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Turbo Systems Engineering

5. Common Causes of Oil Leakage

A properly installed turbo should NOT leak oil.

There are, however, instances where oil leaks occur. The most common causes,
depending on the location of the leak, are:
Leakage from compressor and turbine seals

  • Excessively high oil pressure
  • Inadequate drain drain is too small, does not go continuously downhill,
    or the location of the drain inside the oil pan is located in a section that has
    oil slung from the crank causing oil to back up in drain tube. Always
    place oil drain into oil pan in a location that oil from crank is blocked by windage tray.
  • Improper venting of crankcase pressure.
  • Excessive crankcase pressure.
  • Oil drain rotated past the recommended 35°.
Leakage from compressor seal
 Excessive pressure across the compressor housing inlet caused by:
  • Air filter is too small.
  • Charge air tubing too small or has too many bends between the air filter
    and compressor housing.
  • Clogged air filter.
Leakage from Turbine seal
  • Collapsed turbine piston ring from excessive EGT’s.
  • Turbo tilted back on its axis past recommended 15°.
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