Brrrr! With the temperature continuing to drop as we near closer to December, it is crucial to ensure that your vehicle is being thoroughly looked after. Winter can be a detrimental time for engines if they have not been consistently maintained, so if you have not kept up to date with your vehicle servicing the likelihood of breaking down can significantly increase.
The majority of turbochargers we see arrive at our workshop is usually as a result of neglect. When a vehicle is not regularly serviced a turbocharger can typically fall victim to oil starvation… and those who know about turbos will understand that the main key to prolonging a turbo’s lifespan really does come down to oil.
Without regular oil changes or oil filter replacements a turbocharger is not protected from oil contamination. Not only is the oil required for lubricating the turbo’s components, but it is also responsible for drawing heat away from the unit when it is operating at high speeds. Therefore we do recommend ensuring oil levels are always topped up, but this is particularly relevant throughout the winter.
If the temperature this winter does fall particularly low it may also be worth considering swapping to a lighter weight oil – many mechanical experts believe that cold weather can turn the thick oil into a molasses-like consistency which can affect how the turbo pumps, as opposed to fluid-like consistency for lubricating the components.
However, we do stress it is important to get the correct balance in weight to ensure that the oil is still thick enough to protect the unit when it is working at a high intensity. For this reason, we recommend checking your vehicle handbook and researching online before making any changes. As always the case with oil, we recommend using a high-grade quality to avoid any kind of friction damage which could potentially carbonise the turbo internally. This can lead to far more serious consequences as the carbon deposits can quite literally clog up a turbocharger, drastically shortening its lifespan.
DRIVING IN WINTER CONDITIONS
Before setting off on a journey first assess the weather conditions as it is important to adjust your driving style to suit accordingly. If it is a particularly cold day we advise to wait a couple of minutes with the engine running before actually driving. This will give adequate time for the oil to reach the turbo and also allows it to warm up slightly; decreasing the normal time it takes for the oil to reach its optimum operating temperature once in motion.
Once you begin the journey we also advise to not excessively rev the engine for at least the first five minutes, this will improve how effectively the oil lubricates the moving components of the turbo, reducing any unnecessary stress on the turbocharger and wear to the engine.
HOW WE CAN HELP?
The run-up to Christmas is always a busy time at the Turbo Dynamics workshop so if you are planning on sending your turbo in for our popular repair and overhaul (which starts at £195 + VAT) we recommend you do this as soon as possible!
However please do call ahead to avoid any unnecessary delays by calling: +44 (0)1202 487497 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org