Tom Wright, product manager here at Melett, outlines the core purpose of oil in relation to the turbocharger.
Wright argues there are many ways in which oil related issues can damage the components, outlines why oil is the lifeblood of a turbocharger, and details the preventable steps a technician can take.
Dirty oil is one of the top killers of a turbocharger and can happen in a multitude of ways. When repairing the vehicle, if the oil system is not emptied, purged and changed correctly, it can leave debris from the previous failure, which can contaminate the new oil and cause premature failure. If a damaged, or poor-quality oil filter is used, this is another way debris can pass through the filters and into the oil system. In addition, liquid contaminants can lead to premature oil degradation, and increased corrosion and wear, while oil degrading can also be caused by excessive temperatures or extended service intervals.
If a turbo has failed, it’s important to ensure that all the oil systems are purged and free from any foreign objects. A simple way of preventing dirty oil from affecting the turbocharger is by taking extra care when changing the oil during servicing to prevent accidental contamination. It is also key to check for engine wear that could leave swarf deposits.
Something that must be done is to replace or clean the oil inlet pipes and in-line micro filters, as this helps to prevent carbon deposits entering the oil flow to the bearings. It is important to get a vehicle serviced every year or every 10,000 miles, as well as changing the oil in accordance with the vehicle manual, as it gives a turbo the best chance of having a longer life cycle.
Insufficient lubrication – oil starvation
It is often caused by blockages in the oil feed pipe and micro filters within, damaged or bent oil feed pipes, a lack of priming of the new turbo, as well as a damaged or worn oil pump, or sludge and coke build up in the bearing housing from hot shutdowns.
Using the correct grade of engine oil specified by the OEM engine manufacturer is essential to give the turbocharger a long-lasting life cycle. Equally, oil supply is critical to the turbo, so it is important that a technician ensures the oil flow is correct. Priming the turbocharger and oil systems can stop the turbo from instant failure. Oil inlet pipes should also be cleaned or replaced to remove carbon deposits or sludge that could restrict oil flow to the bearing systems. It is important that drivers are aware that they need to allow time for the engine to warm up at the start of each journey and cool down at the end.
Oil leaks are somewhat of a myth when it comes to the turbo being at fault. The biggest cause of oil leaks comes from the environment that the turbo is situated in. There are very few cases where an oil leak happens because of a component or manufacturing issue. Oil leaks can occur when an engine is running on idle. This is because the pressure within the housings is lower, which in turn can lead to a vacuum being created, causing the oil to leak into the turbine housing. Once the engine starts to run at normal speeds the pressures will be restored, and the leak will stop.
Other things to consider are ‘engine blow by’ and ‘crank case blow by,’ both of which cause the same effect, as they increase the pressure in the crank case. This affects the oil flowing to the turbo at the correct rate, which acts as a restriction to the oil return pipe, causing the turbo to leak oil at either the turbine or compressor end.
Oil leaks can occur on VSR (high speed) balancing machines, as the ambient pressures required to create the seal are not present as no housings are used. This can then force out oil from both the compressor and turbine ends, giving the impression of a leak. This is unlikely to occur when the replacement turbo is fitted to the engine.
When it comes to oil leaks, it is imperative that the technician ensures air, exhaust, and oil drain systems are clear from blockages or restrictions, before moving on to check there are no leaks present in the exhaust system. The use of silicone on oil gaskets is not advised as both can easily become detached and block oil passages. Similarly, technicians should ensure the diesel particulate filter and catalytic converter are free of blockages. The correct gaskets and o-rings should always be used, and only the correct standard of turbine housings and compressor housings should be fitted. Lastly, technicians should always check for correct oil levels and pressure.
Melett UK will close for the Jubilee bank holiday at 17:00 on Wednesday 01 June and reopen at 08:00 on Monday 06 June. Any orders that are not picked or dispatched before we close will resume preparation when we reopen. If you would like any more information or guidance on the above, please contact our customer care team on +44 (0)1226 320939.
Memorial Day 2022
Melett North America will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday May 30th and will reopen at 8.00 am on Tuesday May 31st.
Melett Polska will be closed for a public holiday on Thursday 16th June and will reopen on Friday 17th June. Any orders that are not picked or dispatched before we close will resume preparation when we reopen. If you would like any more information or guidance on the above, please contact our customer care team on +44 (0)1226 320939.
May Bank Holiday opening hours
Will close 5.00 pm Friday 29th April and reopen 8.00 am Tuesday 3rd May
Will close 4.30 pm Friday 29th April and reopen 8.00 am Wednesday 4th May
PLEASE NOTE -THE ABILITY TO SUBMIT YOUR ORDERS THROUGH THE MELETT WEBSITE HAS BEEN RESTORED
We are delighted to advise full website functionality has now been restored, meaning you can view stock and pricing, add parts to your basket and submit your order via the website. In addition, all turbo/part number searches are fully working.
Until further notice please place your orders by 2.30 pm and we will endeavour to dispatch the same day dispatch.
We will keep you updated as we navigate through the remaining internal connectivity issues, we have dedicated teams working round the clock to resolve any remaining issues as quickly as possible.
We, at Melett, would like to stress our gratitude for your continued patience and support throughout this difficult time.
Please note you can now view your pricing on the Melett website.
We appreciate this is not a complete solution at this stage, however, please be assured our internal website and IT teams remain focused on reinstating the stock availability function.
We cannot stress enough that we are doing everything we can to reconnect our internal system, and we will restore full website functionality as soon as possible.
If you experience any problems whilst ordering online, please do not hesitate to contact:
W związku z awarią sieci telefonicznej prosimy o kontakt na telefon komórkowy: Damian 512 372 612; Kasia 511 372 612
Melett UK will be closed on Monday 29th August and will reopen at 8.00am on Tuesday 30th August.
Any orders that are not picked or dispatched before we close on Friday 26th August will resume preparation when we reopen. If you would like any more information or guidance on the above, please contact our customer care team on +44 (0)1226 320939.
Melett Polska will be closed for a public holiday on Friday 11th November and will reopen on Monday 14th November.
Any orders that are not picked or dispatched before we close on Thursday 10th November will resume preparation when we reopen. If you would like any more information or guidance on the above, please contact our customer care team on +44 (0)1226 320939.
Queen Elizabeth II state funeral - Monday 19th September
Melett UK will be closed on Monday 19th September for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II . Melett will be joining people and businesses across the country in reflecting on Her Majesty's incredible contribution and enduring legacy.
Melett North America and Melett Polska will remain open as normal.
Easter opening hours
Melett UK - will close 17:00 Thursday 14 April and reopen 08:00 Tuesday 19 April Melett Polska - will close 16:30 Thursday 14 April and reopen 08:00 Tuesday 19 April Due to essential maintenance, the Melett website will be temporarily unavailable on Thursday 14 April from 17:30 to 19:30. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Due to essential maintenance, the Melett website will be temporarily unavailable on Friday 25 February from 18:00 to 20:00 (GMT). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Planned maintenance – Thursday 24 March 2022
We will be undertaking planned maintenance on our internal systems this evening between 17:00 and 20:00 GMT, which will affect some website functionality.
We aim to keep disruption to a minimum and the website will remain online. However, we will need to temporarily disable online ordering during this time.
Thank you for your understanding.
We are undertaking essential maintenance this weekend (February 19-20) and some of our website services may be unavailable at times. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
- Due to essential maintenance, the Melett website will be temporarily unavailable on Friday 28 January from 18:00 to 20:00 (CET). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Festive opening hours
- Melett UK Will close 5:00pm Thursday 23rd December and reopen 8:00am Tuesday 4th January
- Melett Polska Will close 4:30pm Thursday 23rd December and reopen 8:00am Monday 3rd January
- Melett North America Will close 5:00pm Thursday 23rd December and reopen 8:00am Monday 3rd January
Please note: Due to essential maintenance the Melett website will be temporarily unavailable on Friday 10 December from 5:00PM (CET) to 11:00PM (CET). Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Please note; Unfortunately, we are experiencing processing delays for all orders which may result in delays in shipping. If possible, please confirm orders at your earliest opportunity to help minimise disruption to our normal high standards. Please accept our apologies and rest assured that we are working hard to resolve the issue.
Melett Poland will be closed for a Public Holiday on Thursday 11th November. Any orders that are not picked or despatched on Wednesday 10th November will resume preparation when we return on Friday 12th November.
Melett Poland will be closed for a Public Holiday on Thursday 6th November. Any orders that are not picked or despatched on Wednesday 5th November will resume preparation when we return on Friday 7th November.
Melett will be closed for a Public Holiday on Thursday 11th November. Any orders that are not picked or despatched on Wednesday 10th November will resume preparation when we return on Friday 12th November.
Melett will be closed from 5 pm on Wednesday 24th November until 8 am on Monday 29th November for the Thanksgiving holiday
Online ordering now available
In addition to viewing inventory levels and pricing, you can now place orders directly from our website. Download our user guide below to help you get started.