Many cars, trucks and SUVs on the market today are going with more fuel efficient small engines. There are many theories of how to make these motors more efficient, some use a supercharger and others use a turbocharger. With a turbo come many different options of how to control the boost levels and what the most efficient boost levels will be for the vehicle.
The wastegate is the unit on the turbo which reacts to the boost levels and releases excess pressure to control the amount of pressure or PSI (pounds per square inch) also referred to as “boost”. When the boost levels hit a certain point the spring on the manual actuator is over powered and the wastegate door opens to the exhaust and the built up boost escapes the turbo system. An electronic wastegate is a unit that controls the wastegate door with a sensor which reads the boost and then opens the wastegate door electronically when the boost needs to be controlled.
Many times when a vehicle with a turbocharger is said to be faulty it is actually the actuator that has gone bad and needs to be replaced. Many a vehicle owner has ended up spending their hard earned money to buy a turbo only to find out it was not the issue. Many a person has had to spend time on the phone trying to get their money back for a $1000 part that they ended up not needing. The issue here is that most companies will not take a part back once it is installed…in fact none of them will. The other issue is most electronic actuators cannot be purchased alone and can only be acquired with the OEM new turbo unit. Just be sure that before you buy just the turbo to fix your vehicle that there is not another issue that will keep your car on the lift for a whole lot longer.