What Is Turbocharger? Check Out Working And Function And Other Important Stuff About Turbochargers

We are seeing a number of cars with turbocharged engines that are being launched in the country. Turbochargers not only help us make more power but also help the engineers meet the emission norms.

The market is now seeing a sudden launch in the cars which are being powered by turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. To name a few, cars like the Tata Nexon, Polo TSI, new Hyundai i20, and many more offer a powerful and a fuel efficient turbocharged engine which makes them much better than the BS4 versions. In simple words, a turbocharger is a turbine-driven forced induction device that increases an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output by forcing extra air into the combustion chamber. The main objective of a turbocharger is to improve an engine’s efficiency by increasing the density of the intake gas (usually air), thereby allowing more power per engine cycle. In addition to this, turbochargers help the manufacturers build lighter and powerful engines which results in better performance. A turbocharged engine is also more efficient and thus helps the engineers to meet with the emission norms.

How does a turbocharger work?

When two halves are joined together by a shaft then it is called a turbo. On one side, hot exhaust gasses make the turbine spin which is connected to the other turbine, which sucks air in and then compresses it into the engine. The engine gets extra power and efficiency because of the compression as more air can enter in the combustion chamber, more fuel is added to produce more power.

what is turbocharger
Components of a turbocharger


“Free Power” is what sometime turbochargers are referred to as, unlike a supercharger, it does not require the engine’s power to drive it. Turbocharged engines are not affected in the same way as the naturally aspirated engines when going at higher altitudes. When in higher altitudes a naturally aspirated engine climbs, it becomes harder for it to get oxygen due to the thinning atmosphere, however, a turbocharger gets around this problem as it forces the oxygen into the engine’s combustion chamber, sometimes at times the pressure of the atmosphere.
Fuel efficiency is increased when a turbocharger is used in a vehicle. Many people have a misconception that the turbocharger will affect the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. Taking a naturally aspirated engine and a turbocharger will surely not improve the fuel efficiency but neither will affect it.

– Turbocharger helps to extract more power from the same engine block as it sends in more air which aids in better combustion.

– Since a small engine can produce better power output, the brand’s are able to develop light engines which are as good as the big and bulky naturally aspirated engines.

– A turbocharged engine pollutes much less because of its smaller size and better combustion process

what is turbocharger


A turbocharged engine has 2 main disadvantages when compared with a naturally aspirated or supercharged engine. First is the heat. We all know that a turbo is powered by hot exhaust gasses, it gets really very hot. In some engine conditions, the turbocharger itself could start getting red although this doesn’t happen or occur in everyday driving conditions; it basically happens when the engine is pushed to its limits continuously. This is the main reason that turbocharged cars come with an inter-cooler which helps dissipate this heat.

Another major disadvantage of a turbocharged engine is the turbo lag. In some conditions, whenever you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal to rev the vehicle, there is a delay between the time you ask power from the engine and the time you actually start to feel it. This is what you call a turbo lag. When the speed of the engine is slow, so the amount of exhaust gasses passing through the turbocharger will also be less, so when we demand power from the engine, the turbocharger will take time to start spinning at an optimal speed. To reduce the effects, downshifting to a lower gear, however, professional drivers or automotive enthusiasts can notice the split delay.

– Turbocharged engines produce high heat which is difficult to handle.

– Some of the turbocharged engines suffer from a significant turbo lag, which reduces the overall driving experience of the vehicle.

what is a turbocharger

With this being said, what do you think about the working of the turbochargers? Do let us know in the comments box below. Also, join our exclusive AutoHunters Auto Enthusiasts Whatsapp Group to be a part of interesting automotive discussions. Also, follow us on YouTube for all the latest updates and unbiased reviews.

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