HHP Spotlight: VGT Turbocharger Problems in Your Diesel Engine

Variable geometry turbo problems. If you're running a diesel engine with a VGT, you can't tell me that you haven't had a turbo problem, because they're out there everywhere. In fact, they've become a major source of frustration for operators because of their high failure rate and the cost associated with fixing them. 

And it never seems like you fix it just once and everything works again. No, you repair the issue and suddenly weeks, or maybe months later, it breaks again. Costing you more money. 

Here at HHP, we have the solution to your VGT troubles! We have a complete line of VGT turbochargers made from high quality parts that won't cost you an arm and a leg. 

 

If you want to know more about our quality VGT replacement options, we have ASE Certified Technicians on staff to help you find the best part for your engine!

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But it also helps to be able to identify some of the issues associated with variable geometry turbochargers in diesel engines! We've put together a video on the topic, or you can read on for more details!

 

 


Problems with Your Diesel Engine VGT

 

hhp turbo problems | Highway & Heavy Parts

While you may experience a wide range of issues, we see three types most frequently from our VGT customers: excessive oil consumption, mechanical failures, and electrical failures. 

 

VGT Excessive Oil Consumption 

If you're noticing excessive oil consumption caused by your turbocharger, it might be from a bearing that has failed, or maybe you have hot shutdowns, or really extended drain intervals with dirty oil that's contaminated by carbon or the wrong oil. Maybe you've got a blocked crankcase filter and it's causing excessive pressure and pushing oil out into the turbo.

None of these are actually the turbo's fault. Rather, they are outside sources that cause the turbocharger to fail, and to actually fix the issue, you need to identify that source. Otherwise your turbo will continue to fail.

 

VGT Mechanical Faults

As we've mentioned before, VGTs have a lot of moving parts, leaving many opportunities for mechanical failure. 

You have a lot of pieces in the system feeding air into the turbocharger, and mechanical issues could come from EGR valve problems, EGR cooler problems, coolant contamination, or foreign object contamination. You know it has a mechanical fault if the turbo won't shift from a big turbo to a small turbo because it gets stuck in between due to bent fins or clogs from that mixture of coolant and carbon.

 

VGT Electrical Faults

Apart from mechanical failure, you can also experience electrical faults in your VGT. Because a lot of these turbos have electric actuators on them, and unfortunately, electronics can fail, you get a lot of electrical failures from these actuators.

 

Variable Geometry System Problems

 

hhp vgt turbo problems turbocharger | Highway & Heavy Parts

 

Going hand in hand with your variable geometry turbocharger is your EGR system. And you've probably experienced a lot of problems with your EGR as well. But you need this system to stay compliant with EPA regulations.

You also might have noticed carbon buildup that prevents your VGT from functioning as it should. This is normally due to another point of failure in your diesel engine but ends up causing your VGT to fail. So you need to identify that larger issue to prevent continued turbo failure. Want to know more about it? Read our post on carbon buildup and your variable geometry turbocharger.

There's also the problem that OEMs have information about installing these parts correctly that they won't share with you. We have access to all the manufacturer's service parts topics and bulletins, though—all the stuff the dealer isn't going to give you. They don't mind selling you a $5,000 turbo, but they're not going to give you all the information to change it yourself, that's for sure. They want that job in their shop. 

 

Want to check out our line of variable geometry turbochargers and components? You can read our blog on our available VGT turbo options. Or, here are some of our available products:

Don't see what you need?  Our ASE Certified Technicians can help you find the right VGT for your engine! Give us a call at 844-215-3406, or request a quote online!