Turbochargers were introduced in the 1970s to counteract the looming disequilibrium in the oil supply market. Today, turbos are immensely popular with speedsters who want to increase the power of their car engines. Vehicle manufacturers like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes frequently incorporate turbochargers into the design to give their engines a power boost.
How Does a Turbocharger Work?
It is a centrifugal compressor that uses waste energy from the exhaust gas to drive air molecules into the engine, leading to increased combustion pressure. The increased air intake causes the motor to burn more fuel, hence, achieving more power. So, the more airflow that enters the cylinder, the more power the turbocharger generates.
Driven by an exhaust gas turbine, this nifty device used to provide smaller engines with more speed and power.
Pros of Turbochargers
Turbochargers are useful for ramping up the horsepower of small engines. They are known to boost the speed and power of ordinary cars by a significant thirty percent. Turbochargers increase the horsepower of a low-maintenance car without needing to replace its engine, for example.
Another advantage of turbos is improved efficiency. It boosts your car’s horsepower by harnessing waste energy emitting from the engine.
While initially intended to increase fuel economy, turbos haven’t helped much in that regard. Even small cars that consume less fuel can use them, however, so they’re handy for low maintenance car owners who want more power.
Cons of Turbos
Power and enhanced racing ability come at a price. While some cars come from the factory with turbocharged engines, others require additional plumbing to incorporate this technology.
Extra tubing and wiring, which is only achievable by an experienced technician, will cost money. Not all cars can accommodate additional plumbing well, either. When considering the engine power, you must also look at whether your car is designed to accommodate a turbo.
You may need to reprogram your car if it is running on a computerized system, for example. No matter how much air you push into the combustion cylinder, it will not carry more air molecules than it was initially programmed to do.
If your car runs on a carburized system, you will also need to change the carburetor frequently to enjoy maximum efficiency from a turbo.
The other downside of increasing pressure on the engine is knocking. If this happens, you’ll have to cough out a lot of money to repair and restore it.
Despite efficiency claims, turbocharging your engine does increase fuel consumption. Your turbocharged car will use more fuel. Higher fuel consumption leads to a higher carbon footprint, which explains why manufacturers are opting for hybrid turbo diesel models, such as the Volkswagen XL1 that is fuel-efficient and eco-friendly.
Like superchargers that are common with big engines, turbochargers also expose the engine to higher temperatures, affecting longevity. Larger turbos cause power surges that can negatively affect your car stability or tire traction, too.
Are Turbochargers Right for You?
Turbochargers have a wide range of benefits and suit car owners who want the speed of racing cars and the power of a V8. It comes at a cost, though. Consider the financial, infrastructural, and environmental implications of using a turbocharger before installing one.
If you want to increase your speeds without affecting efficiency, consider twin charging, which involves the simultaneous use of turbochargers and superchargers.
Would you like more information about turbos? Taylor Diesel is happy to assist you with any questions.