There are many types of turbochargers, and knowing the quality of a turbo you want to buy is essential. Fortunately, it’s possible to determine how great a turbo is by focusing on various parts and assessing their capabilities. Use these methods to determine if a turbo is a quality and improve your vehicle.
What Is “Quality” in a Turbo?
In terms of a turbo, quality typically represents how well the turbo functions and how much it benefits the vehicle. Various aspects determine a turbo’s overall quality.
To put it frankly, if a turbocharger creates poor performance in the turbo, the part’s quality is bad. Meanwhile, improved performance suggests you have a high-quality turbo. That said, determining its quality before buying ensures you invest in the best turbo possible. Looking at different parts, features, and aspects of the turbo helps you estimate whether it’s a good or bad addition to your vehicle.
Inspecting the Quality of a Turbo
You must inspect the turbo inside and out to determine its quality. The physical features of the turbo affect how it performs in your engine, and assessing its parts provides insight into its quality. Inspect the primary areas of the turbo, looking for damage and noting size and movements. You may need to test various parts, such as the actuator, and estimate how it affects the performance of the engine and the vehicle.
Check the Compressor Wheel and Turbine
The compressor and turbine wheels are two of the most essential parts of any turbo, as they cause the device to boost your engine’s power. Both wheels need to be in the best shape to function properly, and the whole device may malfunction if there is any damage or wear. Check both wheels for chips, scratches, or bends that could become hazardous over time.
A damaged turbine wheel causes the compressor to spin lower and decreases air intake, while a damaged compressor wheel leads to a lower boost. A quality turbocharger has a clean turbine and features compressor wheels in the best condition.
These parts won’t have damage and should spin with ease. Check the bearing that connects the wheels and look for any side-to-side movement. This type of damage is common in turbos that haven’t had enough oil.
Listen for Shaking
Shaking from the engine is a bad sign, especially in the turbo. An easy way to tell if a turbocharger is quality is by picking it up and shaking it. If there are visible or audible issues, such as rattling sounds or out-of-sync movement, it’s best to find a different option.
The parts of a turbo should remain fastened, tight, and in sync when moving. Shaking problems result from loose parts, which means these issues can occur after years of use. It’s crucial to test for any shaking problems on used turbos because they’ve seen use and are more likely to face issues.
Look for Cracks
Cracks are a turbo’s worst enemy, so ensuring the surface and interior have no cracks is essential. A crack is more than a telltale sign that a turbo lacks quality; it’s also a sign of potential danger when using it. A crack could cause a variety of issues depending on its location. For example, a crack could cause exhaust to leak from the turbine housing, resulting in lag. A crack near the bearing could cause an oil leak and cause a small fire that spreads due to the heat of the turbo and engine.
Check the turbo thoroughly for cracks. The smallest crack could increase over time and cause greater damage to the engine. Feel along the turbo’s surface for any irregularities; the metal should feel smooth and have no scratches or cracks that decrease its quality.
Inspect the Wastegate
The wastegate is another valuable part of the turbo that needs to be in good shape to ensure a quality experience. Inspect the bore of the wastegate and ensure there aren’t any large cracks stemming from high heat and rapid cooldown.
The exhaust temperatures of a turbocharger may reach over 1875° F. If this heat cools down too quickly, the pressure may cause the metal of the wastegate’s opening to crack. A cracked wastegate leads to oscillating boost pressure and less boost during acceleration.
Even if you don’t notice the crack in the wastegate, you’ll still feel the effects of a low-quality turbo when you drive. Look at every aspect of the turbo and consider its performance in the engine when determining the device’s quality.
Signs of a Good Quality Turbo
Devices of good quality typically function better and last longer. You should always look for certain signs of quality in a turbocharger. A turbo showing the following features is more likely to offer excellent performance enhancements to your vehicle.
Better Fuel Efficiency
Improving the fuel efficiency of your vehicle is important to preventing stress on the engine and lowering the costs of filling the tank. A quality turbo improves fuel efficiency and helps the engine burn fuel with more power. Your vehicle will drive farther on a full tank with the help of a quality turbo.
Notice how much fuel you save with your turbo to determine its quality. The amount saved should feel significant compared to how the engine used gas previously.
Noticeable Power Increase
The purpose of a turbo is to provide more power to the engine. Your engine’s performance should improve from the additional air in the combustion chamber, creating more power upon ignition. Gauging the power increase of the engine is a key way to determine the quality of a turbo.
The most effective turbos create the most power for engines and give you the boost you want on the road. The boost may vary depending on numerous factors. Keep an eye out for issues such as power creep and surging.
Encourage Long-Lasting Function
Turbos improve the vehicle’s longevity thanks to the improvement of performance. Since your engine uses less fuel and has a better burst, the vehicle won’t have to work as hard to meet your demands.
The assistance in performance positively affects the other parts of the vehicle and helps you drive more efficiently without putting more stress on other parts. A quality turbo helps your vehicle in numerous ways, and when you notice a turbocharged vehicle’s improvement and longevity, you’ll know you’re using an excellent turbo.
Many turbocharger sellers understand how a quality turbo functions and seek to make theirs better than that standard. At Turboturbos, we strive to provide quality turbos from various sellers with the above features, such as Garret, Cummins, and BorgWarner. If you need a Garret turbo dealer with quality parts, visit our online store for the best options.