The failure of a turbocharger whilst a truck is out on the road can result in significantly more cost than its preventative replacement in your own fleet workshops. Within a standard HGV service schedule there is rarely any warning of an impending mechanical failure due to the limitations of a visual examination, even with the cab tilted for greater access to the various truck parts. Putting a specific service lifetime on a lorry turbo and ensuring a turbocharger replacement programme on a time / mileage basis may not be at the top of a HGV fleet engineers to do list, but the cost of changing a HGV turbo as a precautionary measure can represent very notable savings against a failure while the driver and truck are out on the road.
Take for example the replacement of a turbo on a Volvo Euro IV FH13 fitted with a D13A engine and a very common truck turbocharger, VTP part number 20857657 (costing around £580 +VAT from Various Truck Parts) plus 3-4 hours labour, and the cost of an oil change, as the manufacturers stipulate that the engine oil is changed when any replacement or aftermarket part turbocharger is fitted to any HGV. For example, if you have a 2009 HGV truck such as a Volvo FH fitted with the D13C Euro V Engine, the correct VTP replacement part is turbocharger 20763166, which costs around £500 +VAT from Various Truck Parts with similar fitting costs to above.
On the face of it, this might sound rather expensive, but if you compare this to the additional costs incurred when faced with a lorry breakdown – considering all the call out labour / recovery charges, outsourced workshop services, time off the road, loss of earnings and missed customer delivery deadlines – prevention is definitely far cheaper than waiting until an emergency repair is required.
A very common consequence of a truck turbo failure can be the engine oil from the lorry contaminating the truck exhaust silencer and the HGV exhaust gas treatment equipment leading to them both needing to be replaced. A typical HGV cat silencer 20920705 fitted to a number of trucks / lorries costs in the region of £2000 +VAT plus replacement part NOX sensors 22219283 costing around £300 +VAT from VTP (these will cost significantly more from a Commercial Vehicle Main Agent’s Parts Department), not to mention the other heavy duty sensors and computer diagnostics which would be damaged all thanks to the initial problem of a truck turbocharger breakdown.
If you move onto newer, more technologically advanced trucks and HGV’s, such as Euro V spec lorries and the savings become even more compelling. With the introduction of modern emissions treatment technologies then obviously there are even greater cost implications for a HGV truck operator.
When a VTP customer purchases a used truck which is over 5 years old or has over 50,000 km on the clock, and it is their intention to keep the lorry for the foreseeable future, in the absence of any documentation or physical evidence indicating that the turbocharger fitted to the wagon has recently been replaced, then we advise serious consideration to a turbocharger replacement to help avoid the potential for serious unforeseen costs and to keep the truck on the road, where it belongs!
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