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Turbo Oil Leakage – 3 locations of the leaking

A properly installed turbo should NOT leak oil. There are, however, instances where turbo oil leaks occur.

Here are the most common causes, depending on the location of the leak.


Leakage from compressor and turbine seals

– Excessively high oil pressure
– Inadequate drain – drain is too small, does not go continuously downhill, or the location of the drain inside the oil pan is located in a section that has oil slung from the crank causing oil to back up in drain tube. Always place oil drain into oil pan in a location that oil from crank is blocked by windage tray.
– Improper venting of crankcase pressure.
– Excessive crankcase pressure.
– Oil drain rotated past the recommended 35°.

Leakage from compressor seal

Excessive pressure across the compressor housing inlet caused by:
– Air filter is too small.
– Charge air tubing too small or has too many bends between the air filter and compressor housing.
– Clogged air filter.

Leakage from Turbine seal

– Collapsed turbine piston ring from excessive EGT’s.
– Turbo tilted back on its axis past recommended 15°

More than 90% of turbocharger failures are caused oil related either by oil starvation or oil contamination. Blocked or leaking pipes or lack of priming on fitting usually causes oil starvation.

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