Turbochargers are forced induction devices that use exhaust gas to spin a compressor to pump large amounts of fresh air into an internal combustion engine. The turbo is a distinctive snail-shaped housing that is usually attached to the exhaust manifold. Garrett is a major turbo manufacturer that produces turbochargers for a variety of manufacturers and aftermarket companies. Identifying which Garrett turbocharger is facilitated by the installation of a identification plate built into the turbo housing.
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Open your hood. Be sure you car has not been run recently and is cold to the touch because turbochargers and their associated piping get extremely hot.
Locate your turbocharger. If your car is front-wheel drive, the turbo will typically be sitting in the front of the engine bay (as the engine is mounted sideways). If your car is rear-wheel drive, the turbocharger will typically be on the right side of the engine. Follow the exhaust manifold and you will find the turbocharger. It is a large circular housing with a large air pipe connecting it to the air intake.
Locate the name plate on the turbo housing. The name plate is typically on the compressor housing, often at the bottom of the housing. It will be a flat, metal plate with identification information. On some Garrett turbochargers, the information is recorded on the compressor housing itself.
Record the plate information. The plate design will vary slightly, depending upon whether the turbocharger is a factory application (equipped by a car manufacturer when the vehicle was sold) or an aftermarket unit that was installed by a private party. There will be a serial number, a Garrett part number, a model and serial number. The model number will tell you what Garrett turbocharger you have installed. You can contact Garrett for more information on your turbocharger.
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