If you’re familiar with diesel engines but aren’t sure exactly how a turbocharger works, you’re not alone. “Turbocharged” is a phrase thrown around in popular culture, but few people understand what it actually means, let alone what it might be used for.

Turbochargers in Corpus Christi, TX are an incredibly useful solution for many commercial, industrial and even private applications. As the name suggests, “turbocharging” increases the engine’s power output—but how does that work, and when might it be most useful? Let’s find out.

How diesel engines work

Diesel engines work by compressing air inside the cylinder to elevate its temperature, which then ignites the fuel. This is different from traditional gasoline engines, which require a spark (from the spark plug) to ignite the fuel and air mixture. Instead, diesel engines elevate the compressed air temperature to such a high degree that it spontaneously ignites in the cylinder and powers the engine from there.

What a turbocharger does

A turbocharger harnesses the power of a diesel engine by compressing even more air inside the cylinder before the fuel is injected. The air molecules are packed tightly together, allowing even more fuel to be injected before it combusts.

Turbochargers have two major components: the turbine and the compressor. The turbine works to move the exhaust gas through the turbine and out through an outlet, whereas the compressor draws in air and compresses it. The more air that’s pushed into the engine, the more fuel is allowed to burn, therefore increasing the engine’s mechanical output.

Benefits and drawbacks of a turbocharger

Adding a turbocharger to your car or truck can greatly increase its gas mileage while cutting down on the loud noises and fumes that typically accompany diesel engine operation. They also allow much smaller engines to produce much more robust results. They’re also more efficient—turbochargers can run off exhaust gases.

However, a turbocharger might not be right for every car or industrial application in Corpus Christi, TX. Because they get so hot, they use the engine’s oil supply more readily and may need additional plumbing to account for that. They also can take some time to spool up and provide a boost, but when they do, reaching the boost threshold can provide a very quick surge of power.

If you have questions about whether a turbocharger might be right for your engine, be sure to ask the friendly team at Coastal Diesel Injection next time you bring your vehicle in for an appointment.

Turbochargers in Corpus Christi, TX

Thinking about upgrading to a turbocharged diesel engine, or want to repair and maintain the one you already have? Coastal Diesel Injection can help. We’re Corpus Christi’s premier diesel engine installation and repair shop, handling all your engine’s needs. We offer both new and rebuilt options, allowing you to find the right engine for you at a price point you can be happy with. Call us today to start discussing your turbocharging options, and get the gold standard of service we’re known for.