Pros and Cons of Turbo Charged Engines

turbo charged engines by your auto mechanic

Speed and power go hand in hand as the most exciting attractions about auto careers and car culture. There are countless movies about cars flying about at breakneck speed, and our obsession with Formula One racing only cements the ideal of speed and power as the ultimate goal of a car. However, when it comes to turbocharged engines and supercars, they may not be all they’re cracked up to be. For all the demonic quickness and mind-rattling torque they offer, turbocharged engines definitely have some drawbacks. So what are the pros and cons of overclocking your engine?

The Pros

The most obvious advantage of getting a turbocharged engine in your vehicle is that you’re going to have a much faster, much more powerful ride – but you don’t need an auto mechanic to tell you that. However, your car will have the capacity for much more top-end horsepower than either natural aspiration of the engine or supercharging will afford you, meaning if you really want to get the most out of that growling V8, it could make sense for you to invest in turbocharging it.

Because turbo engines are predominantly run by exhaust gases, gases which would otherwise go to waste, you don’t lose anything in running a turbo. This also means that you’re able to get more power out of a smaller engine, without the need for upgrading. Larger more powerful engines take up much more space and are more expensive to run, so turbo charging a small engine is a great compromise.

However, for all the seemingly positive aspects of turbo charging, there are some glaring cons to the process as well.

turbo charged engines by your auto mechanic

The Cons

The most immediately observable con to a turbocharged engine is the money and time that go into it. You’re going to have to pay a handsome sum to an automotive technician to get your regular engine souped up and turbocharged. What’s more is that it will require some shifting and moving under the hood, as a turbo charged engine requires some additional wiring and tubing to function properly – cars with crowded front ends need not apply. Though many car companies such as Volkswagen offer factory made models with turbocharged engines, those wishing to upgrade on their own might encounter setbacks.

There is also the growing concern that, despite claims by car companies to the contrary, turbocharging an engine results in a fairly substantial loss in fuel economy. A 2013 study done by Consumer Reports tested eleven vehicles with turbocharged engines and found that, on the whole, each vehicle delivered fewer miles per gallon than their non-turbocharged counterparts. For example, the Ford Fusion 2.0L Turbo, advertised as getting an average of 26 mpg, only achieved an average of 22 mpg in many rigorous road tests.

So while turbocharged engines may offer some benefits in the realm of speed and power, they’re not doing the environment any favours just quite yet. However, companies like Volkswagen are finding ways around that, like with their VW XL1 turbo diesel hybrid, heralded as the most efficient car in the world. Check out this video of its amazing features:

However, examples like the VW XL1 are few and far between and for the time being, turbocharged cars means sacrificing economy.

Categories: ATC News, Surrey
Tags: auto careers, auto mechanic, automotive technician

7 responses to “Pros and Cons of Turbo Charged Engines”

  1. Trevor Shields says:

    Umm a lot of lambos and ferraris are twin turbo from factory. The Bugatti veyron is quad turbo 8.0 w16 and that’s one of the worlds fastest production cars.
    And if an engine is built properly it can handle high amounts of boost reliably. just saying…….

    • Behzad says:

      A lot of Ferraris in 80s , not before and not after the 80s was Turbo never a favorite of Ferrari’s , they were all V12s or V8 and Naturally aspirated , 80s was a hard time for many sports car makers because of oil crisis and many others that directly affected the auto industry ,and many decide to go turbo to compensate for the lack of power, and Lamborghinis were never Turbocharged and hopefully will never be .

      i don’t have a personal problem with turbocharging , but i’m a purist and i love the Honesty and sheer power and characteristics of a N/A engine , and it’s irreplaceable , i’m not against turbos , and many people also have the same sort of feelings for turbo cars , what actually bothers me is N/A engines being replaced entirely by turbos and us being repeatedly promised that they will make them so that we won’t feel the difference , while i for a fact know that it’ll never be like that !!!

      if they would still let N/A engines survive & thrive , and sell them as an option to the enthusiasts , it’ll be okay but to think that “6 cylinder Turbo is going to totally replace the V8” is just a stupid illusion and just advertising , and all those promises BMW and others give about lag-free turbocharging is a just a pain-killer for us to reduce the pain of losing N/A for ever !

      the power figures can easily be compensated , yes a 4 cylinder twin turbo i4 mitsubishi evo makes as much power as a 3.5L V6 ! but does it feel as good as a 3.5L v6 ? highly doubt it !
      i’ve driven 4 cylinders and 6 cylinders and 4 cylinders feel incredibly shitty and cheap and have very abysmal characteristics , same thing happens when you replace a V8 with a V6 ! and in terms of sports cars these are very important factors that manufacturers are blindly ignoring !

  2. tacitus7 says:

    I drive a chevy Cruze with a 1.4 liter turbo and let me tell you, I get better than the estimates GM gave from the factory. For my eco trim it was 28 city 42 highway and 33 combined. I get better than 28 better than 33 and 42 more or less on the highway going 70. Better if slower. Consumer reports… they must have been hammering the throttle. I don’t baby it by the way but do drive smart. I think these micro turbos will be the wave of the future.

  3. alex says:

    M8 u do realize that their not just talking about power but also fuel economy. You can’t have a 40mpg car with a v12 or v8 engine. A 1.5l engine won’t have as much power but it will have fuel economy. And why not a bit of extra power with turbocharged. Turbochargers and supercharge are the way to go. Getting more power out of smaller engines.

  4. Avro Arrow says:

    I own a Hyundai Veloster Tech. Sure, I could have purchased a turbo but the problem with turbos is that they’re a ticking time-bomb. Sooner or later, that turbo WILL fail and that failure could end up costing about $5,000 or more. Further, turbo models tend to be the top-of-the-line models that far less than half of people will buy. This makes parts for them unique and difficult/impossible to find down the road when the turbo fails and you need to repair it.

    Manufacturers generally don’t support their cars past ten years generally so when that turbo goes, the card goes with it. Save yourself the hassle and just get the most common model of whatever car you’re looking at. Buying a car that’s already three years old is a great practice because it will give you time (especially on relatively new models) to figure out which version sells the best and therefore will have the most plentiful aftermarket parts supply for when the dealers stop supporting them.

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