Used and refurbished turbo is Russian roulette for adventurous people - you always get what you pay for and marketing loves suckers. You should start with good care of your car and reduce damage by proper maintenance strategy.
I follow my above by mentioned maintenance procedures and push my car really hard - yet my cars are in better shape than most cars on roads. How is it possible one should ask - it is really simple, just use common sense, intelligence and always learn from masters.
My friend is one of top designers on this planet. Educated in mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, metallurgy and so on. Despite he is certified monkey as all academics. He can still use common sense. He taught me well and if I don't know I ask him !!!
An other friend works for Honeywell/Garett and my observed strategies/concepts/theories were proven to be true by very people designing turbochargers for VAG. If you think you know better than them...well you're fool as 80% people on this planet, especially eExperts in various car forums. People love to teach their theories based on their imagination, mixed with some "facts" of old wives stories.
Buy refurbished turbo and get ready for fun
- you never know what happened with turbo - modified/ground housings are common and change gas flow in turbine
- maybe they have changed cooked/worn bearings
- Honeywell/Garett tests their turbos for heat shock and an other extreme situations. Doesn't exist super-material on this plant, which lasts forever !!! Get some old turbo with 300k km on it and it is ready for critical failure of housing/turbine
- you saved maybe a half price of a brand new turbo but engine replacement cost at least 1500 EUR if you can get a decent engine
- my price is 30EUR/hour; trying, driving to shop, been upset, despair, rage...it is hours of your time. Lets say one week without car and ten hours wasted...I just lost 300EUR and "saved" lots of money
- lets say there is trustworthy company who carries repair/refurbish properly...common turbo failures are damaged bearing, compressor, turbine...if they have to replace a half of turbo...do you think a refurbished turbo would still cost a half price of new? don't be fool. Profit is priority in any business and where do you think they save money?
- they guarantee it will work but how long
Real life example
I bought Skoda Fabia few years ago and repaired/modified to Skoda Fabia HR II. I knew the turbo was gone after 225k km on ODO.
I didn't even think about refurbished turbo - I'm realist/optimalist, cold stone visionary not a dreamer as most on this planet.
I checked official OEM price and started to laught - it was over 30k CZK (1100 EUR). Aftermarket dealer got me very same OEM turbo for 16k CZK (600 EUR).
Now, I wonder how much does cost refurbished turbo. From some old wives stories I heard it cost around 10k CZK (370 EUR)
VW 1.4TDi 59kW has got small turbo without vanes just something like external wastegate. What should go wrong.
I bought a new turbo, replaced and old damaged turbo was sold to turbo refurbish company for about 2500 CZK (100EUR).
Old turbo had something like "sticky vanes" syndrome but no vanes inside !!! Shaft had excessive play - damaged bearing. Turbo had no boost so compressor wheel most likely touched housing. Who knows.
I wonder what you can repair for 270EUR and still have profit on it ???