Choosing Turbo or Superchargers

Car Junkyard

When it comes to boosting the performance of your car, there are two common options: turbo or superchargers. This blog will review how these two devices may seem similar but work in different ways and offer unique benefits to your car's engine. 

The primary difference between the two is their method of operation. The engine mechanically uses a supercharger; it works by a belt pulley that shifts gears that cause a compressor fan to rotate. In contrast, a turbocharger uses exhaust gases to spin a turbine and compress the incoming air. This fundamental difference leads to power delivery, efficiency, and installation differences.

A turbo is an air compressor that lets more air be pumped into the engine at a higher pressure, replicating the effect of a larger cylinder while increasing its efficiency. This air pump consists of two parts connected by a shaft: the compressor and the turbine end. On one side, only hot ambient air exhaust gases rotate the turbine connected to another, drawing in and compressing the engine's air. This action increases the engine's power and efficiency, as more gasoline can be added for more power as more oxygen enters the combustion chamber.

As the emissions rotate the turbine wheel up to 280,000rpm, the enclosure directs the engine's exhaust gas into the turbine wheel's blades. Once the gas has gone through the turbine wheel, it is released through the system, just like in normally aspirated cars. 

When the combustion system begins, a cycle is established, and the turbo extracts useful functional energy from the exhaust gases. More air in the cylinder allows more gasoline to enter the cylinder, increasing power.

Other than the obvious increase in power and performance, it provides better fuel economy only if it is attached to the smaller engines like the V4 and V6 because they can produce more power as the V8's but end up using less fuel to idle and have less rotating and reciprocating mass which is the factor that improves fuel economy. 

Second, it reduces pollution by producing less carbon dioxide and other noxious emissions than naturally aspirated internal combustion motors.

Lastly, it can offer more consistent power delivery across a wider range of RPMs; since they rely on exhaust gases to spin the turbine, they can provide more boost at higher RPMs, which translates to more power.

This option makes them ideal for high-performance cars, where sustained acceleration is more important than a quick burst of power.

A couple of negative downsides of adding an air pump to auto are:

Turbo lag: When you press the gas pedal, it takes longer to build up sufficient pressure on the combustion chamber to operate the engine. Any vehicle with air lag will experience a difficult time maintaining high speeds and will not accelerate smoothly. 

Engine Wear Out: The faster you drive, the more strain you put on the engine since it has to work twice as much to move the vehicle. Over time, this will eventually lead the motor to get worn out. 

Power Surges: In some situations, with larger turbos, when it reaches the boost threshold, it can provide an almost instantaneous power boost, making it hard to manage the auto and compromise tire action.

Overheating: Turbos get extremely hot and can turn bright red, often tap into the engine's oil supply, and utilize a major chunk of coolant. If an intercooler is unused, the car can break down due to heating or melting components and potentially cause component failure. 

To maintain the turbo in good condition, you must change the oil regularly and maintain good coolant levels to prevent overheating or keep the components from melting.

Now you may be wondering, "How does this thing work?" This car part is belt-operated and most often powered by an engine's crankshaft. It increases power and torque by supplying air to an internal combustion engine. The engine suckers in air by moving its pistons to create a vacuum that compresses the air, a process called forced induction. When air is sucked in, it mixes with fuel, ignites, and causes a combustion reaction that supplies the vehicle with energy.

When these vessels are left running, the engine pulls air through the intake, hood scraps, and other entry points. Receiving more air through the intake allows more fuel to be burned, resulting in an extra boost in performance.

There are three types of amplified power sources, and they differ in how they get compressed air into the intake valves of the motors, and those are: 

Root: It is the oldest among the others. It traps air into the chamber between the rotor and the housing, pushing it against the compressor housing as they rotate towards the outlet/discharge port. 

Twin-Screw: Similar to the Root, but the air is pulled in from the top, and as the rotors rotate, air will be squeezed in the pockets or small gaps between the rotor lobes. 

Centrifugal: A specialized type that uses centrifugal force to increase the manifold air pressure. These provide the most efficient air compression system and are usually found in most vehicles. 

Compressed air leaves the discharge outlet with these types, generating a whistling or "whining" sound. This sound is found in exceedingly popular cars such as the:
• Dodge SRTs.
• Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk & SRT.
• Chevy Zl1’s.
• Ford Shelby’s.

One of the biggest benefits that it has is the immediate power delivery. Since the engine directly drives it, there is no lag between pressing the accelerator and feeling the boost. This makes them ideal for cars that need a quick burst of power, such as those used for drag or street racing.

They are more efficient at low RPMs, making them better suited for situations where quick acceleration is needed.

Additionally, they are more simpler in design and installation, requiring less space under the hood. This makes them a popular option for car enthusiasts looking to add power to their vehicles without requiring extensive modifications.

Since the engine directly powers them, they pull off some of the horsepower they contribute to the engine. They can drain as much as twenty percent of the torque, which is not a small amount! However, installing one is considered desirable because they typically increase horsepower by forty to fifty percent.

On the other hand, they can also place a strain on the engine itself, which can increase future maintenance costs.

Despite these differences, both of these high performance devices can significantly help your car's engine. Depending on your driving style and performance goals, one may be more suitable for your needs. Ultimately, it is up to you to pick which device is the best fit for your car.

In conclusion, while there are some differences between the two in terms of installation, both require modifications to your car's engine and can offer significant benefits to your auto. The exact modifications will depend on your specific make and model and the type of device you choose. In general, you need a new intake and exhaust system and some additional tuning to optimize your car's performance.

Either way, adding a forced induction device to your car is a great way to get more power out of your engine and enhance your driving experience.

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However, suppose you realize that having a powerful auto or the performance is declining, and you no longer enjoy driving the vessel. In that case, consider selling the vehicle to a reputable car junkyard.

At our company, Junk Car Buyers R-Us, we buy any auto “As-Is,” no matter the condition! Our reps strive to provide the easiest and hassle-free car buying service in Houston, TX, and surrounding areas.

Give us a call at 713-454-2715, or you can click this link that will take you to our contact form to get a free quote on your vehicle. With every offer, we include free towing as long as it is within fifty miles of our office, and we can guarantee you will receive cash on the spot!

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