The air filter and its effect on the life of the turbo

Vacuum and filter area

If we put between the car’s air filter and the cylinder we will give turbocharger, in addition to a higher torque of the engine, we also achieve another effect in the form of a strong negative pressure, which is developed on the filter. Of course, manufacturers take this into account and take it into account when designing the intake, but this effect can very easily become literally deadly for a turbocharger.

The car’s air filter has throughput, which is a certain compromise. Although we can’t let dust particles into the engine, i.e. the turbo, not even really small ones, on the other hand, we need the filter to let in enough air. That is also why manufacturers increase the area of ​​filters with a simple trick – they put them together like an accordion. This will increase the thickness of the filter a little, but we don’t mind, the main thing is that its area and thus the permeability will increase several times.

The active area of ​​the filter is reduced

Now where’s the problem, right? We have a fairly compact filter with a large area, the engine gets as much air as it needs, everything is bathed in the sun. But with use, the filter gradually becomes clogged and clogged. Dust, pollen, small flies and in short everything that flies in the air gradually clogs it and reduces its permeability. The porous material becomes impermeable and the active area of ​​the filter, i.e. the one that works, is smaller and smaller. However, the turbo still creates the same vacuum and tries to suck in its share of air.

If this condition continues for too long, it will deteriorate to the stage where the turbo literally starts vacuuming vacuum the dirt from the filter. In short, it sucks in a bit of dust here and there, which of course acts like an abrasive on the spinning compressor wheel. If no one changes the filter and it becomes more and more clogged, it can happen that the air gets into the intake from somewhere else and is therefore not clean, which of course reduces the life of the turbo. The worst option is when the turbo starts literally tearing the filter. Higher humidity during rain can contribute to this, for example, when the folded paper softens a little and negative pressure in short and simple, maybe just a small one a piece of the filter rips out. This will most likely be the final one for the turbocharger.

Change him!

So when to change air filter, so that the above does not happen? Yes, we know that the described possibility for the filter to begin to tear requires coughing up replacements for at least a decade and it is truly extreme. But even with a deterioration in throughput, the driver can observe a drop in performance, especially with naturally aspirated engines. In short, at higher speeds, an air barrier that has not been changed for three years is needed, and the unit will not get enough air. Modern cars compensate for this and simply will not achieve their goal in such a case full performance potential. The driver can feel it in addition to lazier acceleration and an increase in consumption.

The optimal time for exchange is approximately 20 thousand kilometers, in the case of vehicles moving in a dusty environment, it is advisable to halve this interval. It is based on something more than the ideal oil change interval (10-15 thousand kilometers), so many drivers combine these two actions and change the filter at the same time as the lubricant. It’s nothing against anything, and it won’t significantly worsen the running economy. A new filter for the Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI will cost 210 crowns in the cheapest variant (no name China), in the case of an original part, we are talking about the price of 516 crowns.

Info source: Turbo – Klima servis Pardubice.

Media source: Depositphotos.


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