One of the most common reasons for owners of cars equipped with a turbocharger to contact a service station is an oil leak. But can you fix the problem yourself?
The specialist most often considers several options for solving the problem: the selection of funds for replacing the turbocharger, performing repair work or installing a plug.
Not only malfunction of the turbocharger itself, but also improper installation, operation and maintenance can be the cause of oil leakage. At the initial stage of diagnostics, you need to check the following:
- Oil inside the turbocharger;
- Condition of seals;
- Oil at various operating modes of the turbocharger;
- The presence or absence of a leak in the engine;
- Composition of the oil at the outlet of the turbine.
Oil inside the turbocharger
The pressure forces the oil into the turbocharger housing. During this process, bypassing the bearings, the oil mixes with air, as a result of which it takes a foamy state. The resulting substance flows down the body and then enters the engine sump. Encountering obstacles in the form of foreign solid particles on its way, the oil collects in the housing. Over time, the amount of oil foam exceeds the level of the seals. For this reason, oil leaks into the wheel housings.
Assessment of the condition of the seals
The primary role of seals is to exclude the ingress of gases when exposed to high pressure. There are different types of turbochargers, including those whose mechanism eliminates the presence of seals in the turbine wheel. Oil leakage is not a consequence of these seals failing.
Oil at various operating modes of the turbocharger
A defective air filter can also cause leakage. This problem can be diagnosed at the outlet of the compressor. The solution is either to change the oil in the filter or to remove the filter.
The presence or absence of a leak in the engine
An increase in the resistance of the air filter indicates that it is contaminated with dust particles. This is a fairly common problem. For this reason, the pressure on it drops. There is a slight vacuum at the compressor inlet which does not per se affect oil leakage, provided the engine is running at moderate loads. This is because the compressor wheel has overpressure.
Oil composition when leaving the turbine
Most often, an oil leak from the turbine indicates that there is a problem with the drainage system. It is important to make sure that the drain line is vertical and that there are no kinks where oil can collect. Correct connection of the drain hose to the engine exactly in the place where there is no additional resistance to the passage of oil.