Turbo's are normally maintainance free, for the life of the car, except where:
A) Poor oil (i.e. non-turbo) is used, then the bearings get nackered.
B) The wastegate soots up. I have had the latter cleaned for the cost of two hours labour (£50) by a friend who runs a guarage. Worked fine, with no probs - but don't try and disconnect the two halves of the Turbo as the bolts are normally well ceased due to the heat of the turbo over time.
In case A) a Part-Ex for a new or reconditioned unit from a Turbo specialists is probably the best bet. In case of a full service, you must go to the likes of Turbo technics who have the kit to balance the shafts at speeds of 150,000RPM!
In case B, most Turbo specialists wanted to charge megabucks. Until I spoke to a Turbo specilist in the Nth England who said any guarage could clean the wastegate without the need for a Turbo specialist! Which I found to be true indeed.
I was advised along time ago, when i first thought about getting a turbo hot hatch, to always change the oil every 6 months or so, to make sure that the oil never had the chance to sludge up the oilways in the turbo.
The heat in a turbo bakes the oil inside it when the engine is switched off (as there's no fresh oil being pushed through it), which is why you can get alarm systems that will set, and still keep the engine running for a few minutes before cutting it.
They also sometimes have a remote start feature, good on cold mornings ;-)
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