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What You Need to Know About Turbo Chargers

When people think of turbochargers, they generally think about going fast. However, for a diesel engine, the turbo is about power and efficiency so it is important to focus on how to make your turbo last the life of the engine.

Recently we interviewed Brad Moss, Product Manager at BBB Industries.

Valuable Turbo Information

What are the three most important things we need to know about turbos? 

  • First off, they take wasted energy (exhaust gas) and turn it into power output.
  • Second, they increase fuel efficiency by up to 40% in diesel engines.
  • Third, turbochargers are made to last the life of the engine if treated properly.

With that in mind, if you have a fleet or are an independent repair shop, what can you do to ensure that the turbos on the trucks that you maintain operate at peak efficiency?

Regular Maintenance

As always, it is important to maintain your trucks and service them at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Along with that, you want to make sure they are properly lubricated. To extend their life even further, it’s a good habit to let the truck idle for two minutes before shutting down the engine.

Even with regular maintenance turbochargers can fail still fail and when they do the repair and the downtime is expensive. What are the common causes of turbo failure? 

Common Reasons for Turbo Failure

Mechanic is repairing a diesel engine

“Foreign object damage on the turbocharger is basically any foreign material from the engine that can cause chipping or pitting to a shaft and can wear out your turbo… Another cause of failure is caused by a lack of lubrication or oil contamination. Starving a turbo of oil for 5-seconds is like starving an engine of oil for 5-minutes. It’s catastrophic,” said Brad Moss, Product Manager at BBB Industries.

High-quality turbos generally do not fail on their own but fail because of other parts of the system either not being maintained correctly or prematurely failing and causing a turbo failure.

Selling High-Quality Turbos

If you do sell turbos, how do you sell high-quality turbos at a higher price to someone who is struggling to understand the value?

BBB Industries talks about quality products with Jamie Irvine on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report

“The average cost of a turbocharger replacement is $560-$800 in labor, varying on labor rate, plus the cost of a part, which can be anywhere from a couple thousand dollars, to $6,000-$10,000 for a Cummins ISX turbo at the OE dealership. So, it’s a job you only want to have done once. Saving money on a lower quality turbocharger can in the short term help the wallet, but in the long term it can actually hurt you in downtime, and in additional possible replacements you’re going to have to deal with,” Brad Moss answered.

Remanufactured Turbos

Remanufactured Turbocharger by BBB Industries

If fleets are looking to save a little money though, but still want high-quality turbochargers, they can always look to remanufactured turbos.

In remanufacturing, you take a broken component, take it completely apart, see what’s wrong, and then improve it for better reliability, all for a cheaper price than buying new.

Remanufacturing also not only meets OE specs but can even exceed them.

BBB Industries is Expanding

BBB Industries set the expectation of meeting or exceeding OE specifications in their remanufacturing process. They started out as a family business, and over the years they have acquired other family businesses that have made their company unique.

On November 20, 2020, in a press release BBB announced the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot Technology Center outside of Detroit, MI. In addition to ongoing support for existing products and customers, the new Technology Center will help the company accelerate development of remanufactured solutions for Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and other electronic technologies.

“Over one year ago we embarked on a journey to strengthen our top leadership, adjust our organization design and enhance our critical infrastructure to keep pace with both the increasing requirements of our customers and our rapidly growing business. I am absolutely delighted to welcome both Tim Garner and Tom Sheppard to our team as we continue to strengthen the critical Finance & IT functions,” said Duncan Gillis, Chief Executive Officer.

They will not compromise their integrity with poor workmanship or products and everyone at BBB is invested in manufacturing and remanufacturing high-quality pars that lower the total cost of operation for their customers.


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Author: Taron H.

Taron is the Marketing Manager at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

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