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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > N55 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Question on Warming Up Turbo Cars + Higher Altitude
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      01-23-2013, 02:13 AM   #1

Drives: 2013 335xi M-Sport
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Question on Warming Up Turbo Cars + Higher Altitude

Hey guys,

it's my first time at owning a turbo car and was wondering if you guys can dispel some of the myths of turbo cars for me.. first off, I've read on several Internet car forums that any turbo car should be warmed up (in terms of engine oil) before making higher revs, is this true? Will I see any issues with the turbo from the occasional "spirited" punch in throttle if the car isn't fully warmed up yet?

second thing, i live in a higher than average altitude city (Calgary) so the altitude causes a bit of a strain on the turbo from what i've read. To my understanding the turbo has to "work" harder to produce boost as it's in a higher altitude... is this true as well? And if so, is there anything i can do as preventative maintenace?? Thanks guys!
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      01-24-2013, 11:54 AM   #2

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It is not just cars with turbochargers that need to be warmed up - the engine oil needs to be up to temperature before using large throttle openings. This goes for any engine regardless whether its in a car or a plane.

Per the BMW's owner's manual drive off from cold but drive lightly. I leave mine in comfort mode and try to stay below 2000 rpms until I am up to temp. Then I pop it into Sport mode and enjoy the car.

The exhaust stream spins the turbocharger regardless of altitude - its the wastegate and engine management software that controls the amount of boost being delivered to the car. Really not an issue. In general cars with turbochargers perform better than normally aspirated cars at altitude as the turbocharger compensates for the lower air density.
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      01-25-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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^ true
OP-don't worry about your turbo working harder to make more boost to compensate for altitude. Unless you tune your ecu the turbo is operating within design limitations that have a margin of safety.
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