May 07

How a Turbo Works

With turbocharging becoming more and more prevelant in new car building I thought it might be a good time to rehash our old post on how a turbo works. Turbos are everywhere now and they aren’t just for horsepower. Turbos are being used to boost fuel economy and driving characteristics of small and big engines. Some set ups are even getting quit exotic with sequential set ups and even triple turbos.

Toyota Showroom Turbo by motoyen, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  motoyen 

Of course car guys like turbos for their horsepower and insanely flat torque curves. Turbos are pretty basic way to boost power. Air comes out of the engine which spins a turbine. That turbine is connected to an impeller via a shaft. The impeller compresses the air on the intake side of the engine thus cramming more air into the cylinders. Magic and witchcraft take place and more power is made. To explain some of the witchcraft is a cool little video just after the jump.

source: youtube