Are turbochargers common on modern cars?

Are modern turbochargers more reliable and longer lasting than they used to be? Or, if I bought a car with a turbo for long-term ownership could the turbo become an expensive part to replace?

Asked on 9 November 2013 by NB, via email

Answered by Honest John
They are pretty much standard across the board now, because they make engines more efficient. I think more new cars have turbochargers or superchargers than don't have them. Generally turbos on petrol engines run hotter because the engines run at higher revs, so these turbos are water-cooled as well as oil cooled. Turbochargers on diesel engines are usually cooled only by engine oil passing through their bearings. So it’s vital that drivers don’t allow that oil supply to be reduced by the coking up of the oil supply pipes, which can happen if a turbocharged engine is simply switched off from red hot rather than idled for a minute or two.
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