Are Ford OEM Turbochargers Better Than Aftermarket?

Do you need to put a new turbocharger in your Ford? Your biggest challenge might be deciding whether to use an OEM or aftermarket turbocharger.

If you weigh the pros and cons of each option, you’ll see that OEM turbochargers are clearly the better option. Read on to find out why.

What Could Go Wrong With an Aftermarket Turbocharger?

Aftermkt turbo

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When it comes to turbochargers, you get what you pay for. Aftermarket turbochargers are affordable, but they don’t always perform as well as they should. Aftermarket turbochargers are pretty unpredictable in terms of quality, durability, and performance. A few issues can crop up if you install an aftermarket turbocharger on your Ford. The most common ones are:

1. Less "Charged" Air

Turbochargers help engines make more power by forcing more air into the engine than it would get via it's own suction. To force in as much air as possible, turbochargers are manufactured to extremely tight tolerances to prevent air from leaking.

An aftermarket turbocharger, especially a cheap one, may not force enough air into the engine. Your engine won’t be able to make as much power as it should.

OEM turbochargers are designed with OEM specs, meaning they will force in the right amount of air.

2. Miscommunication With the ECU

A turbocharger works with the ECU to create the right fuel/air mixture. When you replace your OEM turbocharger with an aftermarket one, there’s a chance your new turbocharger won’t work quite as well with the ECU. The same goes for when you turbocharge a non-turbo car.

It’s just safer to replace your turbocharger with the exact same part rather than a new aftermarket part that’s designed by a different company. If you’re turbocharging a non-turbo car, it’s easier to get your stock ECU to work with an OEM turbocharger than with an aftermarket one.

3. Early Failure

Like many aftermarket parts, aftermarket turbochargers are usually built with inferior materials and components. That means an aftermarket turbocharger is at a higher risk of early failure.

For example, an aftermarket turbocharger with a cheaply built exhaust turbine fan wheel is likely to fail early. If your aftermarket turbocharger fails, there’s a high likelihood that you can’t get it replaced under warranty. It’s pretty common for aftermarket manufacturers to not warranty their products.

Common Myth: OEM Turbochargers are More Expensive

Ford Turbo

Some people don't want to buy an OEM turbocharger because they think OEM parts cost more than aftermarket parts. It’s not always the case, though. If you’re a Ford owner, you’re in luck. You can buy an OEM Ford turbocharger at a wholesale price from a reputable parts seller like Blue Springs Ford Parts.

At Blue Springs Ford parts, we offer wholesale pricing for genuine OEM turbochargers. Look up your Ford here to see how much money you can save on an OEM replacement turbocharger. Here’s a list of our best sellers:

  • Part No. AA5Z-6K682-E (for 2015-2017 Explorer, Flex, Taurus, MKS, and MKT models): Available for $470 – regular price is over $700
  • Part No. AA5Z-6K682-F (for 2015-2017 Explorer, Flex, Taurus, MKS, and MKT models): Available for $470 – regular price is over $700
  • Part No. CB5Z-6K682-H (for 2012-2015 Edge and Explorer models): Available for $730 – regular price is nearly $1,100
  • Part No. CJ5Z-6K682-F (for 2015-2018 Escape, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, MKC, MKT, and MKZ models): Available for under $500 – regular price is $740

OEM Turbochargers are Also Cheaper in the Long Run

Even if you find an aftermarket turbocharger that’s cheaper than an OEM turbocharger, you should still be careful. That cheap aftermarket turbocharger could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.

It’s because OEM turbochargers are built to last a long time. And they’re warrantied for up to 24 months, regardless of how many miles you put on the turbocharger. Aftermarket turbochargers may not last a long time, and they’re often not backed by a warranty.

You might save a few bucks upfront with an aftermarket turbocharger, but you’ll save a lot more money in the long run with an OEM turbocharger.