How Do I Know If My Turbo Actuator Is Bad? How to repair new for 2022

There are a few ways to tell if your turbo actuator is bad. One way is to test it by manually turning the actuator. Another way is to use an actuator tester.

This post will answer your question about “how do i know if my turbo actuator is bad?” and provide relevant information!

How Do I Know If My Turbo Actuator Is Bad?
How Do I Know If My Turbo Actuator Is Bad?


What Exactly Is an Electronic Actuator?

What Exactly Is an Electronic Actuator?
What Exactly Is an Electronic Actuator?

Actuators are important parts of vehicles that help move them. They’re found all over a vehicle, from the seats to the sunroofs to the air conditioning.

Electrical power is typically used to drive actuators, although there are some that use pneumatic pressure. Electronic actuators respond to requests from microprocessors, while gas pedal-operated turbo wastegate actuators work based on the user’s input.

The significance of a Turbo Wastegate Actuator

The significance of a Turbo Wastegate Actuator
The significance of a Turbo Wastegate Actuator

Turbo wastegate actuators play an important role in automotive engines. By controlling the flow of exhaust gases, these devices allow for increased performance when needed, such as during passing or merging maneuvers.

An actuator can fail, which can cause a turbo not to receive the power it needs to operate. If this occurs, some problems may occur with your car’s performance, from minor issues such as a delayed response time or decreased engine speed, to more serious complications such as an engine failure.

How do i know if my turbo actuator is bad?

How do i know if my turbo actuator is bad?
How do i know if my turbo actuator is bad?

There are some indications that you may be experiencing electronic actuator failure.

  • Your vehicle has a complete loss of power.
  • The engine warning light, or other warning lights, are on.
  • You have low- or over-boost, meaning either your vehicle is lagging or overcompensating when you accelerate.
  • There are odd noises, like a whining sound, emitting from the turbocharger.
  • The electronic computer that controls your vehicle shows error messages.
  • Low boost.
  • Overboost.
  • ECU error symptoms control.
  • Fault codes.

If you notice any of the following signs, it is recommend that you take your vehicle in for service: an increase in oil consumption, a decrease in engine performance, or a loss of power steering.

Electronic Actuator Failure Causes

Electronic Actuator Failure Causes
Electronic Actuator Failure Causes

An actuator could be failing for a number of reasons, including wear and tear, age, or contamination.

Gearbox Failure

The gearbox is responsible for taking power from the engine and turning it into either more or less power. It is located at the back of the transmission, and it plays an important role in creating torque alongside the actuator and turbocharger.

Electric Circuitry Problems

Problems with the electric board of the actuator can also cause malfunctions. These problems can arise from wire connectors that expand and contract throughout their lifespan, voltage spikes caused by power surges, or breakages in the actuator itself.

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Water Ingress

Water can enter the engine compartment through any number of openings, and if it is present in high concentrations or if the actuator is located in an area that is particularly susceptible to water damage, this can lead to serious problems. Rust and other damage caused by water can also cause the actuator to malfunction, which could ultimately lead to its failure.

Turbo Damage

Turbo connectors can break loose, requiring a new actuator.

Power Loss

If the gearbox fails because of problems like a build-up of carbon called “sticky vanes” or stripped gears, this can cause significant problems with your vehicle’s performance as it is unable to provide the power needed to create torque/speed. This can also lead to a defense mechanism called “limp mode”.

Limp Mode

If a car’s parts are malfunctioning, it may enter a limp mode. This is when the car tries to conserve energy by not moving as much.

What Exactly Is Limp Mode?

What Exactly Is Limp Mode?
What Exactly Is Limp Mode?

Limp mode is a safety feature that activates when the engine or transmission encounters a fault. After detecting a problem, the vehicle’s computer will turn off less important functions, such as air conditioning, and even slow down the car. This helps protect it

If your car goes into limp mode, it means there is something wrong with the vehicle and you should have it looked at as soon as possible.

What to Do When You’re in Limp Mode

What to Do When You're in Limp Mode
What to Do When You’re in Limp Mode

If your car experiences a ‘limp mode’, you should take it to your home or a service center as soon as possible so that a professional can diagnose the problem. If you’re not near your home or the nearest service station, you’ll need to find a safe place to stop, and have either someone come to you or have the car towed there.

Why Shouldn’t You Ignore Limp Mode?

Why Shouldn't You Ignore Limp Mode?
Why Shouldn’t You Ignore Limp Mode?

Although you might view it as a hindrance, you should not drive your vehicle in limp mode for any extended distances. This safety feature is meant to protect your car from serious damage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the repairs will be expensive.

If your car’s engine doesn’t have enough fluid, it can go into “limp mode.” This means that the car won’t move and could even be dangerous. If you notice this happening, you should fix the issue right away.

Are VGT turbos good?

Vanos-equipped turbochargers offer a great response at any engine speed and can help meet stringent emissions standards. However, they have several key weaknesses, such as the potential for stuck vanes.

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What controls the VGT actuator?

Turbochargers used on heavy- and medium-duty truck engines are now commonly equipped with variable geometry designs. Older wastegate actuator turbochargers were controlled by pressure or vacuum, and operated as simple on/off devices.

Can you clean a turbo actuator?

The issue with the VGT is not the actuator solenoid, but the vane control (unison) ring that sticks. Without completely disassembling the turbo, you are not going to clean that.



If it turns out that your turbo is causing the problems in your engine, you might be wondering what might be happening. Here are a few things that could cause a diesel VGT failure: if the turbocharger is worn out or if there’s an issue with the turbine itself.

  • If you are noticing excessive oil consumption, it might be due to a failed bearing or hot shutdowns. You could also have a blocked crankcase filter that is pushing oil out into the turbo. If this is the case, then resolving the outside issue will fix the problem and your turbo will continue to work properly.
  • Turbochargers are susceptible to mechanical failure. If you can’t get the turbo to shift from a big jet to a small jet, it may be because of a mechanical failure.
  • Electrical failures can occur within the electronic components of turbos, which can lead to a decrease in performance or an outright failure.

Can you replace turbo actuator?

Can you replace turbo actuator?
Can you replace turbo actuator?

Turbo actuators can be replaced without removing the actual turbocharger, and the whole process usually takes about 10 minutes. Testing a turbo actuator is a good way to ensure that your engine’s turbocharger is functioning optimally.

When did Cummins start using Holset VGT technology?

The Holset VGT from Cummins Turbo Technologies pioneered Variable Geometry (VG) technology for the commercial vehicle market in 1998. This system features a patented sliding nozzle ring that allows for higher boost pressures at low engine speeds.

Is there a turbo upgrade for a Dodge 6.7 Cummins?

The DPS S300 turbo upgrade for Dodge 6.7 Cummins Turbos with VGT is a comprehensive package that includes new injectors and programmer, as well as all necessary gaskets, nuts, bolts, and studs.

The Diesel Power Source private member association provides the fuel source needed to complete the installation. This upgrade requires your truck to have been deleted in order to install it properly.

Which is the best turbonator for 5.9 Cummins?

Turbochargers are an important part of any truck, and there are many different options to choose from. The Turbonator® for 5.9 cummins & 6.7 Cummins is a great option for the primary charger in a twin (compound) turbo application. Let us help you decide the correct turbo for your needs. (801)930-8404

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How does Holset WasteGate turbocharger differ from Cummins?

How does Holset WasteGate turbocharger differ from Cummins?
How does Holset WasteGate turbocharger differ from Cummins?

The well-engineered Holset wastegate turbochargers employ the same design techniques used by Cummins throughout the industry. They improve upon fixed geometry units with an overall 3% increase in efficiency, and can be optimized for various aftertreatment systems.

F.A.Q about “how do i know if my turbo actuator is bad”

How do you test a turbo actuator?

Can you drive with a bad turbo actuator?

Turbochargers can fail and leave your car unable to drive, but engine failure will also be an issue. If you have to drive, only do so if necessary and only for short distances.

What does a bad turbo actuator sound like?

A turbocharger can fail and produce a loud siren noise. If you hear this noise, it is best to take your car in for a checkup as soon as possible to find out the severity of the problem.

How do you unstick a turbo actuator?

To open or close the wastegate valve, remove the small C clip from the bottom side of the pin at the end of actuator rod. Grip and pull pin up out of arm to release pressure on actuator rod and open or close valve.

What happens when an actuator goes bad?

If your blend door actuator becomes defective, it can cause one of two problems. Either the actuator will not work, in which case the temperature will be locked at a certain setting and cannot be adjusted; or the actuator may have been damaged, preventing it from operating as intended. In either case, this would likely result in difficulty controlling temperatures on different areas of the car (e.g., lower vents or defroster).

What is turbo actuator failure?

Turbochargers can suffer from reduced performance when an electronic actuator fails to open the nozzle ring assembly vanes under acceleration. If the vane blades are in a closed position, this will cause the engine to choke or overspeed. It is important to identify the cause of this failure so that corrective action can be taken.


If you are having issues with your turbo actuator, be sure to check out either of these methods for testing it.

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