Let's take care of the turbo of our car

How to take care of the turbo

The turbo is a component of the engine that requires some concrete care so as not to deteriorate prematurely. While it is true that many of them are well known, not everyone knows when to apply them and to what extent .

It is not uncommon to see drivers waiting for the cold to cool down. turbo after any type of journey. And there are also those who settle for 30 seconds at idle after a mountain pass. Everything must be done in its proper measure . Something that is not difficult if you have a few notions about the turbo .


In supercharged engines it is even more important to take care of the lubrication than in atmospheric ones. For this reason, it is often said that it is convenient to wait for the car to warm up a bit without pressing the accelerator before starting the journey. Actually, this is not true at all. If you want to heat the engine to idle, in most modern cars you will have to wait a long time to gain a few degrees. It is more about waiting for the oil to come out of the crankcase and to be distributed again on all the parts . Including the turbo. In addition, current engine oils maintain very good properties without being at service temperature. Especially synthetic oils.

Therefore, it is not necessary to wait more than 1 or 2 minutes before moving the car. It will be enough to modify the habits. Instead of entering, putting on the belt, checking the mirrors and starting, it is better to start the engine first.

How to care the turbo


  • If you have to start the engine at low temperature, remember that the oil will be more viscous than normal and it will take longer to lubricate the turbo and the other components. In these cases, it stretches more time at idle to be fluidized.
  • If you are going to start a car that has not been used for a long time, it is also convenient to stretch more warm-up time standing. In this case the oil will have fallen to the crankcase practically in its entirety. That's why it will take a little longer to lubricate everything again.

Engine shutdown

This is the best-known tip and extended in the care of the turbo: wait a few minutes before turning off the contact. The bad thing is that you do not know for sure how long you have to wait , since the common mortals do not have a device that indicates the temperature of the turbo.

wait to start when starting the engine with turbo

You do not have to wait to turn off the engine in urban sections with a reasonable driving, nor on the typical short trips. It is also not necessary to wait for it to cool by driving on 90 km/h roads, as long as it does not get ahead constantly. We give you a list of conditions where you should wait and how much is recommended in normal cars approximately:

  • Travel long by highway at 120 km/h : 1 minute. Current cars are designed to operate at these speeds without overheating. Although if you drive in summer at very high temperatures you can stretch the time to 2 minutes.
  • Travel up a mountain pass : 3 minutes. The ups on winding roads and/or large slopes make the engine work more intensively.In order to do so, it must spin faster based on receiving a greater flow of exhaust gases. Which are precisely those that heat it at such high temperatures.
  • Race or sections with sports driving : 5 minutes. When driving in these circumstances, the accelerator is usually kept pressed to the bottom a large percentage of the time. A use for which most conventional cars are not prepared to endure by system. In these cases it is advisable to have patience. This will help cool all the key parts, not just the turbo.

Driving style

How to drive with a turbo engine

When driving with a turbo engine it is recommended to respect three basic tips to avoid unnecessary damage:

  • Before squeezing the turbo to the maximum wait for the engine to reach the optimum operating temperature. Normally 90º. Until then, avoid exceeding 2,000 rpm if circumstances allow. Also do not squeeze the throttle fully, so that the exhaust gases do not spin the turbo at its maximum speed.
  • Try to circulate within the optimum speed range for the operation of the engine. Turbo. A good reference with which you will not be confused is the interval in which the engine gives its maximum torque. For example, a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI of 122 CV of 2009 gives its 200 Nm of maximum torque between 1,500 rpm and 4,000 rpm. Whenever you move within those values, you will be doing perfect.
More sensitive cars : Diesel of a certain age with turbos of Variable vanes (eg the Seat Toledo II TDI 110 HP) can have major disadvantages if it is usually driven at low revs. Under these circumstances, combustion generates more carbon that comes out in the form of black smoke. This substance could obstruct the movement of the blades, leaving them in a fixed position. A state that made it go wrong and could even break it.
  • Do not abuse revolutions . Even if the car maintains its maximum torque at high revs, it is not advisable to reach that extreme by system. Actually this is a council applicable to any engine, even if it has no turbo. At least if you want it to last as long as possible. Anyway, in cars with turbo, this advice is even more important.


Check engine oil level with turbo

On engines with turbo it is especially important to take care the condition of the oil . That is why it is good to change the lubricant along with the filter when the manufacturer indicates, even if you are going to do it yourself. It is also recommended not to skimp on the quality of both. The difference is a few euros between one of recognized brand and another doubtful.

In addition to this, it is advisable to monitor the oil level although the date of the change has not arrived. Engines tend to consume it little by little, especially those that already have several years of service. You can also have small leaks that lower the level below the recommended.

What happens if the turbo is not taken care of?

A fault in the turbo can be very expensive, since this piece can have an approximate price of € 1,000 , depending on the model. More in premium brands. In addition, the replacement of this element can be a bit complicated in some cars.