Diesel Engine Turbochargers: Rebuild with a Cartridge or a New Turbo?

If you're running a diesel engine, odds are you'll eventually experience some kind of failure. That might include your turbocharger.

Do you know what turbo failure looks like? Check out our list of common turbo problems and failures

Do you have a turbocharger that's failed or needs replacing? Well, there's a couple of options for you! You can get a complete turbo, or you can get a cartridge. Different situations may lead you to one over the other. Read on to find out which is best for you!

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Getting a New Turbocharger


If you're experiencing turbocharger failure in your diesel engine, one option is obviously to get a new or remmaned turbo. Typically, a remanufactured turbo or a new turbo is probably the best bet.

If you've had a failure that has damaged your turbine housing or your compressor housing and their not usable, you'll probably need a new turbo. Same thing if you've had a bearing failure and the wheel has got into the housing as it spins, as it has probably damaged the housing. Or maybe you've got cracks in the exhaust housing and you need a new one.


With a damaged housing, you're going to have to get a complete turbo. A new cartridge won't solve the problem. 

Looking to install your new turbo? We have some install tips for you!


Getting a Turbo Cartridge

On the other hand, if you've got a turbocharger that's just passing oil and your compressor and turbine housings are good, we offer a cartridge so you don't have to replace the entire thing.


The cartridge is going to be your center housing rotating assembly, the center bearing housing, the turbine wheel, and compressor wheel. It's going to be fully balanced and ready to go. All you have to do is bolt your housings to the center housing rotating assembly, your compressor housing, your turbine housing and put them together.


At that point, you've basically got a remanufactured turbo at that point for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay for a true reman or a new turbocharger. So there are options for whatever you need!


Keeping Your Turbo Healthy

We've covered this topic in a little more detail in another blog we posted, but it's good to mention some of the points again to help you better understand what's going on with your turbo.

As you're evaluating your turbocharger, replacing it, or just have a look to see what might be going on inside your diesel engine, it's vital that you keep things clean. That includes having clean oil, a clean air filter, and cleaning the turbo itself.

If these components aren't clean, you have the potential for dirt and debris to enter your engine and cause a lot more problems. If you don't have clean oil, you won't be getting the proper lubrication, which could lead to metal on metal contact.

Something as simple as ensuring everything is clean can help prevent a costly repair for you later on.


Our certified techs are here to answer any questions you may have!

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Originally Posted June 25, 2019; Updated July 26, 2019

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