Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Made Easy

The BorgWarner Turbo Systems Diagnostic Tool 

We have developed the BorgWarner Turbo Systems Diagnostic Tool to get your vehicle running again quickly after a breakdown. It tells you the possible causes when your engine shows failure symptoms. Often a defective turbocharger is the consequence of some other primary engine defect which cannot be cured just by replacing the turbocharger. However, with the diagnostic tool you can determine the true nature and extent of the trouble without any problems. Then we can repair your vehicle more quickly and at less expense – so an engine failure won't cost you any more time or money than necessary.

Failure Symptoms and Possible Causes

Black smoke

  • Boost pressure control swing valve/poppet valve does not close
  • Dirty air filter system
  • Dirty compressor or charge air cooler
  • Engine air collector cracked/missing or loose gaskets
  • Excessive flow resistance in exhaust system/ leakage upstream of turbine
  • Foreign body damage on compressor or turbine
  • Fuel system/injection feed system defective or incorrectly adjusted
  • Insufficient oil supply of turbocharger
  • Suction and pressure line distorted or leaking
  • Turbine housing/flap damaged
  • Turbocharger bearing damage
  • Valve guide, piston rings, engine or cylinder liners worn/increased blow by

Blue smoke

  • Coke and sludge in turbocharger center housing
  • Crankcase ventilation clogged and distorted
  • Dirty air filter system
  • Dirty compressor or charge air cooler
  • Excessive flow resistance in exhaust system/ leakage upstream of turbine
  • Oil feed and drain lines clogged, leaking or distorted
  • Piston ring sealing defective
  • Turbocharger bearing damage
  • Valve guide, piston rings, engine or cylinder liners worn/increased blow by

  • Dirty compressor or charge air cooler
  • Engine air collector cracked/missing or loose gaskets
  • Excessive flow resistance in exhaust system/ leakage upstream of turbine
  • Exhaust gas leakage between turbine outlet and exhaust pipe
  • Foreign body damage on compressor or turbine
  • Insufficient oil supply of turbocharger
  • Suction and pressure line distorted or leaking
  • Turbine housing/flap damaged
  • Turbocharger bearing damage

  • Boost pressure control swing valve/poppet valve does not open
  • Fuel system/injection feed system defective or incorrectly adjusted
  • Pipe assy. to swing valve/poppet valve defective

  • Foreign body damage on compressor or turbine
  • Insufficient oil supply of turbocharger
  • Turbine housing/flap damaged
  • Turbocharger bearing damage

  • Coke and sludge in turbocharger center housing
  • Crankcase ventilation clogged and distorted
  • Oil feed and drain lines clogged, leaking or distorted
  • Piston ring sealing defective
  • Turbocharger bearing damage
  • Valve guide, piston rings, engine or cylinder liners worn/increased blow by 

  • Coke and sludge in turbocharger center housing
  • Crankcase ventilation clogged and distorted
  • Dirty air filter system
  • Dirty compressor or charge air cooler
  • Excessive flow resistance in exhaust system/ leakage upstream of turbine
  • Oil feed and drain lines clogged, leaking or distorted
  • Piston ring sealing defective
  • Turbocharger bearing damage
  • Valve guide, piston rings, engine or cylinder liners worn/increased blow by 

  • Boost pressure control swing valve/poppet valve does not close
  • Dirty air filter system
  • Dirty compressor or charge air cooler
  • Engine air collector cracked/missing or loose gaskets
  • Excessive flow resistance in exhaust system/ leakage upstream of turbine
  • Foreign body damage on compressor or turbine
  • Fuel system/injection feed system defective or incorrectly adjusted
  • Insufficient oil supply of turbocharger
  • Pipe assy. to swing valve/poppet valve defective
  • Suction and pressure line distorted or leaking
  • Turbine housing/flap damaged
  • Turbocharger bearing damage
  • Valve guide, piston rings, engine or cylinder liners worn/increased blow by 

  • Coke and sludge in turbocharger center housing
  • Crankcase ventilation clogged and distorted
  • Dirty air filter system
  • Dirty compressor or charge air cooler
  • Excessive flow resistance in exhaust system/ leakage upstream of turbine
  • Oil feed and drain lines clogged, leaking or distorted
  • Piston ring sealing defective
  • Turbocharger bearing damage
  • Valve guide, piston rings, engine or cylinder liners worn/increased blow by 

Recommendations for Servicing and Care

What is good for a turbocharger?

The turbocharger is designed such that it will usually last as long as the engine. It does not require any special maintenance; and inspection is limited to a few periodic checks. 

To ensure that the turbocharger's lifetime corresponds to that of the engine, the following engine manufacturer's service instructions must be strictly observed:

  • Oil change intervals
  • Oil filter system maintenance
  • Oil pressure control
  • Air filter system maintenance

What is bad for a turbocharger?

90 % of all turbocharger failures are due to the following causes:

  • Penetration of foreign bodies into the turbine or the compressor
  • Dirt in the oil
  • Inadequate oil supply (oil pressure/filter system)
  • High exhaust gas temperatures (ignition system/injection system)

These failures can be avoided by regular maintenance. When maintaining the air filter system, for example, care should be taken that no tramp material gets into the turbocharger.

Failure diagnosis

If the engine does not operate properly, one should not assume that the turbocharger is the cause of failure. It often happens that fully functioning turbochargers are replaced even though the failure does not lie here, but with the engine.

Only after all these points have been checked should one check the turbocharger for faults. Since the turbocharger components are manufactured on high-precision machines to close tolerances and the wheels rotate up to 300,000 rpm, turbochargers should be inspected by qualified specialists only.

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