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turbo failure series

Foreign Object Damage

A foreign object is simply any object that enters the turbocharger through the air inlet or exhaust inlet. When a foreign object enters the turbocharger, it’s performance will be affected.


Cause of foreign object damage

  • Small particles entering through damaged hoses.
  • If the air filter is damaged or faulty, or of low quality or missing, objects will be sucked into the air intake.
  • Debris from a previous turbocharger failure.
  • Broken engine components, e.g. valves, or fragments of a damaged piston, injector tips.
  • Bolts, nuts, washers, rags, or other items left in the intake pipe during servicing.
  • Particles in the exhaust gas, e.g. coke from poor combustion.
  • Ice in low temperatures.

Signs of foreign object damage

  • Noise from the turbo during operation.
  • Loss of performance.
  • Damage to the compressor or turbine blades.
  • Pitting around the compressor inlet.


Prevention of foreign object damage

  • Make sure air hoses are clear from blockages and other loose objects.
  • Check that air hoses are intact and in good working condition.
  • Ensure the air filter is the correct one for the vehicle.
  • Ensure no debris or engine fragments remain from the previous turbo failure.
  • Using new gaskets helps to prevent the possibility of gasket break up and ensure a perfect seal.
  • Avoid operating the vehicle without the air intake connected to the turbocharger, as rags and other workshop items can be sucked into the intake system.