How to Buy a Turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy a Turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is one of the world's more popular cars, and its popularity is largely because it is a fun car to drive. The Golf is compact and lightweight, but it accelerates quickly and hits impressive top speeds considering its relatively small engine. A Volkswagen Golf's performance becomes even more impressive when its engine is turbocharged. Some Golf models come with a turbocharger, while consumers must add them to some other models to gain the benefits of a turbocharged engine.

Turbochargers employ sophisticated mechanics to give an engine more power without adding much weight. Whether replacing a Volkswagen Golf turbocharger or adding one for the first time, consumers should have good background knowledge of turbochargers. Successful shopping for this car part also requires that consumers consider a few important buying points before looking for turbochargers. One can purchase a turbocharger from traditional auto body shops, but eBay is also a great source and offers a sizable selection of turbochargers for Volkswagen Golfs. Buyers with good knowledge of turbochargers and the eBay buying process should be able to easily find and save money on the turbochargers they need.

About Turbochargers

Learning about turbochargers before searching for one for a Volkswagen Golf improves a consumer's chances of successfully purchasing a quality product. It is helpful for consumers to be aware of the benefits of a turbocharged engine. In order to know what to look for in a turbocharger, potential buyers should know how a turbocharger boosts engine power, which parts are found in a turbocharger, what these parts do, and what kind of fuel is necessary for a turbocharged Golf engine.

Benefits of a Turbocharged Engine

The primary benefit of a turbocharger is increasing an engine's power. Without a turbocharger, an engine needs more cylinders or larger cylinders to generate greater horsepower. Both of these changes result in a larger, heavier engine. A turbocharger intensifies combustion within an engine, creating bigger explosions that give an engine more power without increasing the engine's weight. This enhances a Volkswagen Golf's acceleration and top speed.

How a Turbocharger Boosts Engine Power

A turbocharger achieves its benefits by taking in air and compressing it before sending it to the engine. Compressing air enables more of it to fit into the engine. The engine's electronic control unit senses a greater volume of air in the engine's cylinders and therefore asks the fuel-delivery system to send more fuel to balance the air-to-fuel ratio. This results in greater combustion intensity within the engine's cylinders, creating a bigger bang that generates more usable power. A turbocharged engine is thus noticeably more powerful than the same engine without a turbocharger.

Turbocharger Parts

Those who want to buy a turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf should be familiar with the different parts of a turbocharger and their role in a turbocharger's operation. Not all turbochargers have all of these components, so knowing turbocharger parts helps a consumer choose the right turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf. The table below lists the parts commonly found in turbochargers.




Area of turbocharger that takes in cool, free-flowing air


Heat exchanger that draws further heat from the air exiting the compressor; exchanger may be air-to-air or air-to-liquid


Exhaust component; on the opposite side from the compressor; blades turn when engine exhausts air and attached shaft simultaneously spins compressor for intake


Pressure-activated valve that dispenses excess exhaust gas while sending the rest to the turbine to spin the compressor

The parts of a turbocharger work to maintain a delicate balance where the turbocharger intakes sufficient air and exhausts enough engine fumes. Deficiency in either area throws off the balance and limits the power boost that a turbocharger provides. Intercoolers are not available on all turbochargers. Their cooling of air also makes it more dense, enabling even more air to fit into the engine for more powerful combustion. Turbochargers with an intercooler therefore tend to provide a bigger power boost than what turbochargers without intercoolers are capable of.

Fuelling a Turbocharged Engine

Consumers who want to buy a turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf should realise that a turbocharged engine requires high-octane fuel. This is not an issue for Golf owners who are replacing a turbocharger since they are likely in the habit of using high-octane fuel. Those placing a turbocharger on a Golf for the first time, however, may need to be more conscientious of the need to upgrade the type of fuel they use.

Golfs with a turbocharger need high-octane fuel because the compressed air-fuel mixture can heat up to the point of firing before the spark plug ignites on a petrol-fuel engine. This causes engine "knocking", which can damage the engine. High-octane fuel helps reduce the temperature of the compressed air-fuel mixture to avoid firing before it is supposed to.

How to Choose a Turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf

Once consumers have a good overview of how a turbocharger improves performance, there are a few important steps they can follow for choosing a turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf. It is necessary to consider how one plans to use the Golf and be realistic about turbocharger benefits when looking for a compatible turbocharger. Budgeting is another important factor.

Consider Use

How a driver plans to use a Volkswagen Golf impacts the decision for what kind of turbocharger to buy. Those planning to race their Golfs may want extra power and may therefore choose a turbocharger that offers enhanced compression and cooling of air. Consumers who expect to use the Golf primarily for regular street driving may not need as much of a boost and can save money by buying a less-powerful turbocharger. Those who want to replace a malfunctioning turbocharger may be accustomed to having the extra power that the turbocharger provided, and they may simply want their Golfs to drive as they did before the turbocharger malfunctioned. All of these uses influence buyers' decisions for what kind of turbocharger to purchase for a Volkswagen Golf.

Be Realistic About the Benefits

Those adding a turbocharger to a Volkswagen Golf can be tempted to try to add as much power as possible. It is important, however, to be realistic about how much power the Golf can realistically handle. Power does not begin and end with the turbocharger, so it may not be possible to achieve lofty goals for power by simply adding a powerful turbocharger. The engine must be capable of exhausting the extra fumes that can result from a powerful turbocharger. Those who have a good handle on turbocharger and engine dynamics may know how to modify a Golf engine to achieve their goals for increased power. Those who are less familiar with engine mechanics may want to stick to recommendations for compatible turbochargers.

Find Compatible Turbochargers

Turbochargers are not necessarily compatible with a make and model of a car. They are instead compatible with the engine of a make and model of car. That engine may be in different makes and models of cars, so the same turbocharger may be suitable for some of the Volkswagen, Audi, and Skoda models. It is important for the consumer to know the kind of engine that is currently in the Golf and search for turbochargers that are compatible with that kind of engine. Many turbocharger sellers make it easy for consumers by listing their turbochargers according to the car make, model, and year with which they are compatible.

Budget for Installation

Installing a turbocharger can be a complicated process, so many potential buyers may feel more comfortable having a professional perform the installation. This costs extra money, so those not planning to install their own turbochargers should factor in the price of installation. Self-installation of a turbocharger can save consumers significant amounts of money though, and those who feel comfortable working with an engine should explore this option.

How to Buy a Turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf on eBay

Local and online car parts dealers and classified ads are good sources for finding turbochargers. You can also visit eBay to shop for a turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf. It is easy to search the site's broad selection of turbochargers for one that is compatible with your Golf, and you can find local sellers to reduce shipping costs.

Searching for a Turbocharger for a Volkswagen Golf

You can search for a turbocharger from any eBay page with the search bar. Enter a term, such as " Volkswagen Golf turbocharger ", and select the series of categories related to vehicle parts and turbochargers to see general listings for Golf turbochargers for sale on the site. You can also use your Golf's engine type in your search term, such as " 1.9 TDI turbocharger", for a listing of turbochargers that are compatible with your Golf's engine.

Finding Local Sellers

eBay enables you to filter your search results by seller location. You can specify the distance from your postcode within which sellers should be located, and eBay filters the results accordingly. The closer a seller is located to you, the less shipping is likely to cost.


A turbocharger improves a Volkswagen Golf's performance by increasing the strength of combustion in the Golf's engine. It accomplishes this by compressing air so that the engine can fit more air inside the cylinders. This causes the fuel delivery system to send more fuel into the cylinders, creating a richer air-fuel mixture that intensifies the combustion reaction to generate more usable energy. The result is more engine power without adding too much weight.

Understanding the full benefits of a turbocharger and how it achieves these benefits helps consumers decide which turbocharger to buy for a Volkswagen Golf. Potential buyers should also be aware of the components of turbochargers and the roles they play in a turbocharger's operation. Driving style, performance goals, compatibility, and budget also influence consumers' decisions about which turbocharger to buy. eBay has a large stock of turbochargers for Volkswagen Golfs, and buyers can find the right turbochargers and save money on them if they know how to use the site effectively.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides