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Rotomaster Turbochargers

When it comes to OEM replacement turbochargers, there aren’t a huge amount of reputable manufacturers out there. Vivid Racing is always on the lookout for new companies we can bring on board and offer quality parts to our customers. One of the biggest problems with many replacement turbochargers is the ridiculously high prices. When the opportunity to team up with Rotomaster came up, we jumped on it.

OEM Replacement Turbo vs Larger Aftermarket Turbo

Although it can often be tempting to just go big or go home, you must realize the amount of work it takes to install an aftermarket turbocharger. With a larger turbocharger, you will alter the turbo threshold which dictates what RPM range the turbo is most efficient in. Larger turbochargers are more efficient at high RPM and can create huge amounts of boost but at the cost of huge amounts of turbocharger lag. The stock sized turbo is typically tiny and punchy. It might not make a huge amount of peak power, but it will have a street friendly power band with very little lag.

A larger turbocharger may require different intercooler piping, a larger intercooler, a different downpipe(s), as well as a different tune. This all adds up to a potentially high price and a time-consuming process. An OEM replacement turbocharger, however, can simply be bolting on to your car without any modification at all. This obviously leads to a much lower cost and less time without a working vehicle.

Most Common Causes of Turbocharger Failure

Rotomaster turbocharger center

Just like any other part of your car, there are multiple ways a turbocharger can fail, however, there are few common causes which we will look at now.

  • Lack of Lubrication: Like many other parts in your engine, the turbocharger needs a constant stream of clean oil. This oil is directed to the bearings that allow the compressor to spin freely and in some cases extremely fast. If there is a lack of oil reaching the bearings, they can experience excessive metal on metal contact and heat up to temperatures that will do permanent damage. This constant flow oil clean oil helps prevent carbon build up and excessive amounts of contaminants from entering the turbo.
  • Foreign Objects: The point of your air filter is to make sure clean and pure air is entering your turbocharger. If the air filter is dirty, old, or simply inefficient, it can allow particles or even relatively large objects to enter the intake and ultimately into the turbo. These objects or particles will cause impact damage and abrasion to the compressor wheel. Over time, this will reduce the efficiency of the turbocharger, forcing it to work harder to produce the amount of boost it did when it was brand new.
  • Housing Cracks and Boost Leaks: If there is a crack in the housing or any boost leaks in the system, the turbocharger will have to work significantly harder to produce the same amount of boost it did before the boost leak. Most times, the leak will be large enough that the turbocharger cannot compensate for it and there will be a massive power loss.
  • Excessive EGT: Exhaust gas is what drives the turbocharger, and that exhaust gas is very hot. If the exhaust gas temperature (EGT) is too high, it will damage the turbocharger. This typically happens when the engine runs too lean, but it can occur in other instances as well.
  • Old Age: Your turbocharger spins extremely fast, undergoes lots of stress, and has very tight tolerances. Over time components begin to wear and parts can lose their effeciency. Turbochargers have a lifespan and if you maintain your engine properly, you will eventually reach the end of that lifespan and need a new turbocharger.

There are other causes of turbocharger failure, but the points listed above are the most common.

Signs of a Failing Turbocharger

There are a couple of signs that your turbocharger may be failing and in need of replacement.

  • Check Engine Light: On many modern cars, the onboard computer system monitors all engine parameters. If something isn't right, the engine light will pop on and give you diagnostic codes. Your check engine light is not guaranteed to come on when your turbocharger fails.
  • Boost Gauge: If your car or truck is equipped with a factory or aftermarket boost gauge, you will probably see less boost than you used to. This is a sign of some sort of issue with the turbocharger or some kind of boost leak.
  • Loss of Power: Depending on your model of car or truck and the size of your turbocharger, you may notice a loss of power. This power loss can happen over a long time, so it can often go unnoticed for quite a while.
  • Smoking Exhaust: A smoking exhaust can be a sign of seals failing inside the turbocharger. Many things can cause your car to begin smoking, however, so don't immediately assume your turbocharger has gone bad.

There are other signs that your turbocharger is failing, but these are the most common signs that we have seen over the years. If you're brave enough, you can check the intake and exhaust side of the turbo for excessive shaft play, carbon build-up, or physical damage.

Why Vivid Racing Has The Lowest Prices

Rotomaster turbocharger housing

If you look at this price of Rotomaster turbochargers from our competitors, you may notice the massive price difference. Our competitors charge crazy amounts for these OEM style replacement turbochargers. Vivid Racing is comprised of enthusiasts and we have always believed in bringing great prices to our customers, as we buy lots of parts for our personal cars and understand the importance of fair pricing. We also sell tons of OEM replacement turbochargers and have been in business for over 15 years, allowing work with manufacturers to offer better prices for our customer. We offer Rotomaster turbochargers at a fraction of the price of our nearest competitor.

Why Choose Rotomaster?

From the outside, it can be hard to tell a good turbocharger from a bad one. Everyone claims to have a quality product, so why should you pick Rotomaster? There are a few key things which separate Rotomaster from the rest.

  • Build Quality

    It doesn't matter how fancy or cool a turbocharger looks if it fails you. Build quality is of the utmost importance for Rotomaster. Unlike some other turbo manufacturers, Rotomaster is ISO certified to meet the demand for high quality manufacturing required for its market segment. Their one-of-a-kind in-house testing facility allows them to ensure the best possible build quality.

  • Performance

    By using high quality materials, Rotomaster turbochargers outperform OEM turbochargers, even when using the same design. OEM replacement turbochargers might not have the sheer performance of a high-end aftermarket turbocharger, but that kind of performance is not needed in many applications, plus aftermarket turbochargers introduce a whole host of problems compared to OEM replacement turbos.

Who is Rotomaster?

In case you've never heard of Rotomaster before, they are one of the largest manufacturers of replacement turbochargers in the world. Rotomaster was formed in 1978 as an alternative supply for turbochargers to original equipment manufacturers. Fast forward to 2002 and Rotomaster was reborn with all new tooling which took their product quality to a whole new level. This ultimately caused them to experience rapid growth. In 2017, CARDONE Industries acquired the controlling interest in ADP Distributors (parent company of Rotomaster).

Rotomaster is ISO certified to meet the demand for high-quality manufacturing required in this market. This has pushed them to become recognized as a high-quality manufacturer. Their focus on quality engineering, material testing, quality control, and technical support has put them where they are today. Their in-house test facility is the perfect way for both OE and aftermarket style turbochargers to be tested to the limits.

Popular Rotomaster Products

Rotomaster turbocharger wheels

Rotomaster offers a ton of different OEM replacement style turbochargers and they are constantly adding new turbos to their wide array of products. Considering how popular "light duty" diesel trucks are in the USA it shouldn't be too big of a surprise to find out that Rotomaster offers turbochargers for most of them. They cover most years of Duramax, Cummins, and Powerstroke engines. Many of these diesel turbos are very large, use an internal wastegate, and can experience extremely high exhaust gas temperatures. Rotomaster has had nothing but great success with these diesel turbochargers. Although it is an OEM replacement turbo, a Rotomaster turbocharger often has better seals than the OEM unit and stronger components which will last longer.

Rotomaster also produces lots of replacement turbochargers for the Volkswagen 1.9L TDI engines. What's unique about these turbos is the integrated exhaust manifold. The integrated manifold allows the exhaust runners to be short and lots of thermal energy to spin the turbo, resulting in great throttle response and boost levels. These turbochargers also use an internal wastegate, making installation super easy.