When it comes to the world of automobiles, one of the major considerations among buyers is power. For those seeking greater engine performance, forced induction is the way to go. Forced induction systems are the pieces of equipment that can improve both the power and fuel economy of an engine. By forcibly pushing as much air as possible into the engine, forced induction systems improve the efficiency of combustion engines and allow the car to operate at a higher capacity.
Today, forced induction systems have become far more common, with turbo and superchargers featuring in vehicles ranging from trucks and buses to small city cars. For students taking automotive training, here’s a closer look at the process behind these engine systems!
What Is Forced Induction?
A forced induction system works by forcing extra air into the engine under pressure. Regular engines – with no forced induction system – have a limited power output due to limitations on the air intake. Those engines rely on natural aspiration, where atmospheric force is responsible for pushing air into the engine. When we talk about forced induction, we’re talking about overcoming the limits of atmospheric pressure by pushing more air into the cylinders. As a result, the engine can produce more power and its performance increases. Additionally, the process can improve the efficiency of the engine by overcoming deficiencies in the induction system that limit air flow. Those in mechanic college will learn to advise customers on the right vehicle for their needs, and be able to answer any questions about services of the vehicle.
Superchargers and Turbochargers
If you’ve ever wondered about the function of superchargers and turbochargers, they are the most common devices for achieving forced induction. Both of these systems work with the same goal to boost the engine and improve the performance of a vehicle, but in different ways.
Superchargers are attached directly to the engine’s crankshaft belt and rely on that part to power the system. As the engine spins faster, the supercharger spins faster, which produces more air pressure to give the engine a power boost. Since the supercharger’s output relies on engine speed, they are a good option for providing a steady power boost from the engine.
Turbochargers also work by compressing air to feed into the engine. On the other hand, turbochargers are not directly attached to the engine. Instead, they rely on the engine’s exhaust gases to spin the compressor wheel. Essentially, they use waste energy to provide power to the engine to offset the inherent losses in supercharging. Those in auto mechanic training should know the difference between these two systems and be able to advise customers on the best choice for their vehicle in the long run.
Things to Consider When You Become an Auto Mechanic
Switching an engine to a forced induction system is a major change with many factors to weigh up. While the benefit of forced induction is to improve the engine power, it also runs the risk of producing too much power. If an engine is given more boost than it can handle, the vehicle is liable to engine failure. To safely withstand the increase in power, additional upgrades or modifications may be necessary. Those upgrades will depend on the engine and the level of power that it’s built to produce.
For regular driving, most cars can handle the additional horsepower without any major difficulties. To reach extreme levels of power, however, changes to stock pistons, rods, and crankshaft may be required. Professional auto mechanics will be able to compare the state of the engine with a customer’s driving habits to determine whether a forced induction system is right for them.
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