Wastegate Rattle: Performance Difference & Causes

By September 26, 2022Common Questions

Wastegate rattle is a common issue with turbocharged engines, this will cause the turbocharger system to run less efficiently. As the engine naturally produces vibration while running, the rattle is amplified, and can be heard through the exhaust system.

The wastegate rattle is a noise that sometimes occurs when the exhaust gas pressure is high and the valve is not able to close properly. This can cause the engine to run rough and may cause damage to the engine.

A wastegate is a valve that controls the exhaust gas flow from a turbocharger. It is usually located between the turbocharger and the exhaust manifold. When the engine is working hard, the wastegate opens to allow some of the exhaust gasses to bypass the turbine, which reduces the amount of boost pressure. This helps to prevent engine damage from too much boost pressure.

Does wastegate rattle affect performance?

Wastegate rattle will not affect much on performance, it could indicate that it needs to be serviced and throw an underboost error code.

The wastegate’s main purpose is to regulate the amount of exhaust gas that flows through the turbine. If the wastegate is not functioning properly, it can cause a condition known as “wastegate rattle.” 

If you’re facing a lack of boost or sudden bad fuel economy, a stuck wastegate is a common problem faced by the turbo system. It could be caused by numerous factors, including dirt or wearing valves.

RELATED ARTICLE: Stuck Turbo Wastegates: Symptoms, Causes, Fixes & FAQs

What causes turbo wastegate rattle?

Wastegate Actuator Rod
Turbine Housing
Compressor Housing

The wastegate rattles are usually caused by the wastegate flapper moving around in the wastegate arm. 

This condition does not affect a car’s performance much, but may negatively affect the efficiency of the turbocharger system, and it is important to be aware of the symptoms so that you can take steps to correct the problem.

How serious is wastegate rattle?

The rattle usually doesn’t affect performance unless you’re experiencing under boost. They’re most likely to be sealed improperly if this is the case.

The metallic rattling sounds you’re hearing are caused by metal parts hitting each other. Usually caused due to wear of components/parts. If the sound it makes is not to your liking, replacing new wastegates would most probably fix the issue.

Personally, as far as I can tell it doesn’t affect much. I have had the rattle for a fairly long time and have not experienced any problems.

How do I get rid of the wastegate rattle?

You can either replace the wastegate with a new one, or you can adjust the wastegate so that it doesn’t rattle.

The wastegate is an important part of the turbocharger system, and it is responsible for regulating the amount of exhaust gas that bypasses the turbine. When the wastegate is open, it allows exhaust gas to escape, which reduces the amount of boost that is created by the turbocharger. This can cause a rattling noise, which is caused by the exhaust gasses escaping through the wastegate.

If you are not planning on replacing a new wastegate, you can actually fix the rattle by adjusting the actuator rods that make the rattling noise. 

Try tightening the actuator rod and check if the rattling is fixed.You can also stop the rattle even further by installing an expansion spring to hold the rod against the side.

Check out this YouTube video, if you’re trying to get your hands on rattle fix: –

Can you run a turbo without a wastegate?

Without the wastegate, the turbo would produce too much boost and overheating could potentially destroy the engine, or cause the engine to blow up.

In theory, your car can still run a turbo without a wastegate, buIt is not practical to run a turbo without one. The wastegate is an integral part of the turbocharger and helps to regulate the amount of boost that is produced by the turbo. 

Turbo creates very hot exhaust gasses and it needs to be discharged, else the engine will be choked with hot air with no airflow.

Can a turbo rattle?

The valve seat of the wastegate in the turbocharger may vibrate if the wastegate is slightly open, causing you to hear a rattling noise. 

Turbo can certainly rattle, but a rattling turbo is not necessarily indicative of a problem. A turbocharger works by compressing air that is then forced into the engine. This compression process can cause the turbocharger to vibrate, which may result in a rattling sound.

Problems with the turbo usually signifies a deficiency of power accompanied by an obnoxious squeal coming from the engine. Quite often, with a faulty turbo, there is a burning smell coming from the car’s tailpipe.

Sometimes, the rattling sound from the exhaust or heat shield is sometimes misheard as a turbo rattle. Personally, I had removed my heat shields once because they were all loose and they started to rattle. The noise was unbearable and I couldn’t help it. They just weren’t sitting in their place properly.

Little did I know that removing exhaust heat shields could be dangerous and even cause fire…

READ MORE: What’s Exhaust Heat Shield For: Costs & Driving Without It

Final Thoughts

Wastegates allow exhaust gasses to flow through the turbine wheel of the turbocharger inside the turbine housing, preventing excessive boost from being produced and a compressor from spinning too rapidly.

If you hear abnormal rattling, it’s best to send your car for a check to avoid damage to your car’s engine.

Chai WJ.

Chai WJ.

I am a car enthusiast and a passionate rider who loves to discover new places. Since the pandemic, I can't go to places and I started to blog and share information that I learned. I'm not easily distracted, I just... OMG, do I hear a Supra?

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