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Oil Starvation

Lubrication problems are the usual reason for turbocharger failures. A malfunctioning oil pump can lead to turbocharger failure and a totaled engine. Putting off oil changes can lead to gunk in your lubrication system and clogged oil passages.

Oil Contamination

A substandard oil filter may let contaminates get by when it clogs and bypasses. These contaminants will ruin the turbocharger bearings. If they block oil passageways, it will lead to oil starvation. (See above). We use only the best-quality oil filters.

Oil dilution

Active regeneration has an unintended consequence, oil dilution. As part of the emissions control process, active regeneration injects more fuel during the exhaust stroke. Some of this fuel may bypass the piston rings and dilute the engine oil. This causes oil contamination (see above).

Change the oil immediately when the engine oil is over the full mark on the dipstick. Diluted oil will not lubricate your expensive turbocharger bearings as it should.

Foreign Object Entry

You have an intercooler to lower the post-turbo air temperature before it reaches the intake manifold. This cooled and compressed air gets where it is going through a metal pipe or rubber hose termed CAC (charge-air cooler) passages. Junk can get to the turbo through a damaged CAC pipe or hose. Impeller blades spin at thousands of RPM and will not tolerate collision with foreign objects. You will know you have damaged impeller blades if you notice vibration on acceleration. When the impeller blades are damaged, turbo replacement is in your future.

Constrained Airflow and Leaks Downstream of the Turbo

If CAC pipes and hoses are installed improperly, develop leaks, or clamps fail, the boosted air will be blocked or leak out of the intake system. The symptoms are reduced power and acceleration and an air leak noise. This can be difficult to find, as the parts are sometimes hard to get to, and a turbo can’t develop much boost with our mechanic leaning into the engine compartment. Our experienced diesel technician will get to the bottom of your power loss complaint.


Like all mechanical devices, turbochargers wear out. Most mechanical devices don’t have to endure extreme temperatures, over 100,000 RPM, and sometimes contaminated oil. It’s a miracle these devices last as long as they do. The worst case is seized blades, but before that, you will likely notice reduced power and acceleration as the turbo becomes unresponsive to the ECM.

Our technicians at Fremont Foreign Auto have years of experience working on turbocharged diesel engines. We will return your truck to you, restored to regular operation, at a price you can afford. Visit our website or call us at 510-793-6067 for an appointment.