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How Do Turbochargers Work?: A Quick Guide

How Do Turbochargers Work?: A Quick Guide

Turbos improve a vehicle’s potential, and many car enthusiasts want to own this valuable technology. However, owning a turbo involves taking care of it, and understanding how it functions will help you. Use this quick guide on how a turbo works and learn how it improves your vehicle.

Upcycling of Exhaust

The process of turbocharging a vehicle begins with the intake of exhaust from the engine. When the engine ignites the fuel, it creates exhaust from the combustion that normally exits through the exhaust pipe. But with a turbo, the exhaust spins the turbine wheel.

The pressure of the exhaust causes the wheel to spin, and when there’s more exhaust present in the turbine’s housing, the wheel will spin faster. This wheel connects to another part of the turbo called the compressor wheel via a shaft, and when the turbine spins, the compressor wheel spins just as fast.

Releasing Excess Exhaust

It’s possible for the exhaust to create too much pressure on the turbine wheel and cause damage to the turbo or create too large of a burst in the car. A small valve called the wastegate helps mitigate this pressure by releasing the gas when it reaches a certain level.

Turbos have adjustable wastegates that determine when to open and release exhaust to ensure the turbo provides a consistent burst to the vehicle. An actuator opens and closes the wastegate for faster release and assured sealing to prevent exhaust leaks.

Air Intake

The turbine wheel has causes the compressor wheel to spin. The compressor wheel plays an important role in how a turbocharger works as it sucks in cool air for combustion.

Since this wheel spins as fast as the turbine wheel, the air intake will increase depending on how fast both wheels spin. Air is an essential part of ignition, and as you read, you’ll discover how more air will increase a vehicle’s boost.

Compressing the Air

The cool air flowing into the turbo won’t fit inside the combustion chamber unless it’s compressed. A charged air cooler will cool the air and cause the air molecules to pack closer together, compressing the air. The compressed air will fit inside the combustion chamber easier, which assists in creating the burst your vehicle deserves.

Creating a Larger Combustion

The final step in a turbocharger’s process is improved combustion. Since the cooled, compressed air fits into the combustion chamber, there’s more room for fuel.

The increased air and fuel will create larger combustion upon ignition and cause a powerful burst that will make your vehicle drive faster. Once the improved ignition completes, the process restarts with the newly created exhaust.

A turbo is a complex device with multiple steps that occur within a fraction of a minute, and understanding how it functions will help you care for it. Remember this process as you shop for turbos, and don’t forget to visit TurboTurbos for the best gear, such as MHI turbo parts.

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