Identify your turbocharger
Our website or sales team may ask you for the 'numbers' from your turbo.
This could be because there are several possible turbochargers listed for your vehicle; vehicle manufacturers often use different specifications or models of turbos for the same engine, depending on availability and desired performance. Conversely, we may have encountered difficulties finding the right turbocharger, especially if your vehicle has had an engine change, or is a foreign import, commercial, plant, marine or military vehicle. In such instances, we may ask you for the numbers listed on your turbo. To help you find them, we have produced this guide.
Most turbochargers have identification numbers, or a combination of numbers and letters, stamped or etched directly onto them or to an attached plate. Some examples of different types of markings and how to find the correct numbers are listed below.
Made by Honeywell, Garrett turbos tend to be easily distinguishable as they have the word ‘Garrett’ embossed on the compressor housing (the silver snail-like top of the turbo). This is usually also etched with numbers.
The identification number is a six-digit number typically beginning with a 4, 7 or 8; it’s most often found in the bottom left corner of the tag and it is not unusual to have a dash followed by a number or numbers. The first six digits before the dash are the most important, but we can narrow down the search using the entire number, including the 'dash number' after the first six digits. The 'dash number' tells us the series of your turbo. There can be minor differences between various series, such as different alignments, actuators or accessory mounting points.
In the example picture, the turbo has a number of 794786 and a dash number of 0001. Hence, its full identification number is 794786-0001.
The identification number on these units is a series of numbers. These numbers follow a 4-3-4 pattern, with the first and last series of numbers denoting the turbo’s model and the middle representing the series number. These numbers are usually etched onto a blue tag, which is usually attached to the compressor housing (the aluminium snail-like top lid of the turbo). Dashes do not separate the numbers on the tag. As the example photograph shows, the numbers are listed as 53049700064. When placed into the 4-3-4 pattern, this turbo's identification number is 5304-970-0064.
Occasionally, Borg Warner only gives the last four digits instead of the whole number (for example, 0064). In this instance, you may need to refer to the chart below to identify the first seven numbers. These can be determined using the code to the left of the identification number (K04 in the example photo).
K03 = 5303-970-_____
K04 = 5304-970-_____
K14 = 5314-970-_____
KP35 = 5435-970-_____
KP39 = 5439-970-_____
BU39 = 5439-970-_____
BU50 = 5304-970-_____
The figures in the middle series may differ; common numbers include 970, 988 and 998, but this has little relevance in terms of identification as the first and last four digits of the ID number are the most important.
Mitsubishi uses a ten-digit code to identify their turbochargers. These follow a 5-5 pattern and usually begin with the number four. The first five digits denote the series of turbo and the last five identify the model. Both sets of numbers are separated by a dash. In the example photo, the number is 49135-05132.
The identification numbers on these models usually combine a short series of letters and numbers, typically beginning with a 'V'. The photo example is of a VT10. There are numbers following the first section which denote the series, but these are less important than the first alphanumeric section.
The turbo’s ID is etched and can sometimes be difficult to see. If you're struggling to distinguish the identification code you can improve the visibility of the digits by driving dirt into the indentations of the etching using oil on your finger or a cloth.