When we think of counterfeiters, we picture a green-visored man, his hands covered in ink, sitting in a rented hotel room printing out $50 bills.

Or cheap imitations of luxury watches, made out of tin and guaranteed to keep time for the next five minutes.

We generally don’t think about counterfeit turbochargers, but they’re part of the emerging problem of misrepresentation enabled in large part, by the Internet.

You would be unlikely to purchase diesel engine components out of the back of a van in the parking lot of your local shopping mall, or from a sketchy looking character in an alley, but you might be tempted to order from a very legitimate looking website offering a great deal on a product with a stellar reputation.

Beware! A counterfeit turbocharger unit may look and seem like “the real thing”, but is highly unlikely to perform in the same way. A knock-off turbo is likely to be unable to withstand the same use as the part it’s imitating, and could fail catastrophically. This failure could cause damage to your engine or other parts of your vehicle. In a worst-case scenario, grenaded parts could exit the engine compartment and actually cause physical harm to the driver, mechanic, or an innocent bystander.

Like that luxury item sold for $20 in a back alley, looking like the real thing and “being” the real thing are two different things. Always buy your parts from a reputable distributor and if a deal seems like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you think you might have purchased a counterfeit turbo, make sure you have it inspected by someone who can tell you if it’s genuine or not right away, before it fails.

For expert Turbocharger service and sales in Winnipeg, come to the Diesel Service Centre at Western Turbo. Our facility is located at 325 Eagle Drive. Contact us online or by telephone toll-free at (800) 665-7556