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(3,595 posts)
Sun Apr 24, 2016, 10:34 AM Apr 2016

Car turbo-charger question.

I got a new car with a turbo-charger. (Yeah, I know. But it was the only way to get the full safety package.) Anyways, I never had a car with a turbo. When the car is going up a hill, there is a whine coming from the hood that sound like a small Banshee.

Is this a normal sound with a turbo? The dealer isn't open today.

If I open the hood latch and there is a Banshee in there, am I likely to get bitten?

5 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Car turbo-charger question. (Original Post) Hoppy Apr 2016 OP
Yes, you will hear the turbo charger when it cuts in. nt JayhawkSD Apr 2016 #1
Thanks. I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to damage anything by driving it. Hoppy Apr 2016 #2
It's the turbo "spooling up" Mopar151 Apr 2016 #3
Most modern Turbos don't make intrusive noises. Ford_Prefect Apr 2016 #4
Intake muffling..... Mopar151 May 2016 #5


(10,054 posts)
3. It's the turbo "spooling up"
Sun Apr 24, 2016, 11:18 AM
Apr 2016

The high pitch means that it is a relatively small turbosupercharger (full name). At moderate levels of boost, it actually makes the engine a bit more efficent.
Big turbos, like a diesel truck or one of the (really sick) race or rally cars my buddies build, have a lower pitch, and a bit of a whistle when they start to make boost, or spool down off-throttle.
Some considerations for a new turbo owner: Don't stint on oil changes, and full synthetic is a good idea, due to it's ability to handle the heat. Old, dirty oil will turn to burnt carbon in the turbocharger bearing ("Coke the turbo&quot , which means a new turbo, and other engine damage. Be fussy about your fuel, both about octane and cleanliness. Water contamination tends to make ethanol blend fuels (E-10 is pretty much normal gas these days) "fall apart", and there are several ways this can harm the engine "on boost". Personally, if a tank of gas is going to be in the car more than a couple weeks, I'd add an "ethanol stabilizer" shot.
If some "whiz kid" tries to talk you into doing something to "hop up" power by monkeying with boost and other settings, shine 'em on. There is a fair amount of safety margin in the stock "tune", and if you're not into blowing stuff up, that's a very good thing.


(8,039 posts)
4. Most modern Turbos don't make intrusive noises.
Sun Apr 24, 2016, 12:21 PM
Apr 2016

You should be aware of the sound of spooling but not as if the thing was in your lap. If it is louder than your heater/AC fan then you could have a problem.


(10,054 posts)
5. Intake muffling.....
Thu May 19, 2016, 01:00 PM
May 2016

Has little to do with how "modern" your turbo is, and everything to do with how the manufacturer thinks it should sound. Mustangs and Beemers have, in some models, "engine sound enhancement" playing through the stereo.

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