What is a Turbocharger and How does it work?

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Turbochargers are air compressors that use exhaust gas turbines to force more air into the cylinders. They’re more efficient compared to a supercharger, which needs power from the engine to run. Turbochargers can improve the engine economy from 20-40%. Turbochargers are a style of a supercharger, but they work differently.


How it works:

Turbochargers use the speed and warmth of exhaust gases to spin a turbine that powers a compressor, or impeller, that forces more air into the engine.

There are two sides to a turbocharger: the turbine and also the compressor side. Exhaust gases are accustomed to spin the turbine at a high speed, upwards of 150,000 RPM. The turbine connects to a shaft that spins the impeller on the opposite side of the turbo to suck in cool air.

The impeller then compresses the air, forces it through an intercooler, and into the engine. A wastegate is employed on the exhaust side of the turbo to manage the gases. A blow-off valve is employed to expel excess air after you are taking your foot off the pedal. That’s what makes the “whoosh” sound.

Turbo lag is that the major downside with turbochargers. When your engine RPMs are high as you row through the gears, your turbo has no problem pushing compressed gas into the engine. However, once you visit shift gears and your RPMs drop, there’s a lag in exhaust gases coming from the engine. This leads to a delay of compressed gas coming off the turbo toward the motor. Thanks to this, turbos are best for mid-high ranges of the powerband.

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