
  • Pieces from scuffed and broken pistons
  • Improperly installed gaskets
  • Nuts and washers dropped into the exhaust system

Foreign objects into compressor - Contributing to 15% of failures

  • Pieces of the broken or loose air filter
  • Pieces of rubber or wire from the air intake hose
  • Nuts, bolts and washers dropped into the intake system

Excessive heat and over boosting - Contributing to 15% of failures

  • Improperly de-rated at high altitude
  • Incorrect timing
  • Reduced air inlet caused by clogged air filter, and collapsed hose
  • Air leaking at air intake
  • Leak from exhaust pipe

Improper handling and installation - Contributing to 5% of failures

  • High loads applied to turbo housings due to improper piping
  • Excessively heavy piping that is supported only by the turbocharger
  • Excessive vibration due to improper mounting
  • Turbocharger being dropped onto shop floor
  • Holding the actuator as the handle