When Should You Replace Your CAT C15 ACERT Diesel Engine Turbo?

As you probably know, one of the main differences between the Caterpillar C15 diesel engine and the C15 ACERT is the fact that the ACERT is designed with two turbochargers. That makes this component even more vital to the overall function and health of your diesel engine. 

Looking for more differences between these engines? Read our post on the differences between the C15, C15 ACERT, and 3406E.

But how do you know if it's time to replace your turbos? 

Well, if you notice low power or boost in your engine performance, it's possible that one or both of your turbos are going bad. We'll take you through the most common symptoms you should keep an eye out for when diagnosing your C15 ACERT turbos.

Want to know more? Check out our video:



Looking for a replacement turbo for your diesel engine? Our ASE Certified Techs are here to help you get the parts you need!

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What are the Symptoms of a Failing C15 ACERT Turbocharger?


cat c15 acert turbo failure symptoms | Highway & Heavy Parts


There are a few symptoms you should keep an eye out for if you think you're having a turbocharger failure on your CAT C15 ACERT diesel engine. These include:

  • Internal Components of the Turbo are Damaged
  • Passing Oil
  • Low Power
  • Runs Hot
  • Low Boost
  • Turbo Shafts have Play and Blades Rub the Turbo Housing
  • Cracks on the Exhaust Side from Heat

Any of these symptoms could spell huge problems for your turbocharger. But what can you do about it? 

First, it's important to understand how turbo failure can impact your engine.

Do you have noises coming from your turbo, colored exhaust smoke, or oil leaks from a turbo seal? These symptoms are all signs of specific failures in your turbo. If you want help diagnosing this and other issues, take a look at our turbocharger failure diagnostic checklist.

Understanding Your CAT C15 ACERT Turbocharger Failure


cat c15 acert turbo failure | Highway & Heavy Parts


There are some things about the design of the ACERT that makes for different problems when compared with other engine applications. Since the C15 ACERT is a twin turbo set-up, there are more moving parts and components involved with the engine. That means there are additional areas to check when diagnosing a turbocharger problem. 

Starting with the turbochargers themselves, you'll find that one is wastegated and one is not. There is a cooler inside the intake system as well. 

Some operators have reported issues with housings on high pressure turbos, failed bearings, carbon/debris in the engine knocked loose, and damaged fins.

A loose shaft can make the turbo blades rub inside of the turbo housings.

An air leak in the turbo can result in a loss of pressure.

Later models are equipped with turbos built with roller bearings. When they fail, they're likely not able to be rebuilt, and they're also very expensive.

Don't have an ACERT? Check out our blog on turbo problems on the Caterpillar C15.


If you have any of the problems we listed above, it might be time for a new turbo for your CAT C15 ACERT. Highway & Heavy Parts can help! Be sure to have your ESN ready when ordering to help us ensure you're getting the right parts for your engine!


If you need a new turbo, or any other replacement part for your diesel engine, call our ASE Certified Techs at 844-304-7688, or request a quote online!

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