Should i buy a car with a turbocharged engine?


Many manufacturers use turbocharging to increase engine power cars. This node works on a fairly simple principle: exhaust gases rotate the impeller of the turbine, and it transmits the resulting torque to the impeller of the compressor, equipped with wide blades.

Car engine turbine

The compressor in the intake system of the car plays the role of a pump - it increases the air pressure, allowing you to simultaneously supply more fuel to the cylinders without the risk of incomplete combustion. Despite the possibility of a significant increase in power and engine efficiency, turbocharged engines are not very widespread.

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Immediately it should be said that the discussion below will deal only with gasoline engines. Installing a turbocharger on a diesel engine is practically the only way to effectively dose the amount of fuel-air mixture that enters the cylinders. About 90% of modern passenger diesel engines and 70% of cargo units are equipped with turbocharging, so it’s incorrect to speak about their advantages and disadvantages.

Turbo diesel engine

Turbo diesel engine

The main positive side of any turbocharged engine compared to atmospheric is increased power. Moreover, the manufacturer can create several variants of the engine with different performance indicators - for this it is enough just to change the maximum boost pressure and reconfigure the intake system. Turbo-charged standard gasoline engines have 10–150% more power than their counterparts, equipped with conventional intake and exhaust systems.

In addition, the advantages of the turbocharged units are manifested in more efficient operation due to the optimized combustion process of the gas-air mixture in the cylinders. Due to this, the specific fuel consumption per one horsepower is somewhat reduced, although the absolute value may increase due to the increased power. The optimized combustion process also reduces noise and unpleasant vibration compared to atmospheric aggregates. In particular, such advantages are relevant for engines with unbalanced layout, for example, with two, three and five cylinders.

Video of how a turbocharged engine works:

More efficient combustion of fuel makes it possible to reduce the amount of toxic substances that are emitted into the air through the exhaust pipe. That is why many manufacturers have begun production of very small turbocharged units instead of the usual atmospheric engines. According to experts, the introduction of new emission standards in Europe and the United States by 25% increased the number of produced turbocharged engines.


Installing a turbocharger on a car helps increase its cost - a set of parts to increase engine power is estimated at about 1-3 thousand dollars. Of course, some manufacturers can lower prices to stimulate sales of cars with turbo engines, but the general pattern is as follows. It should be said about the cost of repairing a turbocharged unit - it increases due to the increased complexity of disassembling the entire motor, as well as due to the need to maintain the new node. The average lifetime of a turbine is 100–150 thousand kilometers, after which it will need major repairs or full replacement.

disadvantages проявляются и в необходимости частой замены масла. Межсервисные интервалы для турбированных двигателей сокращены примерно на 30–40%, что связано с большими нагрузками, приходящимися на все узлы силового агрегата. Несвоевременная замена масла приведёт к полной потере его свойств за счёт окисления. Смазывающая жидкость подвергается сильному нагреву в системе турбонаддува, что приводит к полному изменению её параметров.

Oil change in a turbocharged engine

It is necessary to change the oil in turbo engines in time.

Driving a car with a turbocharged engine is not so convenient - probably everyone has heard of such a thing as “turbo-lam”. It represents a certain rev range, in which the exhaust pressure is not enough to spin the impeller of the turbine to operating speed. Since the engine is designed to work with increased pressure in the intake system, its dynamics will be severely degraded until the driver increases speed. Of course, modern turbocharging systems with variable geometry of the impeller, with a low-intake turbine or even with two supercharging compressors differing in basic parameters are installed on the modern cars, but the drawback remains actual, although not so obvious.

Everyone familiar with the physics and resistance of materials also knows that with a rapid change in the temperature mode of operation, metal parts lose their strength and quickly fail. This rule is also relevant for turbocharged engines. Therefore, the power unit should be allowed to work at low speeds for about 1-2 minutes in the following cases:

  • Before driving;
  • After the end of the trip;
  • After an active ride or during severe frosts, the time may increase to 3 minutes.

Turbo timer for car

Many drivers put on their cars "turbo timers" that allow you to detect the time required for warming up or proper cooling of the power unit.

To be or not to be?

Most turbocharged engines are designed for active driving. Discounts for new cars! Profitable loan from 9.9% installments 0% - their increased power allows you to improve the acceleration dynamics. Although modern power units of small volume, equipped with turbocharging, were developed more likely to reduce exhaust emissions compared with atmospheric engines of larger volume, but of similar power. In any case, the turbocharged engine has higher performance and allows you to better use all the capabilities of the car.

Opel turbo engine

However, the driver will have to put up with some inconveniences associated with the need to warm up and cool the engine, as well as maintain a certain minimum level of revolutions. In addition, installing a turbocharger raises the price of the car and the cost of repairing it.