What is a turbocharger and why is it important?
Do you know what a turbocharger is? Chances are you get to use it on a daily basis if you have a diesel car or either Ford EcoSport EcoBooost, Volkswagen Polo GT TSI or Fiat Abarth Punto (these are all petrol cars). Turbocharger is a device which aids in forced induction of air in your car’s engine to produce more power. Before we tell you about the turbocharger, it would be nice if we told you about forced induction. Forced induction is a way of making your engine deliver more power by feeding it more air. Tis extra air helps in burning the fuel more effectively, resulting in engine delivering more power.
There are two ways in which forced induction is possible. There is Supercharging which means introduction of fresh air into the engine. The supercharger draws in air, compresses it and delvers it to the engine. The other way is Turbocharging. Turbocharging involves recirculating exhaust gases to feed them to the engine, leading to increase in engine’s power.
Turbochargers are favoured because it is driven by exhaust gases as opposite to superchargers that are driven by mechanical belts, chains or pulleys. In essence, they do not draw engine’s power when brought into use. But this same advantage leads to what is usually called Turbo Lag. Also, you would only encounter turbochargers as there no vehicles made in India that use a supercharger, so there are no options here.
A turbocharger consists of two major sections; (a) the turbine and (b) the compressor. The turbine also has two parts; turbine wheel and the turbine housing. Exhaust gases are guided into the turbine wheel by the turbine housing and the energy from the exhaust gas make the turbine wheel move. The gas then goes out from the turbine housing through the exhaust outlet area. On the other hand, a compressor too consists of two parts; compressor wheel and compressor housing. The high-velocity spinning draws in air and compresses it as the compressor wheel turns. Afterwards, the compressor housing converts the high-velocity, low-pressure air stream into a high-pressure, low-velocity air stream through diffusion.
What makes this device so important is its ability to boost an engine’s power without considerably enhancing its weight. It is a kind of forced induction system. It compresses the air flowing into the engine. The major benefit of compressing the air is that it permits the engine to let more air into a cylinder, and the increasing level of air allows the addition of more fuel. Eventually, your vehicle produces more power from each explosion in each cylinder. An engine facilitated with a turbocharger generates more power overall than the same engine in the absence of a turbocharger.
How to identify the issues with a turbocharger?
Take a note of the following symptoms to look out for. These will tell you that something is wrong with your car’s turbocharger:
- The engine warning lights will come on as soon as it detects any issue. However, the lights do cover other faults and get turned on. In such case, it requires some further checks.
- Some turbochargers come with a boost gauge, which works as a turbo booster and if it is not working the way it used to, then the turbo needs a repair.
- Loss of power at high speed is a big indication.
- Loud, whining noise
- Blue/grey smoke from the tailpipe (as opposed to black smoke which is because of soot).
A turbocharger is an integral component of an engine and requires as much care as the engine itself. If cared for properly, it can run for as long as the engine of the car. To take proper care of the turbocharger, go through your car’s owner’s manual thoroughly and adhere to the tips mentioned there. In case issues arise, all you have to do is log on to servies.cardekho.com and we will connect you with a mechanic in no time.