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The Autopsy of a Dead Turbocharger

Why did my turbocharger die?

First, we have to understand how a turbocharger works…

In a nutshell, a turbocharger uses exhaust gases produced by the engine, which are pushed out of the engine at a velocity that corresponds with the speed of the engine’s rotation to push fresh air into the engine. The faster the engine “revs” the higher the volume and speed of the exhaust that escapes it is. Exhaust consists of air and the by products of fuel combustion (carbon monoxide, and a lot of other chemicals).

Turbocharger Western Turbo

In a normally aspirated engine, air is taken in at atmospheric pressure. In a turbocharged engine, air is pushed in to the combustion chamber under pressure. Because the air is compressed, more fuel can be introduced into the engine while still maintaining the ideal mixture ratio between air and fuel. Simply put, being able to put more fuel into the engine results in more power.

Because the exhaust gases would be emitted anyway, harnessing them to increase performance also increases efficiency. The turbocharger plays a big role in making diesel engines the powerhouses that they are.

Here’s where we get into why your turbocharger died…

Unfortunately, the high temperatures and speeds involved in a turbocharger can be hard on it. The turbine is the component that hot exhaust gases push against to drive the unit. It’s subject to extremely high temperatures, and speeds up to 150,000 rpm. The compressor wheel “squeezes” air into the compression chamber. When air is compressed, it gets hot. Even at the “cool” end of the turbocharger temperatures can exceed 200 degrees Celsius.

The turbocharger needs a healthy supply of engine oil to lubricate its moving parts, and to help cool it. Often, an impediment to oil circulation and/or dirty oil, can cause the turbocharger to fail. In fact, short of component failure in the turbocharger, nearly every turbocharger failure is caused by something else in the engine not working correctly. Air and gas leaks, worn piston rings, clogged exhaust, carbon build-up and a hundred other things can cause turbocharger failure. When this is the case, simply replacing your turbocharger may appear to solve the problem, but it won’t be a long term fix.

We’re Manitoba’s premiere diesel service centre. If you’ve experienced a turbocharger problem, bring it to us. Because we understand diesel engines better than anyone else, we will diagnose and repair the root cause of your problem, not just the symptom.

When it’s time for the best diesel service in Winnipeg, the biggest parts selection or turbocharger diagnostics, give us a call at 1 800 665 7556 or send us an email to info@westernturbo.com

When Do You Need a Certificate of Inspection (COI)?

You require a valid safety Certificate of Inspection (COI) to register a newly acquired vehicle in Manitoba. A COI confirms that, at the time of inspection, a vehicle met basic standards for operation in Manitoba, which are set out in the Vehicle Inspection Handbook.

A COI doesn’t include a detailed inspection of the engine or transmission and is not a guarantee of the overall quality of the vehicle. A COI provides a snapshot of the vehicle condition at the time of inspection. This condition can change over time and it is a good idea to have your vehicle fully inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

When do you need a COI

A COI is required:

  • When ownership of a vehicle is transferred.
  • When bringing any vehicle into Manitoba. This includes vehicles owned by people moving to Manitoba.

The COI inspection

An inspector at one of Manitoba’s registered vehicle inspection stations signs a COI after a vehicle passes an inspection of components and systems, including:

  • Brakes
  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Lights
  • Exhaust system
  • Seat belts
  • Steering
  • Other components and systems

There are three possible outcomes to the COI inspection:

Pass: The vehicle passes the inspection and receives a COI.

Advisement: The vehicle currently meets all minimum safety standards and receives a COI. However, the advisement notes that specified components will soon require servicing or repair.

Fail: The vehicle does not meet certain standards. The vehicle must undergo specified repairs and pass a re inspection before a COI can be issued.

In Winnipeg, Western Turbo is a certified inspection station for automobiles, light duty trucks, heavy duty trucks, RVs, buses up to 24 passenger and also ambulances and handicap vehicles. We can also perform safety inspections on modified and lifted vehicles.To learn more about the inspection process, please contact us.

Diesel Engine Coolant – Not Just Green Anymore!

Coolant isn’t just green anymore! As engines have developed, taking more horsepower and torque out of increasingly smaller displacements, the load carried by you trucks cooling system has increased significantly.  Coolant now comes in various hues including red, yellow, orange  and purple. It’s important to use the correct coolant for your application, as the wrong coolant can actually be detrimental to your engine!

Always consult the engine manufacturer’s technical data if you are unsure which coolant is right for you. Also be aware that mixing different coolants can also lead to expensive diesel engine repairs, and will almost certainly necessitate a complete cooling system flush.

For the best expert information on diesel parts, service and diagnostics in Winnipeg, give us a call at 1 800 665 7556 or send us an email to info@westernturbo.com

Biodiesel Will Shorten Your Filter Life. What’s the Best Filter Option?

Did you know Manitoba has mandated a minimum average 2% biodiesel for all diesel fuel sales by volume?  Due to potential gelling issues in our cold winters, winter fuel has very little biodiesel added, so to meet regulations summer fuel typically has up to 5% or more by volume. This can have an effect on your diesel vehicles performance, and it’s fuel filter life expectancy.

Razor Fuel Filters from Western Turbo

Biodiesel reduces filter life

Racor has participated in several biodiesel filtration field tests with major OEMs. Racor is actively participating in industry-wide research and development on biodiesel fuel filtration and water separation challenges. Development of technology to support the use of all biofuels is ongoing at Racor Division.

Biodiesel tends to shorten filter life and most biodiesels have a low “interfacial tension” – meaning water easily disperses and dissolves in the fuel, greatly reducing efficiency for all types of water separators and coalescers. Racor makes fuel filters capable of handling biodiesel for almost all domectic diesel applications.

Racor’s ultra high quality synthetic rubber compounds perform equally well in biodiesel and standard diesel. Seals subject to biodiesel exposure are generally replaced at the same time as the replacement filter. Racor uses all materials compatible with up to 20% biodiesel blend. Above 20% may require material changes to dynamic seals that are not normally replaced at element change-outs.

For expert information on fuel filters, diesel parts, service and diagnostics, give us a call at 1 800 665 7556 or send us an email to info@westernturbo.com

Are you Budget Minded About Your Diesel Service? Western Turbo is Right for You!

There’s a reason why Western Turbo has become the choice of service and maintenance for diesel fleets in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
We Save You Money

Our experience and investment in equipment and people let us stand head and shoulders above others.  Here are three examples of how we can save you money and earn your business.

Save money at Western Turbo

1. Our Advice We have seen most situations when it comes to diesel challenges and we have the know how to offer suggestions on how you can save money through preventive maintenance.  As an example, by using Stanadyne Performance Fuel Additive, you can virtually eliminate wear on fuel injectors that is  caused by low lubricity fuels.
2. Our Testing Equipment Western Turbo has invested over $1,000,000 to be the premier test provider of diesel equipment in Western Canada.   We can test your parts and offer to rebuild them if it makes sense.  Again saving you money on expensive new part replacements.
3.  Sourcing Product from Multiple Vendors. We work for you, not the vendors.  We are proud of our independence and our ability to source the right part for your specific needs.  We source parts from Cat, International, GMC, Ford, Bosch, Ambac, Stanadyne, Holset, Borg Warner, Delphi, and others – ensuring that anything you need for injectors, pumps, fuel systems, filters and turbochargers are covered. We can always offer a solution that meets your budget.
At Western Turbo, we are proud of being the best diesel service centre in the marketplace.  Let us show you how the Western Turbo advantage can give you the best value in the marketplace.

Ford Announces Diesel Option For Transit Van


For 2014, the Ford Transit van will be available with a 5-cylinder PowerStroke diesel engine. The 3.2 liter, which has been in use in other markets outside North America, is rated at 197 horsepower and 347 lb-ft. of torque. Its introduction into the North American market will make it the only 5-cylinder diesel engine available.

Ford promises that the new engine will have 90 percent of its peak torque available throughout engine speed ranges from 1700 to 3500 rpm. That means drivers will benefit from the engine’s torque in a variety of driving and load conditions. The new diesel will provide a smoother, more fuel efficient alternative for fleet operators and reduce operating costs. Urea injection will reduce emissions of nitrous oxides, for cleaner operation as well. For even greener alternatives, Ford says that the engine will be compatible with 20 percent biodiesel (B20) fuel sources. It will also feature a diesel particulate filter that is designed to trap particulates before they can reach the exhaust.

Ford’s 3.2 liter PowerStroke diesel uses direct fuel inject with variable-diameter turbocharger nozzle for more efficient boost and quicker response when that extra engine power is needed. Noise is reduced thanks to engine calibration that limits the stereotypical diesel clatter present in diesel engines past. Western Canadian drivers will be glad to know that the PowerStroke diesel assures quick starts at temperatures as low as 25°F. Built with a dual overhead cam, four valves-per cylinder design, this diesel engine features aluminum cylinder heads and sophisticated engineering.

As with other engine offerings for the Transit van, Ford’s PowerStroke 3.2L diesel option will be mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine will be built in South Africa and shipped to North American assembly plants. The 2014 Ford Transit van is scheduled to be available later this year.

ADS News

Volkswagen is fuming over the Obama Administration’s proposal to double auto fuel efficiency, saying the plan unfairly values hybrid and all-electric cars over clean diesel, a technology VW has pioneered.

Volkswagen is committed to continually making fuel efficient vehicles, such as the new mid-size, clean diesel Passat TDI, available to the U.S. market. Built in Chattanooga, TN, the Passat TDI achieves 43 mpg highway and can travel almost 800 miles on a single tank of fuel.

The Obama Administration unveiled a proposed rule that would require automakers to double the average fuel economy of their vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, estimating that the change would add $2,000 to the average price of a car.

The proposal brought howls of protest from automakers who warned the changes would price millions of Americans out of the new-car market, keeping older, less fuel-efficient cars on the road longer.

VW, Europe’s largest automaker and the fastest-growing automaker in the United States, already offers turbodiesel cars, station wagons and SUVs that routinely get nearly 50 miles per gallon on the highway.

What Are You Selling?

By John Boe

When I ask sales reps to boil down the entire “selling process” into a one word answer, I get a wide variety of interesting responses such as service, education, or consulting. Seldom do I get the answer that I’m expecting to hear…relationship. Regardless of your industry, at the end of the day you’re in the “people business.” As the old saying goes, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The key to making a successful sale is not a transfer of information, but the establishment of a working relationship. Most sales reps shoot themselves in the foot by trying to close a sale too quickly without first taking the time to lay a firm foundation of trust and rapport. This oversight is the equivalent of a construction worker being in such a hurry to get the walls up and the roof on, that they forget about pouring the concrete foundation.

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ADS News

YONKERS, New York — The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has undergone its first series of road tests by Consumer Reports and the reaction is underwhelming, with the consumer watchdog complaining that the Volt is “an expensive way to be green” and does not provide top fuel efficiency versus some of its competitors.

“So far, the Volt works as an electric car with a gas backup, but it’s not really much of a money saver in many places,” said Consumer Reports in its April issue, which takes a hard look at automakers and individual vehicles. “Cheaper electricity or more expensive gas could tip the scales in its favor. For now, it seems that owning a Volt is an expensive way to be green.”

Consumer Reports has just completed an initial study of the Volt, which took place during the Northeast’s “deep freeze,” it said. A full road test of the Volt, GM’s first plug-in hybrid, will appear in an unspecified future issue.  …… 

Consumer Reports warned the buying public that the Volt’s fuel economy “depends largely on your driving pattern.”….

Consumer Reports‘ product testers also noted that the Volt’s electric range is “very susceptible to cold weather, primarily because the heater runs on electricity. We also found that an extended highway cruise shortens the electric range.”

Testers liked the Volt’s “quiet operation, brisk acceleration and taut yet supple ride.”

“But the big question is what you can expect in terms of fuel economy and range,” Consumer Reports said.

Consumer Reports‘ take on the Volt is critical, especially as U.S. consumers consider alt-energy vehicles in the wake of climbing gas prices.