What Is A Turbo Actuator?

A turbo actuator or wastegate actuator is a pressure relief valve that controls the output of your turbo. As a result, it diverts excess exhaust gases away from the turbine wheel.

Therefore, the speed of the compressor is regulated, overspeeding is prevented and the speed of the turbine is also controlled. These effects prevent the turbocharger from wearing and tearing due to the maximum boost pressure being kept at a safe level.

How A Turbo Actuator Works

Every turbo actuator or wastegate actuator consists of a spring and a diaphragm. The spring holds the wastegate shut before the boost pressure approaches a set level. The spring then opens and allows the gas to be released and decrease boost pressure.

Most turbochargers are fitted with an actuator because it is a safety mechanism that prevents your turbo from overspeeding and getting damaged.

Unfortunately, turbo actuators can develop issues over time. The constant pressure and heat can make the spring weaker which can lead to the wastegate opening earlier than necessary. This decreases boost pressure and overall turbo performance.

Not to mention, the diaphragm can start to falter which can stop the valve from opening. Therefore, boost pressure can rise to dangerous levels which can be extremely damaging to your vehicle’s engine.

Do You Need A New Turbo Actuator?

Generally, the default turbo actuator that your car has is set to specific tolerances and will open at certain boost levels and turbo inlet pressures.

So if you want to take the performance of your engine to the next level you will need to replace your wastegate actuator. Investing in a larger, higher performance version will be able to handle a greater amount of pressure.

There will be no improvements in engine performance if you don’t replace the actuator, as the wastegate will open earlier than it needs to and decrease the boost.

Apart from replacing a turbo actuator, there is the option of fitting a bleed valve. A bleed valve induced controlled air into the wastegate actuator pressure line. Hence, your turbo has to form more air to initiate the actuator.