One common question that comes up for owners of diesel vehicles is whether or not they should turbocharge their engine. This is a constantly evolving issue—turbocharging has changed significantly over the last couple decades to the point where it has developed a large presence in the world of automobiles. While the old philosophy was that a naturally aspirated diesel engine was best, turbocharged engines have started to flood the diesel market.

Here’s a quick overview of what you should know about diesel engine turbocharging in Corpus Christi, TX.

The definition of turbocharging

A turbocharger is used in an engine to draw in air, compress it and then feed the compressed air into the intake manifold in the engine. The pressurized air enters the combustion chamber every time the piston makes a downward stroke. Because more oxygen enters into the engine at a quicker rate, you’ll burn more fuel, which also results in you getting more power back from the engine.

Once the combustion cycle completes, the waste gas exits the combustion chamber through the exhaust outlet. During this process, the waste gas goes through the turbocharger, where it spins a compressor wheel, which results in cool atmospheric air being drawn in from the opposite side of the turbocharger, which starts the process all over again.

An issue with using this process is that the compressed air gets hot, and the heat can cut down on the power delivered by your engine. You must be able to cool that compressed air before it enters the intake manifold, which is why the air passes through a heat exchanger.

Pros and cons of the process

When determining whether or not you should turbocharge your diesel engine in Corpus Christi, TX, you should consider some of the pros and cons of the process.

The obvious advantages are greater power and fuel efficiency. Turbochargers allow you to maximize the power you’re able to get out of engines of all sizes. Greater power efficiency means manufacturers can use smaller engines, which will be more fuel efficient than larger ones. Turbochargers also use the heat created by the engine to spin the compressor wheel and bring in outside air, which cuts down on the amount of waste they produce, another way in which turbocharged engines can be more efficient than naturally aspirated engines.

However, more aggressive driving can result in efficiency falling off quite quickly. There is also the risk of increased atmospheric pressure in the engine, which could also increase the risk of pre-ignition, a circumstance in which raw fuel ignites before being lit by the spark plugs. Overly hard acceleration in a turbocharged vehicle will result in engine pressure spiking, which will be bad for the system.

Therefore, you should carefully consider your driving style and your efficiency needs. If you are not an aggressive driver and believe you can maintain the balance necessary to get the efficiency benefits out of turbocharging, then the use of a diesel engine turbocharger may well be for you.

For more information about diesel engine turbocharging in Corpus Christi, TX, contact the diesel mechanics at Coastal Diesel Injection today.