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Turbocharger Idling Ethics!

  • Mar 18, 2016
  • 8904 Views
Renault Duster Engine Shot

Most cars today are turbocharged! That is courtesy of small stronger engines which can generate more power and take in the forced air from a turbocharger in a proper manner. But, a number of users of a turbocharged vehicle are not completely aware that they should be idling the vehicle for a minimum of 30 seconds, especially after a hard run.

Why the need?

A turbocharger is essentially a turbine spooling up to force more air into the engine. The result is more power. Idling the turbocharger is basically to let the oil that dissipates heat from a turbocharger (that actually spins over 1,50,000 rpm) and prevents from wearing out the bearings inside a turbocharger. So, the oil that dissipates heat to cool down the turbocharger instead settles and then solidifies over time thereby (eventually) choking the entire system. This phenomenon is known as oil 'coking'.

A source of one of the top Japanese turbocharger manufacturer, HKS said, “The number one cause of turbo failure is oil "coking". Oil "coking" occurs when a turbocharger is not properly cooled down and the oil that normally lubricates the center cartridge heats up and forms solidified oil deposits.”

This oil would eventually block passages as well.

Most audience would disagree that turbochargers do not need 'spooling', however, that is not entirely true. Turbochargers with water-cooling are expensive and found mostly on cars priced north of Rs 20 lakhs and the existing entry-level or premium segment runs on two types of engine namely the 1.3-litre acclaimed Fiat unit and Renault-Nissan's 1.5-litre DCi engines that have oil cooled turbos.

Bigger, more expensive cars have intercoolers as well that also need to be 'spooled' while starting and after usage as a combination these vehicles have turbochargers that have a combination of water and oil to cool the system and are more expensive as well.

Is it worth the pain?

Technically, it is just a minute of your time and while checking notifications on your smartphone, idling can be done. This would just improve a turbocharger's life that can cost anywhere from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakhs. An expensive affair which no one would want to deal with.

Also Read: What is Engine Lugging
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