Car owners with turbocharger attached should know a reasonable amount of knowledge about the theories involved. Turbocharging is a naturally-aspirated technology and the whole thing is more than just buying a kit, bolting it up and expecting our car to run much faster. There many things related to this technology and we should make sure that it is reliable enough. Generic car engines don’t have very high compression ratio and a 4-cylinder one usually have 8.5 to 1 ratio. Engines with multi-point injection could go a bit higher. When installing a turbocharger kit, we should be aware that the computer system in the car must be modified. It means that we need to deal with ECU, sensors, wiring harness, actuators, solenoids and many others.
It means that we need to work with a trained mechanic who can help up to install the system better. After all the electronics are modified, we should also need to upgrade the fuel delivery system. We need fuel pressure with higher rate, fuel pump with higher pressure and injectors with higher flow rate. Without an extra amount of fuel flowing when the turbocharger is engaged, the engine could run too lean and it may detonate. In many cases, we would need to change the whole induction system, including intercooler, intake piping, waste gate, air plenum, exhaust manifold and intake manifold. After we do this, we should be ready with the engine improvement. A turbocharged car needs a stronger clutch to handle the extra power.
The transmission should also be evaluated. Stock transmission is different with the heavy duty one and it won’t hold up too long when dealing with turbocharged cars. The differentials, pinion gears and crown wheel in stock transmission are not durable enough. Turbocharger burns more fuel and this will result in increased heat. This could affect the cooling performance. It means that we will need to upgrade fans and radiator. Even with this extra step, the heat could affect paint on our bonnet, so we should insulate the engine compartment. We should also allocate more money for turbo timers and gauges. Considering all these details, putting a turbocharger kit onto our car isn’t a small task. It is not uncommon for car owners to spend more than $2500 before the turbocharger kit can be used.
There are some shortcuts that car owners should consider. As an example, some technologies allow us to work with custom piping and some electronics manipulation. The whole system will be piggybacked onto sensors and ECU. This will trick the internal electronics into thinking that the car doesn’t operate within the normal parameter. However, this still leaves us with problems of improving the durability of the drive train. However, this will still significantly simplify the whole process of making turbocharger compatible. It is also important to start out proper tools to make it possible for us to enhance the whole system properly. Turbocharging is not really an essential thing for our car, so it is important to make sure whether we really need to install it.