Turbocharging Myths Debunked: Separating 10 Facts from Fiction

Turbocharging Myths Debunked: Separating 10 Facts from Fiction

Turbochargers are popular in the automotive world because drivers want to boost engine performance, increase efficiency, improve MPGs, and maximize power! However, despite their rise in the market, numerous myths and misconceptions have bloomed.

Some such falsehoods include the notion that turbochargers always decrease engine reliability, are laggy and lack responsiveness, decrease fuel efficiency, and always void the car's warranty.

In all cases—these misconceptions are derived from lack of research; and at worst, shy away from the brilliant benefits of the latest turbocharger technology.

Nonetheless, in this article, we will separate fact from fiction surrounding performance turbochargers:

Myth 1: Turbocharging Always Decreases Engine Reliability

The last thing you want to hear—regardless of the situation—is how turbo kits can decrease engine reliability. Most drivers buy turbo kits to improve their engine—not the opposite.

Despite the myths surrounding performance turbochargers, as long as they have proper installation and tuning, the kit won’t ruin your engine reliability if kept within “safe” boost parameters. TurboKits.com only offers modern-day turbocharger kits with robust materials, high-tech production practices, and quality components.

As such, turbocharger kits can boost long-term reliability and performance when used and installed correctly.

Myth 2: Turbocharging Kits Always Cause a Lag

LAG… That’s the last thing you want to hear, right? When purchasing a turbo for your vehicle, the most important aspect is sizing. How much power do you wish to make? How much boost do you want to run? What type of fuel will you be using? What is your engine displacement and working RPM?  ALL of these questions need to be answered to properly size a turbocharger for your application.  When accurately configured, turbos will amaze you with their responsiveness and ability to build power like no other option on the market!

Modern wheel designs allow for increased flow and CFM output, improving pedal feel. Stronger, lighter materials have been introduced in production to reduce weight and quickly dissipate heat.  Ball bearing designs have evolved tremendously in recent years to  DRASTICALLY reduce throttle response and spool time- all in an effort to cut down on LAG!

Furthermore, turbochargers with advanced twin-scroll and variable geometry turbine housings have majorly decreased this issue; they provide rapid boost response and  provide nearly instant power!

Myth 3: You Can Easily Turbocharge All Engines

Some people believe that you can turbocharge all engines with ease. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. CAN you turbocharge any internal combustion engine?  While it is certainly possible, some applications have little to no tuning support, fuel system upgrade options, or weak internals, making the task of installing a turbocharger very difficult.

In addition, some engine’s compression ratio is so high that installing a turbo may make detonation uncontrollable.  If you have questions about your engine, it is best to contact TurboKits.com for insight.

Realistically, you’ll need to consult with professionals if unsure whether your engine is suitable for a turbo kit. Installing the kit yourself—when you’re not 100% certain whether your engine can handle it—can be a recipe for disaster.

Myth 4: Turbocharging Always Decreases Fuel Efficiency

Many people think that performance turbochargers will decrease fuel efficiency. WRONG!

Modern turbocharging technology, when you pair it with the right engine management and tuning systems, will better atomize the fuel as it is ingested by the motor, improve density,  and optimize combustion efficiency to produce maximum power output for fuel delivered.

Myth 5: Aftermarket Turbocharging Voids the Car’s Warranty

Contrary to some belief, aftermarket turbocharging does not automatically void the car’s warranty. Although some modifications can indeed damage the warranty, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in the United States protects consumers' rights.

The act says manufacturers must prove that a certain modification caused a warranty-related problem before they deny coverage.  This is tough to do!

However, it’s essential to maintain records of any modification process and consult with the dealer to determine what parts you can install, as ultimately, they have the final say.

Myth 6: Turbocharging Always Requires Expensive Modifications

Turbocharging kits can involve expensive costs, yes. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to perform extensive modifications or fabrication to make a turbocharger fit. TurboKits.com offers bolt-on turbocharger kits for many applications that have been specifically designed for certain cars, resulting in better performance and lower installation costs.

Having the right components,—including piping, intercoolers, and engine management systems that fit your vehicle and your goals, will lower installation time and save you money!

Myth 7: Turbocharging Kits Always Cause Unwanted Heat

Excessive heat isn’t good for performance, and some critics believe turbocharger kits always generate heat at damaging levels. This idea simply isn’t true. Modern turbo kits don’t cause excessive heat; in fact, many come with heat control options! Turbo blankets, thermal coatings, wraps, heat tapes and shields can be used in situations where turbos need to be mounted near sensitive components. Some turbine housing blankets are so good you can touch them at operating temp with your bare hand!

Intercoolers, water cooled turbos, and water/meth injection systems are tools to combat heat!

Myth 8: Turbocharging Kits Are Only For High-Performance Cars

Another common myth surrounding turbocharger kits is that they’re only suitable for high-performance cars. If you’ve viewed our website, TurboKits.com,  you that’s not the case. We’ve got turbocharger kits on most cars—including economy cars, SUVs, and trucks, even Tractors—to boost overall performance and efficiency.

OEM vehicle manufacturers utilize turbochargers to boost the performance of smaller engines in an effort to meet strict emissions requirements while fulfilling the performance demand of spirited drivers. In turn, this allows for a solid balance between performance and fuel economy in everyday vehicles.

Myth 9: Turbochargers Make Your Exhaust Louder

Many aren’t looking for a louder exhaust,  and rumor has it, turbochargers will increase your exhaust volume.

Yes, turbochargers can change the sound of your exhaust, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be louder.  Your engine’s exhaust will need to pass through the turbine housing, which will act as a “muffler” to quiet the sound prior to the engine emissions actually passing through your exhaust system and quieted even further by your catalytic converter, resonator if you have one, and ultimately, your muffler. If you feel your exhaust is too loud, adding a performance muffler or resonator to your system can quiet the sound without reducing performance.

Myth 10: Turbochargers Require Frequent Repairs

The last thing you want is frequent, costly repairs, right? Some people believe turbocharging kits need constant work, but that’s a myth.  Regular maintenance—including filter replacements and oil changes—is essential for turbocharged engines, just like any engine.

Please follow manufacturer guidelines, use quality lubricants, and change your oil regularly. These simple steps will ensure your turbocharger remains a long-term benefit to your car, reducing the need for repairs.

Attention to detain during installation will mean less down time and repairs in the future.

Ignore the Myths: Utilize Performance Turbochargers Today

There are some myths surrounding performance turbochargers—but, as we have discussed, they are often wrong.

Of course, choosing a turbo of interior quality, failing to tune your vehicle or performing a careless installation can wreak havoc on your experience. That doesn’t need to be the case for you. Choose the best person to install the kit, maintain the kit properly, and reduce the likelihood for issues with your turbo vehicle.

At TurboKits.com, we design, develop, and market turbo systems for the automotive, agricultural, industrial, and commercial markets. Get in touch with us if you have any questions about the best turbo kit for your vehicle.