What does a Turbo Actuator Do? [Everything Explained!!!]

what does a turbo actuator do

Most of us may need to become more familiar with the word turbo actuator or what does a turbo actuator do? The turbo actuator, also known as the wastegate actuator, is one of the most crucial components when tuning your car. It is a complicated engineering device that highly increases the engine’s efficiency. Unless you are a car enthusiast or working in the mechanic field, we are sure you have yet to hear about a turbo actuator. You may have landed on this article by accident, or your mechanic may have complained about the issue in your car’s turbo actuator. Either of the reason why you had to find what does a turbo actuator do, you are at the right place. Keep reading the article to find out more.

What is a Turbo Actuator?

In theory, the turbo actuator, also known as a wastegate actuator, can be referred to as a hot air pump. It is a device designed using complicated engineering technology, including many parts, that builds a solid device to increase the engine’s efficiency. The turbo actuator is part of the exhaust system, mounted between the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe. When the turbo actuator works well in the car, it helps control the exhaust gas flow and reduces the fuel mileage.

What does a Turbo Actuator Do?

The turbo actuator, as previously stated, is a hot air pump that forces air into the engine to generate power. It is a component controlling the flow of the exhaust gas entering the turbocharger and overall works to control the pressure of the turbine. It works as a wastegate to remove excess exhaust gas from the turbocharger.

When the exhaust gas is released from the engine, it travels to the turbo house, and the turbine wheels rotate with the help of the hot air gas. The compressor is rotated with the help of the turbine and draws air passing through a charge air cooler.

The turbo actuator valve will monitor the vacuum pressure of the exhaust entering through the ECM (Electronic Control Module) and regulates the pressure boosted. As the turbo actuator controls the pressure of the turbocharger, it helps the engine to work more efficiently, simultaneously reducing fuel wastage in the vehicle.

How does a Turbo Actuator Work?

The turbo actuator is one of the main parts of the turbocharger. Apart from the two main parts, a shaft connects the turbine and compressor with bearings to support them.

In simple terms to understand, the turbo is known to have a cool and hot side. The side with the turbine is hot, and the other side with the compressor is cold. The hot side of the turbine can withhold nearly 950 degrees Celsius, and the air released through the compressor is 200 degrees Celsius.

When the hot exhaust gas enters the turbo house, it rotates the turbine and is released through the exhaust outlet. The compressor wheel is connected via a forged steel shaft to the turbine wheel, and the compressor rotates as the air is drawn to the compressor. The air is passed through a charge air cooler before entering the compressor of the turbo actuator to cool it.

Is a Turbo Actuator Necessary?

The turbo actuator is one of the most vital components of the vehicle belonging to the exhaust system. Since it highly increases the efficiency of the engine. Though you can drive with a failed turbo actuator, the engine performance will reduce with time, affecting s the vehicle’s overall health. Driving without a turbo actuator stresses the other systems in the vehicle because the engine starts failing; this will result in more auto parts wearing off, increased fuel mileage, and gives a hard time for your vehicle to run smoothly.

How Do I Know If My Turbo Actuator is Working?

If you notice a decline in your car’s engine performance, you might be curious to know if the turbo actuator is working properly. To test if your wastegate is working,

  1. First, lift the vehicle using a jack stand, and disconnect the wastegate valve.
  2. Connect the wastegate valve to a pressure,
  3. keep your engine idle after starting, and let the wastegate line heat.
  4. Apply pressure to the pressure pump, and when the pressure pump is removed, the wastegate should close with an audible click.

What Happens When the Turbo Actuator Fails?

You will notice a few signs when the turbo actuator fails in the vehicle. Some signs when a turbo actuator fails are listed below for you to identify.

  1. Weird and unusual noises are coming from the turbocharger.
  2. When driving, sudden loss of power in the vehicle sometimes puts the car in limp mode.
  3. Reduces or over-boosts the pressure in the turbocharger.
  4. Errors in the ECU control
  5. The engine management light ignites.

What Causes Actuators to Fail?

Like every auto part in a vehicle, the turbo actuator tends to wear over time as it is exposed to increased heat. When the wastegate is consistently exposed to hot exhaust gas, it tends to crack. The turbo actuators also fail if the engine vibrates excessively because of the lack of oil or oil contamination. Another reason is that when a foreign object strikes the wastegate, it causes a faulty valve, simultaneously causing the turbo actuator to fail.

Can you Drive with a Broken Turbo Actuator?

Yes, you can drive with a broken turbo actuator if it is broken or worn over time. But, since the pressure is not controlled in the turbocharger, you can expect the engine performance to decline, as previously discussed. Which overall will, affect the vehicle’s health.


In the article, what does a turbo actuator do? In the article, we have included topics like how a turbo actuator works, whether a turbo actuator is necessary, and how I know if my turbo actuator is working. The article also discusses the causes of the actuator’s failure and whether you can drive with a broken turbo actuator to make the article insightful.

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