How does turbocharging in a car engine work?
In the old days, a vehicle owner had to choose between a vehicle that made a lot of horsepower and one that can record high fuel economy scores. Recent advances in automotive turbocharging technology are allowing car owners to have their cake and eat it, too – so to speak. So, how does turbocharging in a car engine work? The actual engineering behind turbochargers can get a little difficult to understand, but in practice, it’s pretty simple. There are several new vehicles in the Gwatney Mazda of Germantown lineup that employ this technology. Our team of product experts wanted to give you a quick primer on how this works so you can make a more informed decision during the shopping process.
All internal combustion engines combine air and fuel that needs to be ignited to create power that is sent to the wheels. Basically, a turbocharger pulls in more air so the engine can make more power. Exhaust gases are normally expelled out of the tailpipe. A turbocharger traps some of that gas and uses it to spin a small impeller.
When the turbine is up to speed, the air is forced through a compressor and it’s sent to the combustion chamber. This is where the additional compressed air is mixed with fuel to make the power. Not only will this create more horsepower, but major gains will also be made in creating more torque. For the uninitiated, torque is the feeling that pushes you back in your seat when you hit the gas.
Do turbochargers hurt fuel economy?
One of the great things about turbochargers is that they can actually increase fuel economy. Small engines are naturally fuel-efficient, but they don’t make a lot of power. We just learned how turbochargers make additional power, and when that technology is combined with a small engine, it’s a perfect match.
If you would like to see Mazda turbocharging technology in action, make an appointment to go for a test drive with a Gwatney Mazda of Germantown product expert.