FAQ and Tech Support
This handy information (and more) can be found on our website under CUSTOMER SERVICE tab.
Failure to follow these instructions can result in premature turbocharger failure, most failures occur due to incorrect installation or operation.
The installation tips listed here are general guidelines that apply to all turbos and do not include vehicle-specific details. Please refer to the authorized original equipment service manual for detailed installation instructions. If you do not have the experience, proper tools or manuals, please seek the services of a qualified technician.
Before the install:
- Inspect the oil supply and drain lines for degradation and cracking. Clean or replace all oil lines.
- NEVER put thread sealant on the turbo oil feed fitting. Using thread sealant will lead to turbocharger failure.
- Install the turbocharger, taking care to ensure that no dirt or foreign material enters the turbocharger openings. Always, use new gaskets and O-rings (where applicable). Do not connect the oil supply line or the air cleaner duct yet.
- Pre-lube the turbocharger by pouring clean engine oil into the oil inlet hole of the turbo.
- With your fingers, spin the compressor wheel several times to coat the turbocharger bearings with oil.
- Pour more oil into the oil inlet hole to top it off. There may be some drainage, but this is of no concern.
- Connect the oil supply line and the air cleaner duct.
- Check for proper crankcase oil level.
- With the fuel shut off to prevent engine start, crank the engine for 10-15 seconds, or until the gauge shows an oil pressure build up.
- Start the engine and let it idle for 5-10 minutes. Do not rev the engine during this time.
- Check the installation for any oil leaks.
- Drive with low boost/light throttle to ensure proper break-in.
Most turbo failures are caused by oil starvation, oil contamination and/or foreign object damage. Turbochargers with manufacturing defects tend to fail “out of the box”. All CTS Turbo turbochargers are manufactured to meet or exceed OEM standards.
Here are the most common causes, which are very easily identified during professional inspection after disassembly:
Engine oil contamination: small carbon particles can enter the engine oil and erode the components inside the turbocharger. Over time, the tolerances will increase and cause the turbocharger to fail. The evidence of this failure is the “dentist drill” sound coming from the turbo and evidence of oil leaking from the turbine end seal. Results: oil leaks from the exhaust side of the turbo, burning oil smell, loss of power, complete seizure of the turbocharger, catastrophic failure of turbocharger.
Prolonged engine idling can create a vacuum with the turbine. Results: oil leaking into the intake (cold) side of the turbocharger.
Hard acceleration from cold start may not give the oil enough time to circulate, causing oil starvation to the turbo and engine bearings. Results: turbocharger seizing, bearing failure, catastrophic failure of turbocharger. Just don’t do this.
Hot engine shutdown can cause carbon build-up in the turbo, leading to bearing failure. This is prevalent on high-mileage engines. It’s easy to avoid this.
Over-speed, over-boost, brake-boosting, anti-lag: This is a very common cause of failure, as these conditions will lead to oil starvation (or even a mechanical failure).
CTS Turbo air filters are DRY filters and cleaning them is straight forward and easy:
For washing a dry filter get a bucket with soap and water.
Put the air filter into the soapy (we suggest using a alkaline based soap like DAWN) water mixture and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Gently move the filter around in the bucket to loosen any debris. Assess the filter for any large debris lodged and remove accordingly, followed by rinsing with water. DO NOT use a pressure washer or jet option on your hose nozzle.
Shake excess water out and let the filter air dry completely. DO NOT use compressed air as too much pressure will damage the cotton mesh.
Using filter cleaning kits (K&N or equivalent)
Follow the instructions provided with the cleaning kit.