How Much Is a Turbo Kit and Why are They So Expensive?

If you are open to the idea of modifying your car, you should consider getting a turbo kit. Turbo kit helps improve your car performance by forcing air into the engine with more pressure.

However, installing a turbo kit to your car is complicated and should be done with care and absolute knowledge of the concept.

I know you are already wondering, “how much is a turbo kit“? Well, you are about to find that out and more.  This article is going to answer all your concerns about the turbo kit.

What Is a Turbo Kit?

A turbo kit is an exhaust-driven air compressor. It is essential in increasing the engine’s power potential by forcing air into the machine with more pressure.

Since the engine is primarily an air pump, the power output equals the amount of air that enters the cylinders. In this regard, a turbo kit improves the performance of your vehicle’s engine hence a tremendous overall performance.

Since the engines depend on fuel and air, when you increase the fuel or air, the power of the engine increases; however, when you increase energy, ensure you burn all of it.

So, to increase the airflow, fit a turbocharger to compress and blow air into the engine. The air will mix with the fuel to allow the energy to burn effectively and increase engine power output.

How Does Turbo Work?

The waste exhaust gases move through the turbine wheel, connecting to the compressor wheel by a shaft. The air from the compressor then passes to the engine via air filters. The waster gases are then expelled from the engine then directed to the turbine to complete the process.

1. Capture

Hot gases produced at combustion flow to the turbocharger rather than escaping via the exhaust pipe. The cylinders in the internal engine combustion then fire to allow the exhaust to exit the combustion chamber in uneven beats.

Standard single-scroll turbos route the uneven beats of the exhaust directly into the turbine, allowing them to collide and interfere with one another hence reducing the strength of the flow. On the other hand, twin turbos gather exhaust from two cylinders in an alternating sequence

2. Spin and Vent

The exhaust blows the turbine blades and spins them to about 150,000 rpm; the exhaust pulses then keep alternating to help remove any turbo lag.

After the exhaust gases complete their duty, through an outlet, they flow to a catalytic converter to eliminate nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and all pollutants before they exit via the exhaust pipe.

3. Compress

At this time, clean and cold air is collected by the air compressor from the vent, compressing to more than 30% of the atmospheric pressure. Now, dense air filled with oxygen escapes to the combustion chamber.

Dense oxygen helps the engine burn the gasoline entirely, improving its performance. Therefore, a machine with a turbocharger provides 30% more horsepower than an engine without a turbocharger.

Cost of Turbocharging a Car

Different factors influence the overall cost of a turbocharging car. However, depending on the car you have, the resources available and your budget, the average cost of turbocharging a car range between $500-$5000. It’s always important to try and find a balance between cost and quality.

1. Cars That Already Have a Turbo

If your vehicle has an existing turbocharger, replacing it is less costly than adding a new one. If you want to upgrade because you need a powerful turbocharger, replacing it costs less. It also consumes less time for the mechanic, and the parts are cheaper.

2. Naturally Aspirated engines

Most people will add more a turbocharger to their engines to improve the horsepower because it is very effective. The perfect method is to add a turbocharger to a naturally aspirated engine.

You will need around $500 and $2000 for the turbocharger when doing this upgrade. However, if the budget looks pretty high, you can always get a used one.

3. Cost after Installation

Whether you have just upgraded or added a turbocharger to a naturally aspirated engine, you are likely to incur other costs after installation.

You will also require a mechanic to tune your engine to calibrate the fuel injectors so that they can match the increase of airflow from the turbocharger.

Therefore, it would be best to get it done perfectly by an expert to avoid costs.

4. Overall Cost

The overall price for installing a turbocharger will be around $500 to $5000 based on your car, your situation and the resources you have.

So, it is good to find a balance between having it done at the lowest price and ensuring everything is perfect.

Why are Turbos So Expensive?

Turbo kits are expensive because they help save you time and trouble of other costs. For instance, turbo kits are compatible, meaning you don’t need additional welding or cutting for fixing.

Therefore, the pipes and other connections will work perfectly, and you or the mechanic will install them without much trouble.

However, that does not mean you will install the turbo kit by plugging and playing it.

It will need some work, but you will have added 100 horsepower to your engine, hence outstanding performance with the right components.

Are Turbo Kits Illegal?

Turbochargers are legal, provided they do not make your vehicle fail safety inspection or state emission.

Adding a turbocharger to your car helps improve the performance of your vehicle.

Even California, one of the strictest states about vehicle standards, allows you to upgrade provided you don’t mess with the emissions system.

They certify your turbo kit upgrade, and you can pass the smog check.

Are Turbo Kits Illegal in California?

Under California’s vehicle code section 27156, most turbos are illegal and can quickly get you into problems with the law. Fortunately, there are other exceptions to the law. Getting an EO number or OEM turbo and purchasing local is the best method to avoid the hassle. (Source)

A stamped Executive Order Number from California Air Resources Board (CARB) means that your turbo is legal in streets in California.

OEM parts, that is, if your car has original manufactures turbo parts, there is no problem keeping it within the law. The OEM parts allow you to keep your warranty and pass the California smog inspections.

Uncontrolled vehicles are the ones that are not governed by California’s Vehicle Code Section 27156. For example, if your car is used only for driving off-road, they are not subject to the code; thus, you can use any turbo.

Final Thoughts

Most vehicle modifications are simply for aesthetic purposes. However, other car enthusiasts will modify their machines to improve their performance. There are tons of changing cars that are harmless and others that are illegal and can get you in trouble.

In this regard, using a turbo kit is one of the popular modifications worldwide because they give cars more horsepower improving their performance.

Wondering how much is a turbo kit? This article has broken down all the details.

So, if you would love to modify your car, it is one of the best methods and will boost your engine with 100 horsepower with the right components.

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