Five things to not do with a turbocharged engine

January 25, 2017


Your engine likes to breathe. There are ways to make it breathe easier, and one of them is by cramming air into the engine's "throat." You're forcing the induction. To do that, you'll need either a supercharger or a turbocharger. It's the boost-loving snail of a turbocharger that seems to be the most popular choice with automakers, but there are things you should know about these bits of rotating delight. These are the five things you should not do with a turbocharged engine.


Leave it to our friend at Engineering Explained to, you know, explain it all to us. He covers the basics in great detail in the video above, and tells us not just what you shouldn't do, but also why. That's the important bit that is often overlooked... which is what we're going to do here, because you should really watch the video.


First, don't run your car hard immediately after you turn it on. Your engine needs to warm up, but more importantly it's your oil in this case that needs to come to a proper operating temperature.


Second, make sure you also don't turn the car off right away after spirited driving. If you let everything cool down, you have consistent oil temperatures circulating through your engine components and that's a good place to shut everything down.


Third, don't lug your engine by traveling slowly, but in a higher gear than you should be. This puts needless strain on a number of parts.


Fourth on the list is something you should already know: Don't use lower octane fuel than what's recommended. Most often an engine with a turbo is running at a lower compression rate, it needs the higher octane fuel to prevent knocking and other issues.


Finally, if you have a vehicle with a laggy turbo, you probably don't want to mash the throttle as you exit a corner. This one comes down to your car's setup—and your driving skill. If you floor it, and it takes a bit for your turbo to spool up, you're going to have a shot of power when you don't want it. If you're not pointing in the right direction and the wheel is still turned, you may end up with more understeer or a dash of oversteer when all you want is a clean line.







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