10 Things About Turbochargers You (Probably) Never Knew
Turbochargers are a common and well-known piece of technology. They’ve been around for decades, but not everyone knows how they work or the benefits they offer. Turbocharging your vehicle can provide more power to the engine, increase fuel efficiency, and lower emissions. This article will give you insights about turbochargers that you (probably) never knew before!
1. What is a Turbocharger?
Turbochargers are a type of forced induction system that pressurizes the intake of air into an engine. This allows more power to be produced by allowing higher concentrations of fuel to be introduced into the combustion chamber, which in turn produces higher amounts of horsepower and torque. Adding a turbocharger allows your engine to breathe more efficiently thus increasing its power output.
A Turbocharger is a Two-Part System
A turbocharger is a two-part system that includes a turbine and a compressor. The turbine wheels are driven by the engine's exhaust gases, which causes them to spin at speeds of up to 150,000 rpm. The rotation from the turbine shaft drives the compressor wheel, which pressurizes the air going into the engine.
The History of Turbochargers
Turbochargers have been around for over 100 years and were first used in locomotives and ships. They began appearing in automobiles in the 1930s, but it wasn't until the late 1970s that they became popular. The first turbocharger compressor wheel was made of aluminum and featured an axial flow design - which means the wheel spun around its axis (like a cylinder).
This development changed in the 1980s when new designs for compressor wheels were created to make them more efficient. This led to wheels with a radial flow design, where air enters through the center of the wheel and is expelled from the outer edge. Today, most turbochargers use a radial flow design for increased performance.
2. How Do Turbochargers Work?
As mentioned before, turbochargers work by pressurizing the intake of air into the engine. This increases the power output by allowing more fuel to be introduced into the combustion chamber. The compressor wheel on the turbocharger speeds up the air going into the engine, which allows more oxygen to be packed in.
More Oxygen = More Power
This is why turbocharged engines produce more power than non-turbocharged engines. They allow the engine to access more oxygen, which contains even more potential energy that can be used for power generation. The amount of air supplied to the engine depends on the boost pressure (exerted by the turbocharger), which in turn is determined by the engine's RPM.
3. Advantages of Turbocharging
Turbochargers have three main advantages over naturally aspirated engines.
They Provide Increased Power
First, turbocharged engines provide more power. This is because they are able to produce more fuel-air mixture than their non-turbocharged counterparts. This increase in power boosts the vehicle's acceleration and allows it to reach high speeds in a shorter amount of time.
They Improve Fuel Efficiency
Second, turbochargers improve fuel efficiency because they reduce the throttle response time of the engine. This means that a smaller volume of air is required to power the vehicle, which allows more fuel to be saved and less processed through exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). EGR returns some gases back into the exhaust system to lower combustion temperature and therefore reduce emissions.
They Reduce Emissions
Lastly, turbocharged engines also produce fewer emissions than non-turbocharged engines because the engine doesn't need to work as hard to reach its performance potential. This is possible because of reduced throttle response time, which allows for more efficient burning of fuel.
4. Disadvantages of Turbocharging
While turbochargers offer many advantages, they also have a few disadvantages.
They Can Cause Engine Damage
First, turbochargers can cause engine damage if not used properly. This is because the increased air pressure can overwork the engine and cause it to wear down more quickly. Turbocharged engines are typically designed to run at a lower compression ratio than non-turbocharged engines, but if not properly monitored can lead to damage.
They Add More Weight
Second, turbochargers add more weight (and therefore more stress) to the engine. This is because they require larger and heavier components to function properly. In general, the larger the turbocharger, the better it will function. Since a large turbocharger is able to produce more boost and therefore more power, it's worth adding extra weight for this reason alone.
They Take Up Space
Lastly, one of the main disadvantages of turbochargers is that they take up space. In order to produce maximum boost, the turbocharger needs to be located as close to the engine as possible. This can be a problem in smaller vehicles where space is at a premium.
5. Side Effects of Turbocharging
While turbochargers have many advantages, they also have a few side effects.
They Require More Maintenance
First of all, turbochargers require more maintenance because they are exposed to high levels of heat and pressure. This is because the compressor wheel on a turbocharger spins at a very high RPM, which means that it's exposed to a lot of heat. In addition, the air that's forced into the engine is also very hot. This can cause the engine to run too hot, which can lead to damage.
They Can Cause Engine Lag
Second, turbochargers can cause engine lag. This is because it takes time for the turbocharger to spool up (build up speed). During this time, the engine doesn't have as much power as it would if the turbocharger was already up and running. This can be a problem for drivers who need to make quick maneuvers, as the car will not respond as quickly as they would like.
They Can Be Noisy
Lastly, turbochargers can be noisy. This is because they produce a lot of exhaust gas, which can create a lot of noise. In addition, the compressor wheel on the turbocharger also makes a lot of noise. This can be a problem for drivers who are looking for a quiet ride.
6. Who Should Have a Turbocharger?
Turbochargers are an excellent choice for several different types of vehicles.
First, turbocharged engines are a good choice for high-performance vehicles because they offer improved performance and fuel economy compared to traditional naturally aspirated engines. In addition, it's also possible to tune the engine so that it meets the specific needs of each driver in terms of power and fuel economy.
Second, turbocharged cars are a good choice for drivers who want a high-performance car but don't want to pay the increased cost. In addition, they make great choices for younger drivers, as their parents will appreciate the lower insurance rates. In general, turbocharging is a great way to get more performance from a car without breaking the bank.
Trucks and SUVs
Lastly, turbochargers are also a good choice for trucks and SUVs. This is because they offer increased power and torque, which is important for vehicles that need to tow heavy loads or traverse difficult terrain. In addition, turbochargers are also a good choice for drivers who are looking to decrease their impact on the environment. This is because they provide increased fuel economy which means that less gasoline or diesel will be consumed over time, which reduces the number of greenhouse gasses produced by the vehicle.
7. When Should You Get a Turbocharger?
A turbocharger is an excellent choice for drivers who are looking for greater power and fuel economy. In general, it offers improved performance at a much lower cost compared to alternative options, which makes it a smart choice for many different types of vehicles.
Turbocharging vs Supercharging
First, turbochargers are an excellent choice when comparing them to superchargers. This is because they are much more efficient, which means that they use less power from the engine in order to produce a given amount of boost. In addition, turbochargers are also less likely to cause engine damage, which is an important consideration for drivers who are looking for a long-term solution.
Turbochargers vs Nitrous Oxide
Second, turbochargers are also a better choice than nitrous oxide systems. This is because nitrous oxide systems can be dangerous, as they can lead to engine failure. In addition, they are also more expensive and less efficient than turbochargers, which makes them a poor choice for most drivers.
In general, turbochargers are an excellent choice for drivers who want better performance in their vehicles. In addition, they also offer improved fuel economy compared to naturally aspirated engines. In general, it's easy to find a turbocharged engine that will fit the specific needs of each driver.
8. Where Can I Have a Turbo Installed?
It's easy to have a turbocharger installed in the vehicle. In general, it can be installed at a local garage or by a professional mechanic. However, it is possible for drivers who are experienced with cars and know their way around an engine bay to install the turbo themselves. This makes it easy for drivers with an interest in cars and mechanics to save money by doing the installation themselves.
9. How Much Does it Cost?
The price of a turbocharger can vary depending on several different factors. This includes the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the brand of the turbocharger itself. However, in general, most turbochargers will cost between $1,000 and $5,000.
This makes them a relatively affordable option compared to other performance-enhancing modifications. In addition, they offer a much better value than alternative options such as superchargers.
This is because they are more efficient, which means that drivers will save money on gasoline over time.
In addition, they are also a great choice for drivers who want to reduce the number of greenhouse gasses that their vehicle produces.
10. How Long Will a Turbocharger Last?
A turbocharger will typically last for between 50,000 and 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced. This is an important consideration for drivers who are looking for a long-term solution. In addition, it's important to have the turbocharger serviced on a regular basis in order to increase its lifespan.
In conclusion, turbochargers are an excellent choice for drivers who are looking for better performance and fuel economy. They offer a much better value than alternative options such as superchargers, and they are also a great choice for drivers who want to reduce their impact on the environment. In general, a turbocharger will last for between 50,000 and 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.Now that you know 10 things about turbochargers, are you interested in having one installed on your vehicle? If so, get your custom turbo or DIY kit built by Titan Turbo today! Click here to learn more.