Honeywell has been producing turbochargers since the 1950s. Since that time, the technology has become synonymous with high-end performance in vehicles, but turbos are also now commonly used by automakers around the globe to improve energy efficiency through engine downsizing. By using a turbo, engine manufacturers can downsize the cylinder capacity of their engines to reap the fuel economy and emissions benefits of the lighter weight, smaller engine, without sacrificing performance.
These benefits are why, in its recent turbo forecast, Honeywell predicted that 200 million cars with turbocharged engines will be produced during the next five years. By 2020, 47 percent of all new vehicles are expected to have a turbo fitted.
Here are some things you may or may not know about the turbocharger that is giving your car that extra boost!
Fuel Frugality:By integrating a turbocharger with a downsized engine, automakers can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent in diesel applications and 20 percent in gas applications as compared to a larger naturally-aspirated gas engine with similar output performance.
You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Turbo, Baby):The turbine in a typical car turbocharger has to spin incredibly quickly. While your car’s engine revs, at cruise, at around 2,000 rpm, a turbo’s turbine can reach rotational speeds of more than 280,000 rpm.
Fine Engineering:The required level of accuracy when designing and manufacturing the size of a turbo’s components is, in some cases, smaller than the width of a human hair.
Toasty Turbines: Turbos operate in extreme heat, in excess of 1050 °C in gasoline engines. Even in diesel engines they run hotter than the temperature of molten lava.
Going Green: By 2020 Honeywell expects that 7 percent of all cars on the road will be hybrids – at least 2 percent of which will be turbocharged.
Driving Demand:In order to meet huge demand from the world’s automakers, Honeywell launches on average 100 new turbo applications every year, and has more than 500 programs in its product development pipeline at any given time.
In It For The Long Haul: Turbocharger performance is integral to engine design and performance, which is why reliability is extremely important. Cars using Honeywell turbochargers have won the 24hrs of Le Mans endurance race every year for the past 17 years.
Second Life, First In Quality: Honeywell Garrett is the company’s independent aftermarket brand which sells replacement turbos. A recent study commissioned by Honeywell and conducted by an independent laboratory in the U.K. determined replacement turbos like Honeywell Garrett products can have as much as 40 percent better torque and emit as much as 28 percent less nitrous oxides than copy replacement parts not built to the exacting original equipment specifications of your vehicle.
Originally published by Honeywellhttps://www.honeywell.com/newsroom/news/2016/10/eight-things-about-turbochargers-you-probably-never-knew
What are some fun facts about turbochargers? ›
The turbine in the turbocharger spins at speeds of up to 1,50,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), that's about 30 times faster than most car engines can go.What are the limitations of a turbocharger? ›
- Overheating: A car turbocharger, if an intercooler is not used, can generate excessive heat in the engine. ...
- Turbo Lag: Turbo lag is a common problem faced by turbocharged engines installed in cars. ...
- Engine Wears Out At a Faster Rate: The faster you drive, the more stress you put on the engine.
Disadvantages of a Turbo Engine
Well, more power means more energy output per second. This means that you have to put more energy when you use it. So you must burn more fuel. In theory, that means an engine with a turbocharger is no more fuel efficient than one without.
Turbos are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle (or around 150,000 miles); however, it's possible for them to wear out over time depending on how hard you drive the car and the original build quality of the turbo.What makes a turbo fast? ›
A turbo works by forcing more air into the engine, with the amount of fuel being injected in increasing correspondingly, increasing the strength of the combustion, and producing more power.Do turbos make cars fast? ›
The engine is capable of burning more fuel and generating more power if more air is delivered to its cylinders. A turbocharger forces more air into an engine, allowing it to burn more gas and increase its horsepower. A typical turbocharger can add about 50 percent more power to an engine.What can destroy a turbo? ›
Most failures are caused by the three 'turbo killers' of oil starvation, oil contamination and foreign object damage. More than 90% of turbocharger failures are caused oil related either by oil starvation or oil contamination. Blocked or leaking pipes or lack of priming on fitting usually causes oil starvation.Do turbocharged engines last as long? ›
today's turbochargers are designed to last the lifespan of the vehicle. The truth is, boosted engines require the same amount of maintenance and care that a naturally aspirated engine does.Can a turbo get weak? ›
The turbo has been designed to last as long as the car does, however the turbo can become damaged over time. The damage to the turbo can be caused by problems such as: Insufficient oil in the system. Wrong kind of oil.Do turbocharged engines need premium gas? ›
Not all turbocharged cars need premium gas, but it's a more common requirement among turbos than other kinds of engines, thanks to the way these engines work. The name turbo comes from the turbine these engines use to inject more air into the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.
Who makes the most reliable turbo engine? ›
The study found that six brands which have turbocharged engines with better reliability than the average non-turbo engine. These brands were Honda, Lexus, BMW, Porsche, Audi, and Subaru.Does having a turbo waste more gas? ›
A turbocharged engine turns into a fuel-hog under hard acceleration, because the large volume of air being pumped into the cylinders must be matched by a larger volume of fuel. Explaining the abnormally high consumption of a turbocharged engine under high load takes us into some interesting areas of engineering.What causes noisy turbo? ›
If the turbocharger gets too little air, it will start making noises. If, for example, the air filter is not checked thoroughly and replaced regularly, the intake resistance increases substantially.Are turbo cars hard to maintain? ›
Turbos are much more complex than “naturally-aspirated” engines, and require special treatment to keep them performing at their best. Regular maintenance and changes to your driving style are what's needed to get the most from a turbo engine, and to avoid nasty repair bills.What happens when your turbo blows? ›
The most common signs of a blown turbo are:
Your car has a noticeable power loss. The acceleration of your car seems slow and noisy. Your car doesn't maintain high speeds easily. There's smoke coming from the exhaust.
Over speeding can push a turbo beyond its safe operating parameters, causing it to fail by damaging the turbine or compressor wheels and bearings.How do you drive a turbo fast? ›
- Don't run the engine hard after a start-up. ...
- Cool-down the vehicle after running it hard. ...
- Don't floor it coming out of a corner. ...
- Don't run your engine at low engine speeds with high load operation. ...
- Use high grade fuel.
While turbos do improve the power output and boost gauges in a vehicle, overuse and high stress can cause it to fail.What rpm does a turbo kick in? ›
You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Turbo, Baby): The turbine in a typical car turbocharger has to spin incredibly quickly. While your car's engine revs, at cruise, at around 2,000 rpm, a turbo's turbine can reach rotational speeds of more than 280,000 rpm.What is the maximum rpm of turbocharger? ›
Maximum speed of the turbocharger is 150,000 rpm. A very high pressure ratio of about 4 is secured from medium load at any speed, with this ratio only minimally reducing increasing the speed of the engine above 3,000 rpm. At high load, the maximum speed of the turbocharger is permitted above 1,500 rpm engine speed.
Why does my turbo whistle when I accelerate? ›
What causes turbo whistle? Turbo whistle is the sound of the compressor inside the turbocharger speeding up (also known as 'spooling up', which is why it kicks in at the boost threshold (when the turbo starts to kick in) as you accelerate up the rev range.Can dust damage a turbo? ›
A clean rag can be used temporarily to block the intake port but it is crucial that it is removed before reassembly. The finest of dust, sand and dirt particles can have a severe impact on the turbo, causing pitting, scoring or even total fracture of the compressor wheel fins that could result in catastrophic failure.Can a turbo explode? ›
What is an explosive turbocharger wheel failure, exactly? In simple terms, an explosive failure of one or more turbocharger wheels happens when a rapidly spinning compressor or turbine wheel cannot hold itself together against the combined effects of very high temperatures and enormous centrifugal forces.Do turbos need to cool down? ›
Turbocharged engines do need to cool down before they are turned off. But in nearly all driving conditions, the engine does not reach temperatures that require a deliberate cooling down period.Is a 4 cylinder turbo better than a V6? ›
Modern turbocharged four-cylinder engines, when engineered properly, will either beat or match a naturally aspirated V6 in almost every category. Turbo-fours are lighter, more efficient, and can be more powerful than a naturally aspirated V6. The only thing that a V6 will always do better is towing capacity.Is turbocharged worth it? ›
“Generally speaking, turbocharging is a great idea. It's a smaller engine, but you're still getting a decent amount of power,” says Mike Quincy, autos editor at Consumer Reports. “The idea with a smaller engine, especially a four-cylinder, is that you're going to get decent fuel economy without giving up power.Will blown turbo cause white smoke? ›
Recommended Services. Hi! A leaking turbo will usually present itself through white smoke exiting the exhaust. Usually the white smoke will result from the turbo leaking oil internally but will occasionally result from internal coolant leakage.Can a turbo car run without turbo? ›
The vehicle can run without an efficiently functioning turbocharger, but it will perform poorly, and your decision could possibly have dramatic repercussions. If the issue is an oil supply or internal component-related problem, complete failure is imminent.What fuel is best for turbo engines? ›
Engines with high compression ratios or turbochargers often require high octane fuel found in premium gas for optimal performance and fuel efficiency.What happens if you put 87 octane in a 93 octane car? ›
If the octane rating is less than 91, you could damage the engine and may void your vehicle warranty.
Is higher octane gas better for turbo engines? ›
A higher octane gas allows your engine to have a higher compression ratio. With higher octane gas, your car will have a more advanced ignition timing or forced air inductions. Most superchargers and turbochargers are the ones that need higher octane gas. These engines perform better when on premium gas.Are Rebuilt turbos reliable? ›
Parts are always validated to genuine specifications using the same test equipment as new turbochargers. Remanufactured units offer strong warranties and deliver reliable performance at an affordable cost.Do turbo cars cost more to insure? ›
Cars with turbocharged engines often cost more to insure because they cost more to repair than their non-turbocharged counterparts. They also have more power and speed than a standard engine, increasing the risk of an accident. Your car insurance premium may reflect the increased risk for the insurance company.How much HP does a turbo add? ›
A turbocharger works with the exhaust system and can potentially give you gains of 70-150 horsepower. A supercharger is connected directly to the engine intake and could provide an extra 50-100 horsepower.Why does turbo increase mpg? ›
The more air that is introduced means more fuel can be burned to make even more power. This is what turbochargers do. A turbo unit is basically a fan that sucks more air into a vehicle's engine. The turbocharger pulls in more air by diverting exhaust gasses to the fan which is what causes it to spin.Is it normal for a turbo to whistle? ›
Reached the turbine wheel in the turbocharger very high speeds and this creates typical "turbo noises". The noises are a bit like you airy whistles. A low whistle is fundamental with turbo engines normal and not worrying.What makes a turbo flutter? ›
When you let off the gas, you close the throttle body, momentarily giving you a spike in intake pressure but with no airflow. The air has to travel somewhere, so it heads back through the turbocharger. The fluttering you hear is the air escaping back through the turbo as the compressor wheel fights this motion.Should you let a turbo car idle before turning it off? ›
Take care of your turbo so that it gives your engine adequate boost and thus, an enjoyable driving experience for years to come. When Starting Off (especially in the morning): Let the car idle for 30 (minimum) - 60 (maximum) seconds before you drive off.How often should you change oil in a turbo engine? ›
Most auto manufacturers recommend oil changes once each year or 20,000km on petrol engines. Diesel engines and turbo charged petrol engines should be changed every 6 months or 10,000 km. Changing the oil once a year (20,000 km) is OK for vehicles driven in ideal circumstances.How often should you change spark plugs on a turbo car? ›
Afterward, it's recommended that it be changed every 5,000 miles or six months. The turbo 2.0 liter also requires the spark plugs to be changed more frequently — about every 45,000 miles or three years, compared to a 2.4 liter engine, which only requires they be changed every 105,000 miles or seven years.
How long do turbos last? ›
Turbos are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle (or around 150,000 miles); however, it's possible for them to wear out over time depending on how hard you drive the car and the original build quality of the turbo.Can a turbo suddenly fail? ›
There're a number of things that can cause a blown turbo: Engine oil - your turbo needs oil to function properly. A lack of oil, the wrong grade of oil, or poor quality oil will lead to a build up of carbon deposits and contaminants in the engine, which can cause abrasive damage to the turbo.What should you not do with a turbo engine? ›
- Don't Run Your Car Immediately. Firstly, don't run your vehicle straight away after you turn it on. ...
- Don't Switch Off Immediately. ...
- Don't Lug Your Engine. ...
- Octane Fuel - Don't Use Lower Than Recomended. ...
- If You Have A Laggy Turbo - Don't Mash The Throttle.
The 1905 patent by Alfred Büchi, a Swiss engineer working at Sulzer is often considered the birth of the turbocharger. This patent was for a compound radial engine with an exhaust-driven axial flow turbine and compressor mounted on a common shaft.How fast is a turbo? ›
The turbine in the turbocharger usually spins at speeds between 80,000 and 200,000 rotations per minute (rpm) — that's up to 30 times faster than most car engines can go. And since it is hooked up to the exhaust, the turbine also runs at very high temperatures.What was the turbo invented for? ›
1 Introduction. Turbochargers are intended to increase the power of internal combustion engines. The first turbocharger was invented in the early twentieth century by the Swiss engineer Alfred Buchi who introduced a prototype to increase the power of a diesel engine.Why are turbochargers so popular? ›
Turbocharging has become a common way for auto manufacturers to strike a balance between power and fuel economy. The concept is to allow a small engine to work like a bigger one when more power is needed. This is accomplished by forcing more air into the engine during acceleration, enabling it to burn more fuel.At what rpm is turbo activated? ›
You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Turbo, Baby): The turbine in a typical car turbocharger has to spin incredibly quickly. While your car's engine revs, at cruise, at around 2,000 rpm, a turbo's turbine can reach rotational speeds of more than 280,000 rpm.Is there a twin turbo? ›
A twin-turbocharger works by using two turbochargers of the same size to force air into the engine's cylinders to add extra horsepower. The exhaust gases are recycled, split between the two turbos, and usually combined in a shared inlet before entering cylinders.Can a turbo break? ›
Less than 1% of turbos fail because of manufacturing defects. Most failures are caused by the three 'turbo killers' of oil starvation, oil contamination and foreign object damage. More than 90% of turbocharger failures are caused oil related either by oil starvation or oil contamination.
What are the benefits of a turbo? ›
Basically, a turbocharger is connected to an engine to give it more power. This allows smaller engines to put out more horsepower and torque than they ordinarily would. Turbochargers utilize the engine's hot, expelled air to spin the compressor wheel and take in outside air. This reduces the amount of waste produces.Who made the first turbo? ›
Alfred Buchi, a Swiss engineer, put forward the first plans for a supercharger driven by exhaust gases, and the turbo was born. In 1905, he patented the idea, and in 1915, whilst working as the Chief Engineer for the research wing of Sulzer Brothers, he built the first turbocharged diesel engine.Why is turbo called turbo? ›
Early builders of turbochargers called them as "turbosuperchargers". A supercharger is an air compressor used for forcing air into an engine. They thought that by adding a turbine to turn the supercharger, it would yield a "turbosupercharger". The term was soon shortened to "turbocharger".Do turbo engines need premium gas? ›
Not all turbocharged cars need premium gas, but it's a more common requirement among turbos than other kinds of engines, thanks to the way these engines work. The name turbo comes from the turbine these engines use to inject more air into the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.Do turbos shorten engine life? ›
No. today's turbochargers are designed to last the lifespan of the vehicle. The truth is, boosted engines require the same amount of maintenance and care that a naturally aspirated engine does. Does a turbocharger decrease the life of an engine?