Turbo Rebuild or Replace?

Is it best to repair or just replace my problematic turbocharger?  This is a question that we get asked almost on a daily basis.  Sometimes the answer is easy, other times not.  Here are the things we consider before we answer that question for you:

  • Cost of the rebuild vs. the cost of replacement turbo
  • Customers urgency
  • Shipping logistics

For some vehicles the cost of the rebuild will come very close to the cost of a new replacement turbocharger, let's use a VGT turbo as an example.  The average ticket cost for us to rebuild these units over the years has run $2,500 due to the complexity of the unit (labor) and the amount of component parts that were not repairable and required replacing.  A new VGT turbocharger ranges anywhere from ~$4500 to ~$7500, so rebuilding was a cost effective approach for the customer.  As another example, let's look at the 2008-2010 6.4 Powerstroke.  Current new replacements are ~$1300, and the average ticket cost for a rebuild has been ~$1100, so this vehicle is a prime candidate for new replacement.  

How big of a hurry is our customer in? This is always a balancing act of price vs. demand and the scenario plays itself out in all of our lives daily.  We will always provide a time quote  and worst case pricing options up front for our customers so they can weigh out the options.  Just last week we had a customer call with a failing turbocharger on his Hino powered service truck, and while the rebuild option was considerably less expensive the time frame it would have taken to ship the unit to us, perform the service and then return shipping was going to cost more in lost revenue to justify.  

Just like the example above, shipping logistics have to be considered on some orders.  With most of our customers falling into the 2 day shipping time zone, transit times are reasonable and easy to schedule so rebuilding is a very attractive option.  For those customers that are further out than the 2 day shipping, or in another country where customs and shipping costs alone must be considered, a replacement turbo option may be better suited.

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