EXPLAINED : Turbo v/s Supercharger

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The Stig
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EXPLAINED : Turbo v/s Supercharger

Postby The Stig » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:12 pm

So as Petrolheads we definitely will find ways to improve our cars performance. The only way we can increase performance rates drastically is by installing a Turbocharger or a Supercharger.

Why a Turbocharger/Supercharger ?

An internal combustion engine takes in air and fuel inside the combustion chamber and when ignited the power stroke of the piston takes place. There is a limit with which the piston can suck in air into the chamber, but what a Turbo/Supercharger does is compress more air into the chamber as a result when extra fuel is supplied the engine can give higher power outputs. It is expected to have an increase in power from 10% upto 100% in some cases.

There are also some factors you need to consider before installing a Turbo/Supercharger. Your engine components are built to withstand the stock power output and specs, when you improve the performance some parts like the piston, cams and other rotary parts may not be able to take the damage and may give up. The valve timing and the firing map must be changed in the ECU module.

Also one should take care that adding one of these bad boys might be a very costly affair.


A turbocharger uses a pair of fan-like castings mounted on a common shaft. One (turbine) is connected to the exhaust, while the other (compressor) is connected to the intake. The flow of exhaust spins the turbine, which causes the compressor to turn. The compressor blows air into the engine at a greater rate than it can pull in. The greater volume of air can be mixed with a greater volume of fuel, increasing power output.


When adding a turbo/supercharger additional accessories such as Cold air intake, Intake and exhaust manifolds, ECU remap etc and a couple of dyno runs with minor tuning has to be done before your car is ready to go again.


Almost all diesel cars come equipped with the turbo because even if they have exceptional amounts of torque at low RPM's they lack on power at high RPM's to account for these losses a turbo is added.

Turbo lag - Turbo's aren't that effective at low RPM's since the rate of flow of exhaust gases are also low. The time taken by the turbo to reach its peak performance is called as turbo lag.

Since the government mandated higher fuel economy standards, many automakers are turning to small turbocharged engines to replace larger engines. A turbocharger allows a small engine to produce big-engine power on demand, but in everyday driving conditions the small engine uses less fuel comparatively. The 1.0 L eco-boost engine from Ford can be seen on Indian roads.

Twin turbo's or Quad turbos can also be installed for track cars



The work output of the Turbo/Supercharger is same, They both increase the air intake and give better performance. They vary in the source of power input, the turbo gets its input power from exhaust gases while superchargers are directly connected to the engine through a chain or belt which powers them.


Turbo lag is overcome in super chargers because the run at the same RPM as the engine crankshaft does but on the other side of the coin superchargers can consume upto 25% of the total power output since they are directly connected to the crankshaft.


The specific whine made by the rotors of a super charger are music to a Petrolheads ears..



Overall it depends on what you really need from your car, Turbo chargers can be efficient on the long run while superchargers can give power on demand at all RPM's. You may also have to consider making space for your turbo/supercharger and a lot of plumbing work to be done on the engine to fit them perfectly.

They may cost anywhere from a 100 grand to infinity, because when you have more power you need better brakes, with better performance you need better stability hence the coil-overs and suspension should be changed and tuned and many other upgrades follow.

A costly affair but worth it ! :roll:


Hope this was informative..

-The Stig :ugeek:
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