What is a turbocharger? In the simplest sense, it’s a turbine-type device that forces air into the engine’s combustion chamber. With this added intake, there is a corresponding surge in overall power. We’ll look at the most common method of turbocharging in this blog.
It’s much tougher than the average DIY car upgrade, but installing a turbocharger can be done, especially if you have dependable auto parts, a knowledgeable buddy to help with installation, and some extra time on your hands. This is not a simple upgrade and we only suggest it to those who are savvy with auto repair.
In a nutshell, here’s how to turbocharge your car. First let’s look at the basic parts list. (Note: this could differ for some automobiles, but all turbocharger upgrades require at least the following components.)
•Electronic control unit
•New engine oil
Once you’ve gathered the parts for your turbocharger project, here’s what to do:
1. Start with a non-turbo car. Obvious, but kind of necessary for this guide!
2. Drain your car’s engine oil completely. This is an important first step. If you fail to drain every last drop, you could experience problems later in the project. Remember to put the oil drain plug back on; you’ll add new oil to your engine after everything else is completed.
3. Install the intercooler. In order to properly install the intercooler (sometimes called an “air cooler”), you may have to remove bumper.
4. Install turbo manifold to your new turbocharger. This replaces your old exhaust header.
5. Remove your car’s exhaust header and install new turbo manifold to your exhaust system.
6. Note: some turbocharger upgrades recommend a new exhaust system. If this is the case, you’ll need a catalytic converter, piping and muffler. It just depends on manufacturer suggestions.
7. Connect turbo oil feed line to your car’s oil filter line.
8. This step is vitally important. Install the turbo air outlet to your engine intake. This is the actual “turbo” part of the whole project, so ensure all connections and secure and there are no air leaks. You must connect the turbo pipes, hoses and any other connections to the intercooler. On the intercooler’s opposite side, hook up all connections to your air intake.
9. Put new oil in your engine. Some turbo systems recommend a certain grade, while others are OK with the existing recommended oil.
10. Now it’s time to reap the rewards from all your hard work. Take your car out for a spin and enjoy your newfound power surge – but make sure you obey all posted speed limits! Turbochargers usually add at least 20-30% more power, while some can increase output up to 100%. It may take a little while to get acclimated while the turbo surge, so you should drive your car on roads with light traffic.
BuyAutoParts.com has a wide assortment of turbochargers and their related components. If you plan to turbocharge your car, have experience working on cars and would like to save money, check out our inventory and consider doing it yourself. Our turbocharger consultants are here to help. To speak with a BuyAutoParts.com specialist, give us a call at (888) 907-7225.
Written by Dara Greaney