With every new launch in the automobile industry, the makers are bombarding their cars as well as the audience with features and technologies you haven’t seen or heard before, however, all these new attractive shenanigans come at a cost to be paid by the customer and the engine itself, as these features may attract you but are a toll on your engine and battery. And with the cars getting bigger, engines getting smaller and a long list of features to be powered by them, people might think these things will reduce their power output, but that’s not the case here. So now the question arises how is that possible? A simple answer to all these power-related problems is a Turbocharged engine, but does this turbocharger solves every question, let’s find out.
Let’s first see how does the turbocharged engine works
If overly simplifying the turbocharged engine, it can simply be termed as the jet engine compressed into a car, and both things work quite similarly too. In the jet engine, cold air is sucked in and then is pushed into the chamber where it burns with fuel and is thrown out of the exhaust which rotates the turbine which is connected to the intake charger, in a similar fashion modern cars turbocharger works too where the exhaust gas drives the turbine, which in return spins the air compressor that pushes extra oxygen into the chamber allowing to burn more fuel every second but also produces engine knocks, and to overcome this problem ECU monitors this situation and delays the ignition timing and pours more fuel which decreases the chamber temperature preventing engine knocks .
Does the turbocharger have any cons?
Yes, the biggest cons of using a turbocharged engine is its fuel consumption. The turbocharger produces more power which translates to more number of times the ignition takes place, and more ignition equals more chamber temperature which equals more knocks. But to reduce these unwanted knocks the ECU pumps more fuel into the chamber to bring the temperature down making it a rich mixture, and a rich mixture means more fuel consumption and low mileage.
Engine knocks: these are the popping sound that you can here (mostly in older cars) due to the incomplete combustion of fuel, which happens when the temperature and pressure inside the chamber rise sufficient enough to burn the fuel without ignition.
Is the turbocharged engine better than a naturally aspirated engine?
The basic advantage of the turbocharged engine over the regular naturally aspirated engine is that you get more power output for the same engine size although make the engine less fuel-efficient. In theory, the turbocharged engine proves out to be more fuel-efficient and more power-producing. So why aren’t all engines turbocharged? The first reason is the fuel efficiency which claimed to be better for these engines by the manufacturers didn’t turned out to be that perfect. Some study even proves that the turbocharged engines even have worse fuel efficiency than the normal naturally aspirated ones and hence should not be used for a regular car.
The second reason is the added complexity to the engine which can also be explained as more parts more chances of failure and an additional repair or maintenance cost. By definition, turbocharge is all about getting more output from the same engine design and due to that many parts even have to work in high temperature and high pressure which can make your engine fail sooner than normal. And usually, due to these reasons, the turbocharged engines do not last very long.
Another reason for some people can be due to its bit weird driving feel. As we now know the turbocharged engine basically works on the exhaust of the engine and due to this, a driver can find a significant delay in when the accelerator is pressed and when the actual acceleration kicks in and sometimes can through your usual skills off at certain times.
A better option to these engines is the electrical hybrid engine which generates additional power from the battery and is even eco-friendly. And nowadays many luxury brands are even including these hybrid engines rather than the turbocharged engine. The only downside of these hybrid engines is the cost of the battery, the reason why only luxury cars are using these types of engines.
So now comes the million-dollar question should you opt for turbocharged engines? A simple answer to this will be, if you are a power-hungry person and does not care of other aspects like fuel efficiency and service cost, then go for it otherwise if you have the option of the same capacity NA engine then opt for it.