What is a foreign object and what causes it?
A foreign object is simply any object that enters the turbocharger through the air inlet or exhaust inlet. When a foreign object enters the turbocharger, its performance will be affected very quickly.
Signs of foreign object damage:
- Noise from the turbo during operation;
- Loss of performance;
- Chipping of compressor or turbine blades;
- Pitting around the compressor inlet;
- Pitting on the compressor blades.
Causes of foreign object damage:
- Small particles entering through damaged hoses;
- If the air filter is damaged (or faulty), of a low quality or missing, objects will be sucked into the air intake;
- Debris from a previous turbocharger failure;
- Broken engine components, e.g. valves or fragments of damaged piston, injector tips;
- Bolts, nuts, washers, rags or other items left in the intake pipe during servicing.
Preventing turbo failure caused by a foreign object:
- Make sure air hoses are clear from blockages and other loose objects;
- Check that air hoses are intact and in good working condition;
- Ensure the air filter is the correct one for the vehicle;
- Ensure no debris or engine fragments remain from the previous turbo failure;
- Using new gaskets helps to prevent the possibility of gasket break up and also ensure a perfect seal.
Please note: Never continue to operate a turbocharger with damaged blades as the rotor balance will be affected and this could impact its service life.