Tuesday 20 July 2021

To Turbo or Not To Turbo?

Posted by at 1:19 PM

To Turbo or Not To Turbo?

Nobody likes wasting money.  Gasoline costs money, so using less saves money.  One of the ways vehicle manufacturers are helping you save gasoline (and money) is with smaller, turbocharged engines.

You might have heard of turbos associated with race cars, but more and more everyday street vehicles are getting into the turbo game.  The big advantage is that you can get the same horsepower out of an engine that uses less fuel.  Neat trick, huh?

Today, we see small turbocharged four-cylinder engines that make more power than large displacement V-8 engines of a decade ago.  Here's how a turbo manages that trick.  A turbocharged vehicle uses a turbine that is turned by exhaust gas.  That compresses air that goes into the engine.  More air means more oxygen with which to burn fuel, which makes it more powerful. 

Modern turbocharges engines are very reliable.  Turbos are offered in cars, trucks, and SUVs. Keep in mind that because they are more complex, turbocharged engines can be more expensive to repair. The good news is you will likely be saving fuel without sacrificing performance. 

Turbos spin at very high speeds.  They require a constant supply of oil to lubricate their bearings.  For this reason, changing your oil on time is critical.  Just a small amount of oil sludge could block the turbo oil passage and lead to expensive damage.  Also, most turbocharged engines require the use of synthetic motor oil that meets or exceeds strict standards to withstand the stress and high heat.  Always use the type and specification of oil your vehicle manufacturer recommends.

If you are currently driving a turbocharged vehicle, make sure you keep all your maintenance up to date. 

With the fuel economy advantages they offer, turbocharged vehicles are definitely here to stay.