Gas Savings of Using a Turbocharged Engine

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There have been many claims against getting a turbocharged engine in the past, most revolving around the fact that these engines fail to deliver on promises when it comes to fuel economy and power. Nowadays, turbochargers are moving away from being unrefined and unreliable.

Up until recent years, turbochargers were added to engines for the purpose of generating more power. If anything, adding a turbocharger would result in worse gas mileage, not better. Vehicle manufacturers are now adding turbochargers to get the same levels of power from a smaller replacement for a bigger engine. The turbo itself will not reduce the amount you spend on gas, but the use of this smaller engine will. There is also, of course, the added benefit of your car weighing less.

How it works:

The turbocharger is essentially a pump that stuffs more air into an engine than it would draw on its own. There has been much debate over which forced induction system is better, a turbocharger or a supercharger, but a turbocharger can be considered to be more efficient as it uses the “wasted” energy from the exhaust stream. A small gasoline turbo engine will save about 8 to 10 percent over a larger engine that generates similar power and torque.

One benefit of the turbocharged engine is the ample amount of torque at low to mid RPM. This means when driving up hills, there will be a more unforced feeling of thrust with reduced need to downshift.

A turbocharged engine also helps at high altitudes. A normal engine would experience reduced power due to the smaller mass of air received. A turbocharged engine may also have reduced power, but the reduction will only be minor in comparison as the thin air makes it easier for the turbocharger to pump.

Today, about 7 percent of gasoline engines are turbocharged, but according to Honeywell, that number is expected to grow to around 20 percent by 2015.

It’s worth looking into this investment as potential gas savings over time are high.

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