idling your car if it has a turbo?

Hi. I drive a car that has a turbo. Its a general rule amongst motorists that you should idle your car for about 1minute after a long journey (after about 70km or 50miles). It has something to do with the fact that your car's turbo needs to cool down and the oil needs to circulate through out your engine.

Its suggested that if you switch off your car without idling your car after a long drive, then your engine will become damaged.

PS.. Some people don't know what "idling" is.. so, it is "letting your car run, while standing still"..

Here in South Africa we use the term "idling your car". Americans use "letting your car run".

What I want to know is.. How much truth is behind this whole idling a turbo car thing?

Also, I drive a bike (gsxr 600), should you let your bike idle after driving a long distance to prevent engine damage?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

12 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    With a turbocharger, it is wise to let the engine idle for a couple of minutes before turning it off. The reasoning is that the turbo operates at a much higher temperature because of the exhaust gasses passing through the turbine. All of the heat is transferred to the bearings and if they are at high temperature when the engine is turned off, some of the oil can become cooked onto the bearing surfaces to later become dislodged causing a bearing failure... When the engine is allowed to cool for a few minutes with fresh clean oil passing over the bearings, there is little chance of the oil becoming cooked onto the bearings...

    Your GSXR should not be a problem...

  • dan
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Where that comes from is when the engine is being operated at high rpms for long or short periods the turbo can heat up more than normal operation and you were supposed to let it idle for at least 2 to 5 minutes to let it cool down so it would not boil the oil in the turbo. On a normal drive when you are not twisting the engine at higher rpms the turbo should operate within normal temps so the turbo will be fine if you shut it off after you stop without waiting, but if you really want to let it idle a little before you shut it down then it can only help.

    Source(s): 18 years auto tech
  • 9 years ago

    The major damage on a turbo motor after a hard run is to the turbo bearing itself, not the car engine. With no oil pressure to the turbo bearing, the oil in there may overheat and "coke"; that is, turn to ash. And that will kill a turbo bearing very quickly.

    There are auxiliary pump kits that will keep coolant flowing through some turbos to prevent this from occurring. Unfortunately, not all turbos have a cooling jacket around the bearing assembly and these turbos can get so hot that they glow. That's a lot of heat to get rid off..

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You should always let a car with a turbo idle before driving it anywhere. atleast for a few minutes. Turbo's give exponential power increases. More PSI the more gas and air enter and the faster the engine operates so the more exhaust is being put out and the cycle repeats. If you were to start up your car then all of a sudden give it tons of gas very quickly you have a very big boost of pressure inside your cyllinder which usually isn't good for it and it can damage it.

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  • Tony
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    BallinSteve, the intercooler is to cool the AIR charge, not the turbo....whoever gave you a thumbs up doesn't have a clue either.

    Anyway, after running the car hard you should absolutely let the engine idle for a bit to cool the bearings in the turbo, I wouldn't worry about it after a long trip provided it was all highway driving.

    BTW, us Americans use "idling" as a term too, in fact we use it all of the time....not sure where you're getting that we don't.

  • 9 years ago

    Idling your car after a long voyage for about a minute will prolong the life of your turbocharger, this shouldn't damage your engine if you don't. But it's not a requirement, I don't know anybody where I live that does it and their turbo is still running fine. And the term "idling your car" is used by Americans.

    Source(s): Professional auto technician
  • 5 years ago

    for the bike part, depends. If oil cooled, then yes do idle it, can't hurt anyway. If air cooled. DON'T. If it is air cooled, at speed the air is flowing over the cooling vanes on the engine, but standing still, the engine heats up

    Source(s): motor engineering student and bike owner (Lexmoto Arizona)
  • 9 years ago

    I believe it was a done thing in earlier turbo models, as the heat increases after you shut the engine down. Apparently modern turbos don't require it due to better engine oil and bearings designed for the extreme heat. Having said that, it wouldn't hurt to cool it down before you shut it down after a long run.

  • briney
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    many times speaking, the way a rapid timer works, is that it extremely is in keeping with how long the engine is saved at severe RPMs. So in case you do say, quarter-hour of not uncomplicated utilising, you desire to permit the vehicle idle for extra or less 2 minutes. in case you do half-hour of non-end not uncomplicated utilising, permit it idle for extra or less 4 minutes, and so forth. via not uncomplicated utilising, I advise spending the time at severe RPMs below not uncomplicated acceleration. uncomplicated city utilising, do not difficulty, you probably did not spin the turbos up lots, if in any respect, so the oil does not could desire to chill out off the rapid until now shutting it off.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    it does not damage the engine,it is the turbo that has to cool

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