Some Causes of Smells Coming From Your Car

5 Things Your Nose Can Tell You About Your Car

Besides that new car smell, there are fairly few odors you experience in or around your car that are pleasant. Your nose knows when something is foul or amiss. Some smells are pretty telltale of a certain condition, while others might present a little more mystery in need of investigation. Here are five odors that are indicators of potential problems with your car.

Hot or Burned Oil

The smell of hot or burned motor oil could mean that a gasket or seal is failing. This lets engine oil leak onto hot engine parts. Additionally, a leaky transmission seal can cause oil to spray all over the engine, including the manifold. These hot engine parts burn off the oil, creating bluish white smoke that wafts from under the hood.

The first thing you should do is check the oil to make sure it is at the correct level and that it’s clean. Small leaks often become bigger leaks, so check under the car, on the pavement where you park, and around the engine for signs of leaks. If your car is running low on oil, the engine can overheat and burn whatever oil is remaining.

If the burned oil smell is coming from the tailpipe (bluish white smoke), it is a symptom of oil leaking into the combustion chamber, which means it is getting into your exhaust system. The oil is burned in the combustion process with the air and fuel mixture, and pushed out through the exhaust system. The exhaust system is one of the hottest systems in your car, dealing with the noxious byproducts and fumes of the internal combustion engine banging away under the hood. If oil leaks into the either the combustion or exhaust system, it is going to be burned. This is usually a sign of an old, worn out engine in need of some serious repair and regular maintenance.

GasolineAAMCO Minnesota Vehicle Bad Smells

If you smell gasoline, like when it’s pumped at the gas station, inside or outside the car, you should take special care to identify the source. It is likely a sign of a gas leak in the fuel line or fuel injection system (if your car has one). A leak in the fuel tank vent hose oftentimes is the culprit behind gasoline odors inside the car, especially after filling the gas tank. At worst, there could be a leak in the gas tank itself.

In older pre-1980’s cars, the smell of gasoline can occur after the car has been turned off due to fuel afterboil. This is often normal and results when a small amount of gasoline continues to burn in the carburetor after the engine is shut down.

Any persistent smell of gasoline, either in the car or outside of the car such as in the garage, should be taken seriously. Any smell of gas fumes can indicate a fire hazard, so it should be checked immediately.

SyrupAAMCO Minnesota Bad Smelling Car

If you detect the scent of maple syrup, it probably means there is a leak in the cooling system. Cooling fluid is leaking onto hot engine parts and being burned away. If there is a leak in the cooling system, you need to check the coolant fluid level, check for leaks in the engine compartment and on the pavement in the areas you park (such as driveway or garage). Left unchecked and repaired, you will risk overheating the engine and causing major damage.

A syrup smell could also mean the engine coolant is boiling after you have turned off the engine. This is due to the inability of the cooling system to dissipate engine heat, so the engine remains extremely hot for an extended time even after it has stopped. If you decide to investigate, wait until the engine has cooled off! Never remove the radiator cap while the engine is running or is still hot. It will cause a massive blow off of superheated fluid that could cause serious injury.

Rotten Eggs or Sulfur

This wonderful stench means your car is in need of a checkup and that the catalytic converter is having some serious issues. The catalytic converter is in the car’s exhaust system and is supposed to convert noxious hydrogen sulfide to sulfur dioxide in the exhaust fumes before they exit the tailpipe. If this is not happening, it means that your engine needs more than just a tune-up, and the catalytic converter could completely overheat and fail, leading to costly repairs.

Burned PaperBad Smelling Exhaust Fumes

If you smell something like burned paper, it could meant that your clutch is overheating. If you’re riding the clutch pedal, it creates excess friction between the clutch facing and slips. The material between these surfaces is made of a paper compound, which gives it its familiar smell.

The smell of burning paper could also mean your brakes are overheating. Riding your brakes, such as when coming down a hill or mountain, creates unnecessary friction and excess heat on your brake pads. You might also have a seized up brake piston, resulting in a “dragging brake.” Or it could be that you just left your parking brake on. In some cars it is easy to forget and actually drive with the handbrake still engaged.

 

AAMCO Minnesota Can Help Sniff Out and Fix Problems With Your Car

We realize that in order for one to understand some of this, you must know what the “smells like” really smells like. If you’ve never had maple syrup – get thee to a pancake house now – you’ll likely not know what to sniff for. Whatever the smell, if it’s not new car or the scent of that air freshener you just bought to battle the gym socks and mildew in your car’s air filtration and circulation system, then you should come to AAMCO Minnesota for a multi-point diagnostic inspection.

Visit an AAMCO Minnesota transmission repair and total car care center near you. When issues arise and you need affordable, honest auto repair, schedule an appointment with your locally owned and operated AAMCO Minnesota transmission and auto repair center.

If you have questions about your car’s road readiness, or about car repair and maintenance topics, AAMCO Minnesota is a great resource for expert automotive repair and maintenance information. Feel free to call or visit your local AAMCO Minnesota transmission and total car care center.

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What Happens if You Skip Oil Change

 

What Happens When You Skip Oil Changes?

The much-repeated saying is that you should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or three months. On modern cars that use synthetic oil, the limit is much higher. Skipping those oil changes, no matter how frequently (or infrequently) your owner’s manual says they are needed, is a recipe for trouble. Going a long time between oil changes (thousands of miles past the due date) is like playing with fire.

Engine Oil Checkup

Here’s why oil is the lifeblood of your car…

image - mechanic laying under car draining oil into a pan.In order to help them diagnose what is ailing you, a doctor will have you go to the lab to have blood drawn and analyzed. The lab will run it through a bevy of tests to determine how you compare to a baseline on certain things, and what might seem out of the ordinary. Basically, the condition of your blood gives the doctor clues to your overall health, as well as to more specific things.

Engine oil can be analyzed and used in the same way to help diagnose problems, or explain trouble symptoms, with your car. For instance, high concentrations of iron indicate that steel engine parts, such as the camshaft and cylinder liners, are not properly lubricated and wearing out. Metal content collects in the oil, and the oil filter eventually becomes overwhelmed and incapable of filtering the metal out of the oil. Traces of other metals in the oil can indicate the need for an oil change – and possibly other repairs. Chrome indicates ring or gasket wear. Aluminum is from pistons and bearings. Silicon might be dirt, and means the air filtration system should be checked.

Of course, you should not wait so long that such an analysis of the oil is what it takes for you to realize your car is in desperate need of an oil change. With the evolution of engines, the general rule today is every 3,000 to 10,000 miles.

Oil Lubricates and Cleans the Engine

What does engine oil do and where does it go?

Oil is a lubricant and prevents metal engine parts from coming into contact with each other. If parts do come into unintended contact, the engine can overheat and eventually the metal parts wear out, break, or even melt. Oil contains detergents that lift out contaminants and carry them to your oil filter, where the dirt is filtered out of the oil.

What Happens When You Skip Oil Changes Pouring oil into the engine is one thing, but do you know where it goes or what parts actually get lubricated? Check out this image that shows the parts and areas of the engine that the oil runs through, lubricates, and protects.

Oil eventually wears out and needs to be changed.

Oil is subject to consistently high temperatures and breaks down over time. Sludge can form throughout the engine, making it difficult for oil to flow between moving metal parts. Viscosity modifiers also break down over time, which makes the oil thinner and less effective at lubricating moving parts at high temperatures. Also, metal, dirt, and other particulates build up in the oil, much of which is too small to be captured by the filter. Over time, detergents and additives meant to combat the contaminants and dirt will break down become less able to protect the engine. The oil becomes abrasive and speeds up wear on vital parts and systems, and shortens the life of the engine.

Get an Oil Change

You can prevent all of this by – you guessed it – flushing out the crud with an oil change. If you don’t change your oil and oil filter, eventually the filter will stop working and dirt will accumulate in the engine, contaminate the oil, and compromise its ability to lubricate and clean. Over time, even the best oil will lose its lubricating and cleansing qualities. Because of all the dirt and abrasive crud in the oil, metal engine parts will experience severe wear, risking failure and potential damage to the engine. Eventually, the whole engine will seize up and stop working, maybe even catch fire.

Conventional Oil or Synthetic?image - engine oil pouring out of bottle

The next big question is what kind of oil should you use? AAMCO Minnesota can help you make the right choice. Check out this great infographic to help you understand the different kinds of oil and which to use in your engine.

Come to AAMCO Minnesota for All Your Car Maintenance & Repairs

Now that you know the importance of regular oil changes, it’s probably a good idea to come by your locally owned and operated AAMCO Minnesota Transmission and Car Repair Center for an oil and filter change or a multi-point inspection. Whatever you drive, you can count on AAMCO Minnesota Transmission and Total Car Care to service and repair your automobile.

If you have questions about your car’s engine, oil changes, or about car repair and maintenance, AAMCO Minnesota can help. Stop by or call a local AAMCO Minnesota repair shop for a Multi Point Vehicle Courtesy Check for your transmission and related systems. We’ll winterize your car and get you ready for the cold, snowy winter driving months ahead. We can handle all your scheduled car maintenance and repairs, from brakes to factory recommended maintenance.

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Checklist for Preparing Your Car for Winter

Take the Fear Out of Transmission Repair

Daydreaming on Your Cell Phone While Rubbernecking

Watch this video and learn why there is only one place to go – AAMCO. We’re the transmission experts with over 50 years of experience rebuilding and replacing transmissions, and all their 800 pieces. We’ve fixed over 40 million transmissions – way more than our competitors. And we offer a lifetime warranty. Because we have the skill to fix an 800-piece transmission, we can easily fix the rest of your car – brakes, shocks, mufflers, even your engine. Lots of things can make your engine light come on. Today it can be hard to tell what’s wrong with your car, especially if it’s your transmission. Our technicians are trained to keep up with the complex engineering of today’s cars. So, next time something goes wrong with your transmission or any other part of your car, bring it to your local AAMCO.

Winter Road Trip Tips

Winter Driving Preparedness Tips

Here at AAMCO Minnesota we understand the importance for winter safety and readiness. That’s why we offer and remind you of so much information on it. We also offer great winter car care specials – just print and bring to your local AAMCO Minnesota transmission and auto repair shop.image - coupon for free winter safety check at AAMCO Minnesota participating locations

Winter is a rough time for driving. Snowstorms, ice, and overall bad weather conditions make an already challenging job even more so – but it doesn’t have to be your worst nightmare. There are many ways to ensure your safety and the safety of others by practicing safe driving habits and staying on top of your car maintenance. Here are some tips to help you smarten up for driving and keeping your car up to spec this winter.

Look Up

Pay attention to the weather before and during your trip, especially if you’re going on a longer trip. If you’re planning on a long drive, let other people know where you’re going and the estimated time of arrival in case anything happens. Conditions can change quickly. Are you driving into the worst blizzard in years? Are you a snow chaser and just have to get out there? Be aware and prepare. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve got a smartphone. Use a weather app to keep track of the weather in your area and your destination. Up-to-the-minute updates will help you prepare properly for your journey into the great white north, or whatever direction you choose.

Power Up

Speaking of that smartphone, make sure it’s charged and take the car charger with you. Don’t have a car charger? Get one. Another handy gadget to have is a battery pack or mobile power station that can charge your phone in minutes and holds enough power to charge it several times over, or power several devices.

Speaking of batteries, give some thought to the big one – the battery in your car. Here’s an article on winter battery tips – what kills it, what keeps it (and your car) going. There are three primary factors that contribute to the formula for a dead car battery in the wintertime – age, cold, and load. Obviously, if the battery is five or more years old, it’s going to have a harder time putting out power and its ability to accept a charge is going to decrease. Combine that with the heavy cold of Minnesota winters, your car battery deserves some attention before you hit the frozen road. Pack some jumper cables if you don’t replace the battery.

Gear Up

Have proper clothing with you for whatever winter weather might bring. Sweaters and fleece jackets are great, but when temperatures drop below freezing, suddenly the coziest sweater from your grandmother is tissue paper. You’ll wish you had an arctic explorer’s parka. Always keep gloves or mittens (mittens keep your hands warmer) in your car (not your trunk), an extra coat, a thick knit hat, blankets, and even a scarf (scarves are warm and amazingly versatile). If you’re not already wearing them, a pair of boots might come in handy.

If you usually keep this stuff in your trunk, it’s a good idea to move it into your car if you’re venturing out into more-treacherous-than-usual conditions. The last thing you want to do, or the first thing you can’t do because you’re trapped or hurt, is get out and go digging around in your trunk as the snow and ice pile up around you and the wind takes your breath away.

Other Gear

Tire chains are optional, but can really be your best friend when driving on slick, snow-packed roads. A bag of kitty litter can help your car gain traction if you are stuck in a really icy or slick spot. Keep a pointed garden or flat edge coal shovel in your trunk – it’s good for digging in, around, and even under your car if you’re stuck. Flares are good day or night, as they call attention to your position and situation, particularly in bad weather.

Let’s just cut to the chase. That emergency kit you’ve been meaning to put together should include:

  • Ice Scraper
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blanketimage - warning sign on slick snow-packed country road in cold winter weather
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Jumper Cables/Portable Car Charger
  • Flares
  • Medication
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Phone Charger

Gas Up

Keep your gas tank full if you can. Don’t let it go below a quarter tank. If you get stuck in traffic, or become stranded, more fuel means more idling & heater time. You’ll be glad you had that extra bit of fuel to get you through the rough times and safely home.

Wake Up

Sleepy? Tired? If all you’d like to do is sleep, try to avoid driving at all when it’s snowy and icy outside. This is just a dangerous combination that could lead to an accident – or worse, you taking the proverbial dirt nap. No amount of coffee and sugar is going to make up for the lack of mental clarity and reaction speed that is needed to effectively drive in adverse weather. Add to that the darkness of night and you’re phenomenally closer to ending up somewhere other than your destination.

image - traffic in winter - slippery, snow-packed road, cars moving slowly

Buckle Up

Do we really have to mention it? Buckle your seat belt. It’s the law. And keep an 8-10 second distance from the vehicle in front of you. You’ll be thankful for that extra space as you slide uncontrollably toward their rear bumper on that patch of ice you ignored. Accelerate and brake slowly. Spinning your wheels and skidding all over the road works your transmission harder than usual and can cause an accident.

Ease Up

If you end up skidding on ice or snow, ease your foot off the gas and carefully turn into the skid until you regain control – point the car in the direction you want to go. If you can’t get up a hill, put on those chains we mentioned earlier. They don’t seem so optional, anymore, do they? It beats taking a running start and using inertia to get you up the hill – potentially messy and dangerous. Just put your car in second gear for more traction while going slower. Put it in low and take it slow around corners, too.

Clean Up

Invest in a good ice scraper and heavy duty snow brush and clean off your car thoroughly. In some states, it’s illegal to drive without having all your windows cleared – scraped, swept, and defogged.

Warm Up

In most newer cars, it’s not necessary to idle to warm up the engine; in fact, it’s more efficient to warm up your car just by driving. This gets your car’s engine and systems up to running temperature faster than sitting in the cold, and helps reduce unnecessary emissions. Plus, if you like to start your car and go back inside while it idles and warms up, you might go back out to find that someone decided to warm it up the right way – and drove off with it. Related: “Warming up your car before driving is a leftover practice from a time when carbureted engines dominated the roads.

If you are experiencing any problems, bring your car to your local AAMCO Minnesota Transmission and Total Car Care center. We’ll help you keep your car running reliably so you won’t have to worry about whether your car will start in the next cold snap, or if you’ll weather the next blizzard.

AAMCO Minnesota for Winter Car Maintenance and Repairs

If you have questions about your car’s road readiness, or about car repair and maintenance, AAMCO Minnesota can help. Come to AAMCO Minnesota for a Transmission Multi-Point Vehicle Courtesy Check for your transmission and related systems. We’ll winterize your car and get you ready for the cold, snowy winter driving months ahead. We can handle all your scheduled car maintenance and repairs, from oil changes to factory recommended maintenance.

Other Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Checklist for Preparing Your Car for Winter

Take the Fear Out of Transmission Repair

Watch this video and learn why there is only one place to go – AAMCO. We’re the transmission experts with over 50 years of experience rebuilding and replacing transmissions, and all their 800 pieces. We’ve fixed over 40 million transmissions – way more than our competitors. And we offer a lifetime warranty. Because we have the skill to fix an 800-piece transmission, we can easily fix the rest of your car – brakes, shocks, mufflers, even your engine. Lots of things can make your engine light come on. Today it can be hard to tell what’s wrong with your car, especially if it’s your transmission. Our technicians are trained to keep up with the complex engineering of today’s cars. So, next time something goes wrong with your transmission or any other part of your car, bring it to your local AAMCO.

Daydreaming on Your Cell Phone While Rubbernecking

How Do Oil Leaks Happen? – Infographic

At AAMCO Minnesota our mechanics can diagnose and repair almost any problem with your car. When it comes to oil leaks, we know what to look for and how to fix them to make sure your car is safe and reliable.

Engines Get Old

After many years of operation, an engine has a good chance of developing oil leaks. It’s easy to ignore the warning signs.

  • Spot of oil on the garage floor.
  • Smell of burning oil from the engine.
  • Faint smoke coming from the engine as it idles.

Leaking oil:

  • Damages belts and hoses, causing them to deteriorate faster than normal.
  • Can cause a fire and destroy your engine, or your whole car, and/or garage.
  • Is a hassle to clean up and can drain into the ground water.

Where in the Engine Do Oil Leaks Happen?

Gaskets wear out, plugs and hoses break, even metal can crack – all of which can lead to leaks. Some common causes of oil leaks:
  • Oil filler cap
    The gasket around the cap can wear out. Pressure in the engine as it is running can blow out oil all over the engine compartment.
  • Valve gasket (AKA head gasket)
    The seal between the cylinder head and the engine block.
  • Oil filter
    Oil filters wear out, become misaligned or loose.
  • Oil pan & drain plug
    Bad weather, exposure to adverse environments, rough roads, debris – all can damage the oil pan and drain plug.

How to Prevent and Fix Oil Leaks

Check Oil Regularly

Use the dip stick at least once a week when the engine is cool, not right after a drive. If the level drops over time, there is a leak somewhere.

Go to AAMCO.

At AAMCO Minnesota our mechanics know what causes oil leaks, what to look for, and how to fix them.  

Schedule an appointment with your local Minnesota AAMCO today!

image-infographic - How Do Oil Leaks Happen

How to Tell When Your Car’s Clutch is Going Out

How a Manual Transmission Clutch Works

The clutch changes and regulates the power and torque being delivered from the engine to the wheels. These changes are referred to as shifting or changing gears.Image of person driving manual transmission, shifting gears. Most cars and trucks use a friction unit to engage and disengage the flow of power. When you engage the clutch, you allow power from the engine to go to the transmission to drive the wheels. When you disengage the clutch, you cut the power to the transmission and the vehicle coasts – but the engine continues turning. The key parts of the clutch’s function are:
  • Flywheel
  • Clutch Plate
  • Pressure Plate
  • Release Bearing
  • Control Linkage

Flywheel

The flywheel is attached to the crankshaft and is the smooth surface that the clutch contacts to create the friction needed to accomplish its main job – transferring torque from the engine to the transmission. The flywheel also acts as a balancer for the engine and dampens vibrations. It also has teeth along its edge, around the circumference, that allows the starter motor to engage with the engine during starting.

Clutch Plate (AKA Clutch Disc)

The clutch plate is a disc-shaped steel plate attached to a splined hub. It is covered with material that is conducive to creating friction between the flywheel and the pressure plate. In the center of the disc is the hub which fits over the input shaft of the transmission. When the clutch is engaged, the clutch plate is gripped between the pressure plate and the flywheel, which then allows power from the engine to transfer to the transmission via the connection between disc hub and the input shaft.

Pressure Plate

The pressure plate is basically a spring-loaded clamp that is bolted to the flywheel. It is made of many individual parts, including a diaphragm spring, a pressure ring that provides a frictional surface for the clutch plate, a push ring for the release bearing, and release levers. The levers decrease the force of the holding springs when the clutch is disengaged.

Release Bearing

The release bearing is the main part of the clutch operation. When the clutch pedal is pushed a master cylinder pushes the clutch fork to the flywheel. This presses the release bearing against the pressure plate, which pushes on the release levers, which in turn reduces pressure on the pressure plate’s diaphragm spring, causing it to move away from the clutch disc. This releases the clutch from the engine. When the clutch pedal is released the release bearing moves away from the pressure plate and engages the clutch. This allows the pressure plate’s springs to press against the clutch disc. This engages the clutch to the flywheel and resumes power transfer from the engine to the transmission.

Control Linkage

A mechanical or hydraulic linkage operates the clutch in a manual transmission. A mechanical linkage consists of a cable or shaft and lever. A master cylinder is connected to the clutch pedal by a rod, which in turn is connected to a slave cylinder which moves the clutch release lever, also known as the release arm or fork. The linkage is basically what connects the driver to the overall clutch system.

Signs the Clutch is Going Out

There are a few tell-tale signs that your clutch is about to leave your engine spinning, but not your wheels.

Slipping

When there is not enough friction to hold the flywheel and pressure plate, the clutch will not engage as readily and will disengage faster. There are a few symptoms of slipping that you will notice. There will be more “play” in the clutch pedal – you might not have to press the pedal in as far to get the clutch to disengage, but having to press it hard all the way to the floor is a bad sign, too. If the pedal moves easily, but the transmission will not go into gear, then the clutch linkage is probably loose or disconnected.

Engine Revving

The engine will rev noticeably when the clutch is engaged, and the car will accelerate more slowly. This is another indication that the clutch is slipping.

Grinding

If it is difficult to shift gears, or the clutch doesn’t disengage when the pedal is pushed, or the gears tend to resist or grind when changing (up, down, or reverse), then the clutch should be inspected. This could also be due to linkage problems – or just that the driver doesn’t know how to drive stick. In either case, it’s probably a good idea to have the clutch inspected.

Chatter or Burn

Clutch chatter is usually caused by overheating – or “burning out” the clutch. This can occur when starting on an incline and “teasing” or slipping the clutch so as not to stall, or when oil gets on the clutch plate. You will probably be able to smell the burning. When the clutch burns out, it needs to be replaced.

How to Test if Your Car’s Clutch is Slipping

Although many new cars have self-adjusting linkages, on older models the linkage might need to be checked and adjusted. A simple road test can help you decide whether your car’s clutch needs to be adjusted or repaired.
  1. Start your car.
  2. Engage the clutch (push the clutch pedal down).
  3. Put the car into third gear.
  4. Release the parking/emergency brake and slowly release the clutch.
The engine should quickly stall. If it continues to run and struggle as you release the clutch, or if it tries to move forward, then stalls, the clutch is slipping.

Come to AAMCO Minnesota for Clutch Inspection and Repair

At AAMCO Minnesota our mechanics can diagnose your clutch problems and make the necessary adjustments or repairs. A failing or badly adjusted clutch can affect the performance and lifespan your car’s engine, and is a safety hazard – so be proactive and schedule an appointment at your local Minnesota AAMCO. There could be a lot more going on, so the AAMCO multi-point inspection is always a good idea.

Clutch Illustration

See this excellent illustration of a manual transmission clutch.

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How Turbochargers Work

More Air, More Fuel, More Power

Horsepower – it’s the measurement of the power output of an engine. One way to get more horsepower out of an engine is to increase the amount of air and fuel that goes into it. You can add cylinders to the engine or make the existing cylinders larger, but sometimes such changes are not feasible. A turbocharger is often a simpler and more compact way to increase an engine’s power output.Image of cross-section of a turbocharger.

Let There Be Turbo

A turbocharger can boost an engine’s horsepower without increasing its weight, which is a great benefit for any vehicle that needs a boost. Gasoline and diesel engines can both benefit from turbocharging, and not just for better speed and racing performance. More horsepower is often vital to heavy vehicles, such as trucks, that have to haul heavy loads or need extra power in certain operating conditions.

A turbocharger is a forced induction system. It compresses air flowing into the engine. The advantage of compressing the air is that it lets the engine squeeze about 50 percent more air into each cylinder. More air means that more fuel can be injected into each cylinder. More fuel means bigger explosions in the cylinders, which means more power overall than the same engine without a turbo. No system is perfectly efficient, so even though there is 50 percent more air in the cylinders, the turbocharger delivers about 30 to 40 percent more power.

The turbocharger then uses the resulting accelerated exhaust flow from the engine to spin a turbine, which in turn operates an air pump. The turbine spins at up to 150,000 rotations per minute (RPM), which is faster than most engines can go. The temperatures in the turbine are extreme because it is connected directly to the exhaust system, which is partially to blame for the turbocharger’s inefficiency. The turbine in the exhaust flow increases restriction in the exhaust, which means the engine has to push harder against the higher back-pressure to get the exhaust out. This takes power away from the cylinders. ­

Turbo Inefficiency

One problem with turbochargers is that the power boost they provide is not immediate when you step on the gas. This is known as turbo lag – the time it takes for the turbine to get up to speed before boost is produced. Once the turbine reaches speed, the turbo kicks in and the car’s power and speed increase.

Advantages of Tubocharging

An advantage of a turbocharger is that it helps engines operate at high altitudes, where the air is thinner. Normal engines have reduced power at high altitudes because it’s more difficult to draw in the thin air. A turbocharged engine might have less power, too, but the loss is usually less dramatic because the turbo can pump the thin air more easily. This often helps vehicles that need a lot of power while operating at high altitudes, such as road maintenance, mining operations, or search and rescue. It also helps at regular altitudes, too, as large vehicles often need an extra boost in certain situations, such as hauling heavy loads or towing.

Schedule an appointment with your local Minnesota AAMCO for a multi-point inspection and make sure your engine and other systems are running at their best.