Tony's Truck and Car Part Blog

Tony's Truck and Car Part Blog

Is a Turbocharger the Right Choice for Your Vehicle's Engine?

by Bryan Collins

If you want more speed from your car or truck, you can upgrade to a larger engine that is more powerful and will provide a better response, or you might consider adding a turbocharger to that engine instead. A turbocharger can be retrofitted into an engine and can boost its overall speed and performance. It's a favourite choice for diesel engines especially, as diesels are often chosen for their towing capacity and not their speed. If you're thinking of getting a turbocharger outfitted in your vehicle, note a few factors to consider about how it works, so you can make the right decision for your car or truck.

How they work

Some people have the mistaken notion that turbochargers are large fans that push the vehicle along, like propellers on a boat engine. In truth, a turbocharger compresses the air that is delivered to the engine's piston's chambers. More air in these chambers means that the engine will also draw in more fuel, to create more combustion. The more combustion in your engine, the faster those pistons will move, and the more power your engine will deliver! In turn, your vehicle will achieve higher speeds even with a heavy-duty diesel under the hood.

Fuel consumption

A turbocharger won't increase the vehicle's fuel consumption, as it doesn't use the vehicle's fuel for power. Instead, a turbocharger uses the air that is moving through the vehicle's exhaust. This air spins a turbine in the turbocharger, and the turbine is what compresses air delivered to the engine. This compressed air can actually make the engine run more efficiently, so you might enjoy better fuel economy, not worse, with a turbocharger.


One drawback to a turbo charger is that the vehicle's engine will usually run hotter since the pistons are working faster. You'll need to ensure your vehicle's coolant is always at proper levels and that you get the vehicle's oil changed regularly, as oil helps to cool the engine as well as lubricate its parts. A turbocharger itself can also get very warm, so it usually needs a dedicated water and oil source; this means you'll be spending more on fresh oil over time, and will need to ensure the engine's water levels are always at capacity.

Also, since turbochargers use air from the exhaust to run a turbine, and your vehicle needs to be moving to create that exhaust, turbochargers don't necessarily offer much pickup from a full stop. After you're moving, then the turbocharger will kick in, but it may not increase the vehicle's performance from an idle or stop.

If you'd like more information on turbochargers, representatives at auto parts retailers like Denco Diesel & Turbo can answer your questions.


About Me

Tony's Truck and Car Part Blog

I'm Tony and I live alone in Brisbane, Australia. I say I live alone, but I don't really. I live with my collection of classic cars and trucks. Since I was a boy, I used to play with my toy trucks and cars all day long. When I turned 18, I bought my first car and I decided to do it up. But I didn't know what I was doing. Thankfully, my uncle was on hand to help me. He taught me how to source the right parts I needed to repair and restore the vehicles. I would now like to help others. Enjoy my blog.