Are Aftermarket Turbos Illegal or Legal?

Are Aftermarket Turbos Illegal or Legal?

Wei Wei |

Are Aftermarket Turbos Legal in Australia? A Comprehensive Guide for Enthusiasts

If you’re a 4WD or off-road enthusiast in Australia, you’ve probably considered boosting your vehicle’s performance with an aftermarket turbo, especially if you drive a diesel. At Demon Pro Parts, we’re dedicated to providing top-quality performance parts for all your 4WD and off-road needs, and we understand the importance of knowing the legal landscape. So, are aftermarket turbos legal in Australia? The answer isn’t straightforward, but we’re here to guide you through the key factors.

Understanding the Legality of Aftermarket Turbos in Australia

Aftermarket turbos are not outright illegal in Australia. However, their legality depends on several crucial factors:

1. State Regulations and Compliance

Each Australian state and territory has specific regulations regarding vehicle modifications. It’s essential to check the rules in your region to ensure compliance. Generally, modifications must adhere to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and local vehicle standards. This is particularly important for 4WD and off-road vehicles, which may have additional considerations due to their specialized use.

2. Emissions Standards

Aftermarket turbos must meet emissions standards. If the modification increases your vehicle's emissions beyond legal limits, it may be deemed illegal. Diesel vehicles, common in 4WD and off-road applications, are subject to stringent emissions testing to maintain roadworthiness. Ensuring your turbo complies with emissions standards is crucial for legality. At Demon Pro Parts, we offer turbos designed to fit in the factory location and use all of the OEM emissions components that come with your vehicle, ensuring compliance.

3. Engineering Certification

Significant modifications, such as installing an aftermarket turbo, often require an engineering certificate. An accredited engineer will inspect your vehicle to ensure it meets all safety and compliance standards. This certification is vital to demonstrate that your vehicle remains safe and roadworthy. However, our turbos at Demon Pro Parts are designed to fit in the factory location and use all of the OEM emissions components, so unless you are tuning your car, engineering certification won’t be required.

4. Insurance and Registration

Modifications must be declared to your insurance provider and the relevant vehicle registration authority. Failure to declare modifications can result in voided insurance and registration issues. Keeping your insurer informed about your aftermarket turbo ensures that you remain covered, especially important for 4WD and off-road vehicles that might be used in more challenging conditions.

5. Roadworthiness

Your vehicle must remain roadworthy after the modification. This includes maintaining proper handling, braking, and safety features. Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to ensure your vehicle remains safe on the road. For off-road and 4WD vehicles, this also means ensuring the turbo does not negatively impact the vehicle’s performance in rugged conditions.

6. Noise Limits

Aftermarket turbos should not cause your vehicle to exceed noise limits. Excessive noise can lead to fines and vehicle defects. Ensuring your turbo is within acceptable noise levels helps you avoid legal issues. This is particularly relevant for diesel 4WD vehicles, which can sometimes produce more noise with performance modifications.

Steps to Ensure Your Aftermarket Turbo is Legal

  1. Research State-Specific Regulations: Begin by understanding the specific rules in your state or territory regarding aftermarket turbos and vehicle modifications, especially for 4WD and off-road applications.

  2. Emissions Compliance: Choose a turbo that complies with emissions standards. At Demon Pro Parts, we offer a range of turbos designed to meet these requirements. Unless you are tuning your vehicle, any aftermarket turbo from us won’t cause excess emissions or noise.

  3. Get an Engineering Certificate: Have your vehicle inspected by an accredited engineer to obtain the necessary certification. This step ensures your turbo installation is safe and compliant.

  4. Inform Your Insurer and Registration Authority: Always declare your modifications to your insurance provider and the vehicle registration authority. This ensures your vehicle remains insured and legally registered.

  5. Regular Maintenance: Keep your vehicle in top condition with regular maintenance checks to ensure ongoing compliance and roadworthiness. This is especially crucial for off-road and 4WD vehicles that undergo more stress than typical road vehicles.


Aftermarket turbos can significantly enhance your 4WD or off-road vehicle’s performance, especially if you drive a diesel. However, it’s crucial to navigate the legal landscape carefully. By following state regulations, meeting emissions standards, obtaining necessary certifications, and maintaining roadworthiness, you can enjoy the benefits of an aftermarket turbo without legal hassles.

At Demon Pro Parts, we are committed to providing high-quality, compliant performance parts for all your 4WD and off-road needs. Explore our range of aftermarket turbos and take your vehicle to the next level with confidence. For any questions or further guidance, feel free to contact our expert team.