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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Why use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine.

It’s important that you use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine.

With regular mineral engine oils improving in quality it’s still vitally important that you use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine to prevent premature failure and expensive repairs.

Turbochargers operate under severe conditions: Shaft speeds exceeding 100,000RPM and temperatures that often approach or exceed 900C. To make life even more difficult on start up the turbo may lack lubrication, and on shutdown temperatures could reach 1000C. Conditions synthetic oil is best suited to cope with.


Use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine to deal with high temperatures.

It’s a well-known fact that synthetic base stock oils are engineered to withstand high operating temperatures without oxidising. Therefore it’s important to use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine to extend the life of the engine lubricant, as well as provide adequate lubrication at the elevated operating temperatures found in turbo applications.


Regular crude based motor oils contain impurities, such as sulphur and paraffin, which readily carburise at high temperatures or even become corrosive. The carbon particles that are formed are extremely hard and can cut into bearings leading to rapid bearing, and consequently turbo, failure.

Use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine to improve cold-start lubrication.

Once an engine is shutdown the oil gravitates back to the sump – this includes the oil in the turbo. As this oil is hot it’s somewhat thinner than the oil that’s pumped from the sump on startup, which means that it readily drains away from the bearings. Conversely on cold start the oil is thicker and therefore takes longer to fully lubricate the wearing surfaces. When you use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine the oil can be relatively thinner than the viscosity of a regular engine oil.

This is because full synthetic oils generally have superior shear and lubricating properties when compared to their mineral counterparts. This means that a less viscous fully synthetic engine oil performs as well as a significantly thicker crude based engine oil, even when hot.

So what is the best motor oil for turbocharged engines?

Although synthetic oils are superior in performance to mineral base oils, not all synthetic oils are equal. Therefore when you use synthetic motor oil in a turbocharged engine it’s important you choose a high quality fully synthetic oil such as that produced by Habot Oil. For expert advice on what oil to use call our professional staff.

2 comments:

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