The turbocharger stopped working in my 2009 Audi A4. Can the auto function without it, and is it being ruined by being driven? — Gabriella
Your turbocharger is a turbine/fan device driven by the engine’s exhaust gases, devised to raise the pressure of the incoming air into the motor. This pressure boost is known as “forced induction” and can be used to increase engine efficiency and power output. Turbochargers can fail in various fashions, the easiest being an air flow that will inhibit pressure from building or a defunct waste gate actuator that’s part of the management system and can lead to an under- or over-boost condition.
The vehicle can operate without an efficiently functioning turbocharger, but it is going to perform badly, and your choice could possibly have dramatic repercussions.
If the matter is an oil source or inner component-related problem, complete failure is imminent. Since it fails, the engine will sadly ingest all of the bits and pieces that are cast off from the event, netting an outright financial catastrophe.
You will need to err on the side of caution with this one and fix the car. This is one of those times when shopping around for a competitive price is encouraged.
Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about repair and maintenance? E-mail , putting “Lou’s Garage” in the topic area.