Tag Archives: Winnipeg turbo

How does a Turbocharger work anyway?

Sometimes at Western Turbo, we get so wrapped up in helping our customers get back on the road that we forget that education is one of the best things that we can do to help our customers understand when they need to call the best diesel service centre in Manitoba.

Below is a short article on how a turbocharger works and why this is such a key component to the performance of your diesel engine.

The purpose of a turbocharger is to compress the air flowing into the diesel engine, this lets the engine squeeze more air into a cylinder and more air means that more fuel can be added. The engine burns air and fuel to create mechanical power, the more air and fuel it can burn the more powerful it is. In simple terms, a turbocharger comprises a turbine and a compressor connected by a common shaft supported on a bearing system. The turbocharger converts waste energy from an engine’s exhaust gases into compressed air, which it pushes into the engine. This allows the engine to burn more fuel producing more power and improve the overall efficiency of the combustion process. The turbine consists of two components; the turbine wheel and the collector, commonly referred to as the turbine housing. The exhaust gas is guided into the turbine wheel by the housing. The energy in the exhaust gas turns the turbine. Once the gas has passed through the blades of the wheel it leaves the turbine housing via the exhaust outlet area.

Compressors are the opposite of turbines. They consist of two sections; the impeller or compressor wheel and the compressor housing. The compressor wheel is connected to the turbine by a forged steel shaft. As the compressor wheel spins, air is drawn in and is compressed as the blades spin at a high velocity. The housing is designed to convert the high velocity, low pressure air stream, into a high pressure low velocity air stream, through a process called diffusion. In order to achieve this boost, the turbocharger uses the exhaust flow from the engine to spin a turbine, which in turn spins an air pump. The turbine in the turbocharger spins at speeds of up to 150,000 rotations per minute (rpm) that is about 30 times faster than most car engines can go. Since it is connected to the exhaust, the temperatures in the turbine are also very high. Air enters the compressor at a temperature compression causes the temperature of the air to rise it leaves the compressor cover at temperatures up to 200°C. The turbocharger bearing system is lubricated by oil from the engine. The oil is fed under pressure into the bearing housing, through to the journal bearings and thrust system. The oil also acts as a coolant taking away heat generated by the turbine. The journal bearings are a free floating rotational type.

To perform correctly, the journal bearings should float between a film of oil. The bearing clearances are very small, less than the width of a human hair. Dirty oil or blockages in the oil supply holes can cause serious damage to the turbocharger.

Western Turbo repairs turbochargers

Now that you know how a turbocharger works, we will look at some of the reasons in our next blog why turbochargers fail and how Western Turbo diagnoses the problem and decides whether to rebuild or replace.

Gasoline Direct Injection – It’s a Really Big Deal!

Just as North America is rediscovering diesel, automakers are digging into the technology to improve gasoline engines.

In the 1980s, fuel injection changed the gas engine landscape. Instead of relying on a relatively inefficient and quirky carburetor to draw air and fuel in to an engine, it was found that you could exercise more control if you injected the gasoline into the engine.

Diesel fans nodded their heads. That’s how diesels do it.

In the past couple of years, it’s been found to be more efficient to inject the gasoline directly into the engine’s cylinders, instead of into an intake manifold.

Again, taking a page from the diesel book.

As a result, gasoline engines are getting mileage and power results that are generally reserved for diesel engines. Almost all of the automakers have taken notice. Gasoline Direct Injection engines are available from Ford, Mercedes, Mazda, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Bentley and others. Mileage, power, and reliability are all working together to make these cars popular among consumers.

As with any new technology, there are growing pains. Gasoline Direct Injection requires precise, computer-controlled injection action, and because the injectors are directly attached to the cylinders, they’re subject to a lot more heat and vibration than conventional injectors, which are separated from the combustion chamber by the closure of the intake valve. The stress that the injectors undergo makes them the part of the system most prone to failure. Many shops that deal with gasoline engines lack the sophisticated test equipment required to diagnose problems with these injectors.

Because most of the work we do at Western Turbo is focused on diesel engines, which have used direct injection technology for decades, we have the skills and expertise to diagnose fuel injector problems, and rehab many units that would be discarded by service providers who can’t.

We can use our sophisticated equipment to test a set of injectors by measuring output of fuel for atomization, strength, and spray pattern.

Western Turbo has a state-of-the art repair facility at 325 Eagle Drive in Winnipeg.

Happy Holidays from the Team at Western Turbo!

As 2013 draws to a close, we are very grateful for the great year that we’ve had, here at Western Turbo.  We are also very grateful for our loyal customers – both old and new who make our jobs so enjoyable!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy holiday season. We look forward to continue serving you in 2014!

– The team at Western Turbo

North America’s Turbo ‘Revolution’

The change in the market in North America – led by Ford – is particularly remarkable; in 2008, there were no turbocharged petrol engines made in North America, all previous turbo-fitted engines having been imported.

The first North American built turbocharged petrol engine was fitted to the Lincoln MKS which used the first North American EcoBoost engine. This engine has since been fitted to the Ford Flex, Explorer and most significantly the F-series pick-up trucks.

“GM has been somewhat behind Ford in terms of the fitment of turbochargers, but it is slowly going down the same route,” said Ian Henry. “It has already started on this journey – the 2012 Cadillac XTS had a turbo option on the 3.6 litre V6 engine. GM is however also working on improving the fuel efficiency of its naturally aspirated engines and has claimed that it can achieve similar fuel efficiencies gains to those available with turbochargers through other means.”

“The impetus at Chrysler will come from Fiat’s MultiAir programme,” adds Henry.

The CAFE rules announced in 2012 will force GM and Chrysler to accelerate their use of fuel saving technologies such as turbochargers and a large part of the increased volumes which will be seen in the next few years and into the 2020s come from the widening take-up across these VMs, Ford having led the way.

According to just-auto’s QUBE data, North America currently has a turbo fitment rate below 20% but by the late 2020s, if not before, its fitment rate will be much closer to that of Europe, at close to 75%.