Why You Need a Dependable Turbo

Why You Need a Dependable Turbo

A turbocharger is subjected to astonishing extremes every day. That’s why it’s vital to fit a replacement designed and built to cope with them, says BTN Turbo.

The following statistics show why you should not ate the risk of choosing anything other than OE, and how by taking precautionary measures to prevent the three turbo killers – oil contamination, oil starvation and foreign object damage – you could prolong the life of your customer’s turbo.

Hotter than a volcano

The turbine in a petrol car turbo can reach 1050°C. This is higher than the melting point of glass. In a diesel car turbo, it gets up to 840°C, which is hotter than molten lava. Non-OE components sourced for the lowest possible cost are likely to be made from inferior grade materials and would not be able to tolerate these extreme temperatures, thus leading to premature turbo failure.

Far faster than the engine

When the engine is running at 2,000rpm, the turbine in a typical car turbocharger is spinning at over 280,000rpm – an amazing 4,666 revs per second! Due to this incredible rotating speed, correct, clean oil is vital. The shaft is protected by just a thin film of oil on the bearings, so any problem with the oil will damage the bearings or seals, inevitably leading to turbo failure caused by oil contamination.

Incredible acceleration

A turbo can accelerate from 20,000 to 150,000rpm in less than a second. That’s why oil starvation should be prevented by ensuring there is never any delay of oil reaching the bearings. Running a turbo without oil for five seconds is the same as running an engine without oil for five minutes.

As fast as a speeding jet

Air speed at the turbo’s compressor impeller can be close to Mach 1, the speed of sound (1235kmph or 343 metres per second) so even if a small object was to be sucked into the air intake, the damage to the impeller would be catastrophic. This is known as foreign object damage.

Gasping for air

At average engine revs, a medium size turbocharger will swallow 130 cubic feet of air every minute – the same as the load space volume of a Transit Connect van.


To ensure they are perfectly balanced, a turbo’s bearings are manufactured to tolerances smaller than the width of a single human hair.

When you need to replace a turbo, don’t risk it with non-OE

BTN Turbo supplies either brand new OE or remanufactured OE.

All of the potential reasons for failure are explained in BTN Turbo’s turbo killer fact sheets, available for workshops to read and download for free, here.  

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