How Much Does It Cost To Turbo A Car?

Increasing a car’s performance by turbocharging is a common practice. By pumping more air into the engine, produces higher power and improves fuel efficiency. Adding a turbocharger can cost more or less depending on the automobile, but it is often less expensive than purchasing a new or used high-performance vehicle and is probably more satisfying in the long run because you end up with something special.

CarMats will go over the expense of turbocharging an automobile in this blog post, as well as the potential benefits. Going down this path involves a lot of variables, so it’s crucial to understand them all before deciding if it’s right for you.

Let’s Take A Look!

What Are The Differences Between a Turbo-Charged And A Naturally Aspirated Engine?

The manner in which they compress air is the primary distinction between a turbocharged engine and a normally aspirated (NA) engine. An air compressor is powered by a turbine that is turned by a turbocharger’s exhaust gases. The engine can burn more fuel and produce more power thanks to forced air induction.

In naturally aspirated engines, air is drawn into the cylinders by the ambient pressure. So, they can’t get as much power out of them by forcing as much air into the cylinders.

Because they can extract more power from each cylinder, turbocharged engines are often more efficient than naturally aspirated engines. They are often smaller and lighter than normally aspirated engines because they don’t need as much displacement to make the same amount of power.

Why Would You Want To Add A Turbo To A Naturally Aspirated Car?

There are various reasons why individuals think about installing a turbo in their car, but the following are the most frequent ones:

More Power

The fact that a turbocharger dramatically boosts power is one of the key reasons why individuals decide to install one in their normally aspirated vehicle. By forcing more air into the engine, a turbocharger increases the amount of fuel that can be burned and the amount of power that can be produced. If you want to increase the power of your car, this might be a very alluring alternative.


A turbocharger may also be chosen because it can increase fuel efficiency. An engine often consumes more fuel when compelled to work harder. However, because a turbocharger only delivers additional power when necessary and not always, it can actually improve an engine’s performance and save fuel. For individuals who wish to save money on gas, this might be a huge advantage.

Turbo Cars Are More Fun To Drive

And finally, some folks just like the rush of driving a turbocharged vehicle. Having additional power available and knowing that you can utilize it when you need it is exciting. This is frequently the most pleasurable way to drive. No matter why you want to add a turbocharger to your naturally aspirated car, it can be a great way to boost performance, save fuel, or just make driving more fun.

Should You Turbo Your Car? What To Know

There are a few things you should know before installing a turbocharger in your automobile, but they are a terrific method to increase the power of your engine. Before installing a turbocharger, bear the following in mind:

-How much power do you want to add?

Before selecting the best turbocharger, you must choose how much power you want to add to your engine. A turbocharger may add a large amount of power.

-Do you want instant power, or do you mind waiting a bit for the turbocharger to spool up?

You need a smaller turbocharger with less boost pressure if you want instant power. If you don’t mind having to wait a little longer for the power to kick in, you can choose a bigger turbocharger with higher boost pressure.

-How much money are you willing to spend?

Before you can choose the right turbocharger, you need to know how much you can spend, because they can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

-Are you willing to make other modifications to your car?

You should probably go with a bolt-on turbocharger kit if you don’t want to make any more modifications. You have a number of turbocharger options if you’re ready to make additional adjustments.

How Much Does It Cost To Turbo A Car?

The price of putting a turbo in your car might depend on a wide range of variables, such as:

Hardware Costs

A basic turbo kit can cost around $500, while a top-of-the-line configuration can cost over $5,000. The cost of the kit will vary depending on the brand and component quality. Before buying a turbo kit, it’s important to learn about the different brands available.

It’s also crucial to confirm that the kit you buy is compatible with your vehicle. Even though many turbo kits come with instructions for how to install them, you should still have an expert do it.

You will need to buy a few extra parts to support the turbocharger when installing it. Before deciding to add a turbo, it’s important to think about these requirements and do research, since they can be different for each car.

These include pipework, a charge air cooler, and an improved intercooler. Additionally, a stronger fuel pump, more powerful injectors, and a larger radiator are required. For these auxiliary changes, the budget is approximately $2000.

By purchasing secondhand kits and parts, it is possible to reduce the overall cost of the hardware, allowing you to invest more money in other areas.

Labor Costs

The average cost of labor to install a turbocharger on a car that doesn’t need one is around $500 for the turbocharger itself. You will also need to factor in labor costs for any other changes that may need to be made.

It would probably cost less than half of that if you installed the hardware yourself. Because you wouldn’t have to pay someone else to do it, this is primarily why

However, it’s generally not a smart idea to attempt to install a turbocharger yourself if you are unfamiliar with car engines and how they operate. Leave that up to the experts.

But by all means, save some cash and do it yourself if you have a mechanical aptitude and are familiar with engines. Just plan on working on it over a few weekends. The only significant disadvantage of installing a turbocharger yourself is that

Software / Tuning Costs

Your car’s software would need to be tweaked if you installed an aftermarket turbo kit in order for it to function properly. This is due to the fact that the turbo kit alters the airflow and pressure inside the engine, which may have an impact on the timing and amount of fuel injection.

Without the right tune, your automobile could run rich (too much gasoline) or lean (insufficient fuel), which could harm the engine.

A skilled tuner may adjust the software in your car, and the service normally costs $500 to $1000. There are lots of online resources, though, if you prefer to handle it yourself.

It is crucial to remember that you should only try to modify the software in your automobile if you are experienced working on cars and have a solid grasp of how engines operate. If you aren’t sure, it’s always best to talk to a professional, since bad software tuning could damage the engine.

Other Costs

Depending on the kind of vehicle you’re trying to turbocharge, additional expenses could arise. These consist of

Standalone ECU

When adding a turbocharger to your naturally aspirated engine, there are a few reasons you might want to think about using a separate ECU. You have a lot more control over the engine management system, to start. This implies that you can fine-tune the engine for the best performance.

Second, it can help keep the engine from getting damaged by letting you control the extra strain that a turbocharger puts on it.

Finally, knowing that your engine is being governed by a dedicated ECU rather than by the factory ECU, which was not made for a turbocharged engine, might give you some peace of mind.

An independent ECU has a hefty price tag. (Generally, they range from $2,000 to $100,000 depending on the ECU you choose.)

Forged/Built Engine

When you add a turbo to a naturally aspirated car, one of the most common reasons you might need to forge the engine internals is that at high rpm, the increased airflow can cause the cylinder pressure to rise above what the standard pistons can handle.

By forging engine internals, these parts can be made stronger so they can handle the increased load and pressure in the cylinders.

How much the original engine can take and how much extra power you want to push through the engine will determine whether or not you need a custom engine.

Total Cost :

According to the preceding breakdown, the normal cost to turbocharge a car will range from $1000 to $25000 (or more), depending on the hardware and tuning needed, the quality of the parts used, and whether you handle the majority of the job yourself or hire a professional. Although it is possible to turbocharge an automobile on a tighter budget, doing so could lead to future problems or poor performance.

Is Adding A Turbo To Your Car Worth it?

Before deciding to modify your car with a turbocharger, there are a few things to think about. The cost comes first. This might not be the ideal choice for you if you have a limited budget.

The installation procedure is the second factor to take into account. Like installing a cold air intake or exhaust system, adding a turbocharger is not an easy bolt-on modification. Both mechanical expertise and some specific talents are needed. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this kind of work yourself, paying someone else to do it for you will add to the cost.

Finally, you should think about the reliability of your car. Your engine will be under more stress after installing a turbocharger, which could result in early engine wear and tear. It probably isn’t worth it for you to add a turbocharger if you’re not willing to take this risk.

Go ahead and add a turbocharger if you’ve thought about everything and still feel that it’s the best move for you. Nothing compares to the sensation of boost kicking in and the sound of that delicious turbo spooling up.

Just make sure you do all of your research and don’t cut corners to avoid problems in the future.


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