Why Did My VGT Turbo Fail? 3 Common Symptoms and Carbon Prevention

Has your turbo failed? Are you looking at a very expensive repair?

We know how frustrating it can be when this happens, especially when it feels like you're having the same problem over and over.

Diesel-Red-VGT-Turbo-Failure-Poor-InstallationWe hear it all the time—VGTs break too easily, and they're too expensive to fix. But what people might not know is that often it's not a fault with the turbo at all. What you're seeing is the result of a bigger problem in your engine.

Today, I'm talking about some of the issues you might see with your VGT and what you can do to extend the life of your turbo.

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3 Common Problems With VGT Turbos

When you have problems with your Variable Geometry Turbocharger (or VGT), you're often seeing a symptom of the problem in a different part of your engine, your turbo is just taking the brunt of the damage.

That's why it's important to identify the root cause of any failure to help prevent it from happening again, saving you time and money.

There are a number of common issues you might notice with your VGT turbo.

1. Internal Damage Might be the Cause of Your VGT Problems

You might have internal damage. One of the easiest ways to check this is to look at the sector gear.

You have to remove the actuator to do this, but then you'll be able to move the sector gear by hand. If everything is working as it should, it should have a pretty large range of motion, about 12mm.

You can put a template on to check, and the gear should run from mark to mark. If it doesn't, there's likely a problem inside the turbo, and it'll need to be taken apart to see what's going on.

If you can easily move the sector gear, then it's more likely that you have a problem with your actuator, not the turbo itself.

2. Check for a Damaged Shroud Plate

A damaged shroud plate is damaged, or if you have bent fins, the fins won't be able to travel through the plate properly. This can be caused by carbon, debris, or coolant contamination from your EGR system.

As we mentioned, it's often a symptom of a larger problem in your engine which will need to be solved to prevent future turbo damage.

3. Are You Noticing Higher Oil Consumption?

You might notice that you're having higher oil consumption than is normal. This could be caused by issues with your VGT. A bearing might have failed, you could have hot shutdowns, or you could be contaminated by carbon.

You could also have a blocked crankcase filter that is causing excessive pressure, which pushes oil out of the turbo.

You might notice that we mention carbon build up a lot. Carbon can build up in your engine, and once it hits your VGT system, you'll begin to see expensive problems.

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How to Prevent Carbon Buildup in Your VGT

Carbon-Buildup-In-A-Diesel-VGT-Turbocharger

Something you can do to help prevent the buildup of carbon and debris and other problems that can spell trouble for your VGT is to follow the proper install techniques.

VGTs from Highway & Heavy Parts

When you order a VGT from Highway & Heavy Parts, you'll notice several things.

On the outside of the box you'll see a couple cautionary stickers: one reminding you to use the correct oils and to change your DPF filter, and one encouraging you to refer to the service parts topic when you're putting the turbo on. This will help ensure that you're not accidentally creating a larger problem for yourself down the road.

Those same topics can be found on the bag of the turbo and the tag itself. If you don't follow the recommendations in the service topics and just put the turbo on, you're likely going to have serious problems later on.

Troubleshooting Your VGT Turbo Problems

These service topics can also help you troubleshoot the problems you might have experienced with your VGT. As I mentioned, VGT failure is often a symptom of a larger issue, and if you don't solve the root cause, you're going to continue to have issues.

If you need copies of the service topics, we can email them to you so you have them on hand. Or you can always give us a call. We can talk you through the service parts topics and the benefits of following those recommendations. It really is the best way to get the most life out of your VGT.

How HHP Can Help With Your VGT Turbo Problems

Here at Highway & Heavy Parts, we're dedicated to helping you with your diesel engine repair. Our team of experts are here to help you troubleshoot your problem and find the parts you need, so you and your engine can get back to work!

When we get down to it, we know you want quality, affordable parts that will last. And you want them fast.

HHP only works with the highest quality manufacturers to get you the best possible diesel engine parts. In most cases, these are the same parts you'd find at the OEM dealer.

If you're having trouble with your VGT turbo, we have a huge inventory of parts to get you back up and running. Most parts ship in two-days or less!

Don't sacrifice quality to get the best price possible! We have it all here—high quality replacement parts, backed by an industry-leading warranty.

From diagnosis through delivery, we’re Highway and Heavy Parts.

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VGT Turbochargers Resources

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