Not exactly a technical description but a few engines use a turbocharger to increase horsepower. Yes it should be repaired because to handle the added stress from a turbo, the rest of the engine is "detuned" meaning it has been weakened as far as the power it can develop, then the turbo more than makes up for it. This is done to get better fuel mileage from a smaller engine, and the turbo makes up for the lower horsepower.
Turbochargers are usually pretty expensive because they are built to very tight tolerances and have to be perfectly balanced because they spin so extremely fast. They can fail in various ways but the most common failures are to their bearings when the engine oil isn't changed at the proper intervals. Chrysler had real good success with turbos in the '80s, but today we get the needed horsepower from tiny engines thanks to computer controls and better-designs. Ford had a big problem with their turbos from people pulling off the highway and immediately stopping the engine. That stopped the critical flow of oil to the bearings while the turbo was coasting to a stop. You were supposed to let the engine idle for one minute before turning it off, and people didn't do that. It is also necessary to use engine oil rated for use with the higher temperatures with turbochargers.
You can still drive your vehicle with a failed turbo but don't expect it to have much power, and for sure don't try to pull out and pass anyone. Fuel mileage is going to suffer too. The turbo forces extra air into the engine, then the computer knows how much fuel to inject. You won't be getting the expected amount of air. The computer will detect that and respond by commanding less fuel. You will have to respond by pushing much further on the gas pedal.
We don't get involved with costs here because there's too many variables.
Friday, February 8th, 2013 AT 1:45 AM