In this example, you can see a turbine shaft and wheel that’s been damaged due to severe oil contamination – notice the built up oil coating both the wheel and the shaft, and the damaged blades on the wheel. On the shaft itself, you can also see where foreign objects in the contaminated oil have caused scoring damage.
Turbine shafts are manufactured to very precise tolerances, and heavy wear on the shaft like this has had a knock on effect on the movement of the unit. In this case, it’s allowed excessive movement of the rotor, which has caused the turbine wheel to rub against the housing, causing damage to the blades, and preventing the turbocharger from working correctly.
Whilst minor wear to the blades can be repaired, in cases like this, the best, most cost-effective course of action is to replace the whole unit.
Oil problems are the leading cause of turbocharger damage, which is why it’s so important to check your oil levels, change your oil frequently, and have your vehicle serviced regularly.