The Aircraft Turbo System can be a potential for oil leakage due to it’s relation with the engine oil lubrication system, it is used as coolant and lubrication for the turbocharger. Power fluid located in the controller and exhaust bypass valve can also be subject to leakage. Before trying to troubleshoot you can look for oil leakage at the connections, oil supply, and drain lines. This can reduce the time spent looking for many other problems that can make oil leak from the turbo system parts such as: leakage from the intake manifold, unstable connections at the duct from the intake manifold to the compressor, and a clogged air cleaner.
Other issues and solutions are listed here:
- An engine that idles slower than normal can cause the turbocharger to not rotate, thus letting oil leakage bypass the compressor seal while the engine idles causing blue smoke to appear in the exhaust. Try speeding up the idle in small increments to stop the smoke. It is possible for a new turbocharger to smoke for up to 30 minutes while factory oil coatings are absorbed.
- Using improper oil or oil additives in the engine lubrication system can be grounds for aircraft turbo system issues. Consult the engine manufacturer maintenance guide during system service.
- Be sure the engine crankcase is being ventilated correctly according to the engine manufacturer maintenance guide.
- Before troubleshooting you should look for air cleaner restriction that can cause oil to bypass the turbocharger seal at the end of the compressor. Be sure to clear away any constraint near the duct between the turbocharger and the air cleaner. As always, change damaged parts when necessary.
- Oil levels may increase in the turbocharger center housing if the oil drainage is blocked. Seal leakage can occur in this scenario. Be sure and look for blockage or a defective check valve in the turbocharger oil drain line. Clear the blockage and change damaged parts when necessary.
- A controller that is leaking consistently through the seal of the inside poppet should be sent in for an overhaul or a replaced with a Factory Reman unit. This leakage can be found at a low-pressure sensing port or at a compressor outlet sensing line to the controller. If the controller is duct-mounted without a cover, remove the controller and check the bellows area.
- If oil is found in the exhaust system upstream of the turbocharger, this can signal an engine issue with rings, pistons, or valves. Fix these issues according to the engine manufacturer maintenance guide.
If turbocharger seal leakage is still present at both the turbine and compressor ends even after following steps 1, 2, and 3 please give us a call or send your unit in for inspection. Dennis and Toby are here to assist you with your Aircraft Turbocharger, Wastegate, and Controller needs. Dennis is our newest addition to our Turbo Systems Department with 2+ years experience at our facility. He works on Fuel Pumps, Turbo Systems, and Hydraulic Pumps. Toby is our resident IA and is also an A&P mechanic with 25+ years of experience! He currently is our Quality Control / Inspection Manager in our new building and has plenty of experience with Turbo Systems.
Aircraft Accessories of Oklahoma
FAA Approved Repair Station (#RV3R829L)
2740 N. Sheridan Rd.
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74115