Turbochargers, often referred to as ‘turbos’, are a marvel of modern engineering. They can be found in a huge variety of vehicles, from vans and SUVs to high-performance sports cars. However, there are some Hollywood-fueled myths about turbos that need to be corrected. These practical and sophisticated car parts increase the power performance and efficiency of engines and the specifics of how they work are truly fascinating.

49335-01960 - Turbocharger side view other side

Turbocharging One Step at a Time

At their core, turbochargers are about increasing the amount of air entering an engine to create more power, but the step-by-step process is far more intricate and precise than that.

Exhaust Gas Harnessing: The turbocharging process starts when the engine releases exhaust gases which carry both heat and kinetic energy. Rather than being wasted, these gasses are directed towards the turbocharger through the turbine inlet.

Turbine Activation: Once the exhaust gases enter the turbocharger, they flow through the turbine’s blades which makes the turbine wheel rotate. The turbine is mounted on a shaft, which is connected to the compressor wheel so that the rotation of the turbine wheel also rotates the compressor wheel.

Air Compression: Now that the turbine is spinning, it pushes ambient air over the blades of the compressor wheel and this air is compressed. This means its volume decreases and its pressure increases significantly. The temperature of the air also goes up which packs molecules closer together, boosting the amount of oxygen available per unit of volume.

Cooling the Compressed Air: Now that the air has been compressed, it is also hot which means it is less dense and so it begins to expand. To maximise efficiency, this air passes through an intercooler before entering the engine, which reduces its volume but increases its density. This denser air allows more oxygen to take part in the engine’s combustion chamber.

Boosted Air Enters Engine: This cool, dense, oxygen-rich air is channeled into the engine’s intake and then into the combustion chambers. Because there is more oxygen available, more fuel can be injected and burned more efficiently than a conventional engine. As a result, each cylinder can harness a more powerful explosion, significantly increasing the engine’s power output without having to increase its size.

Exhaust Gas Expulsion: After helping with the turbine motion, the exhaust gases have lost some of their energy and are released from the vehicle through the exhaust system. This clears the way for fresh exhaust gases to enter the turbocharger, and the cycle continues.

Wastegate Regulation: To prevent the turbocharger from spinning too fast and generating too much pressure (which can lead to engine damage), a wastegate is used to regulate the flow of exhaust gases to the turbine. The wastegate acts like a pressure relief valve. When the pressure of the air in the turbocharger reaches a preset maximum, the wastegate opens, allowing some of the exhaust gases to bypass the turbine wheel, and this controls the speed of the turbo and maintains a stable and safe engine operation.

How Are Turbochargers More Environmentally Friendly?

Turbochargers play a significant role in making modern vehicles more environmentally friendly. By enabling smaller, more efficient engines to produce the power of much larger ones, turbos contribute to significant reductions in fuel consumption and this lowers greenhouse gas emissions. This process, known as engine downsizing, results in lighter vehicles that require less energy to operate, improving fuel economy across various driving conditions.

The enhanced combustion efficiency provided by turbochargers also means that engines use fuel more completely. This more efficient use of fuel not only cuts down on fuel consumption but also reduces the emissions of harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates. By maximising burn efficiency, turbochargers help ensure that fewer harmful byproducts are released into the atmosphere.

Turbochargers are also pivotal in helping manufacturers meet stringent global emissions standards. As regulations become stricter, the automotive industry continues to innovate with turbo technology to create cleaner, more powerful engines without sacrificing performance. Turbochargers offer a realistic and balanced solution that supports both enhanced engine performance and environmental protection.

Turbochargers As Standard

Many modern vehicles come with turbochargers as standard equipment, particularly those looking to meet stringent fuel efficiency and emissions standards while providing satisfactory power. Manufacturers often equip smaller engines with turbos to allow them to compete with larger engines in terms of output. Vehicles in all classes ranging from compact cars and hatchbacks to luxury SUVs and trucks increasingly feature turbocharged engines as a fundamental part of their powertrain strategy.

If your vehicle came with a turbo as standard then you may want to consider replacing or refurbishing your turbocharger to ensure your vehicle is fully optimised. It can be tricky to find the correct turbocharger, so let us here at Essex Turbos find the perfect model for you.

However, you will need to make sure you select a turbo that matches your car model so it is best to find your turbo with a professional.

Turbochargers are a complicated car component and they are a great way for you to maximise your car’s power in a budget-friendly way, whilst being environmentally responsible at the same time. Here at Essex Turbos we have a huge range of turbo stock, from Range Rover to JaguarBMW to Audi, and Ford to Mitsubishi. Simply get in touch with us today and you will have your turbo in no time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *